Miss Universe Organization and its local partners have signed the contract to formalize the Philippine hosting of the world’s most prestigious beauty contest. And in less than 70 days, we will witness the crowning of the new queen. Indeed, the Miss Universe fever has officially started.
Here are exciting facts that promise to make the pageant’s 65th edition the best “Miss Universe ever”:
1. The venue
The coronation night will be staged at the Mall of Asia Arena, which has a seating capacity of 15,000. A hundred Pinoy pageant fans in Vegas overwhelmed Planet Hollywood last year when Pia Wurtzbach was competing for the crown. Same thing happened when Venus Raj paraded the very same stage with the Philippine sash on in 2009. Imagine how 15,000 screaming pageant fanatics would sound like.
2. The official residence
Okada Manila is one of the major partners of the 65th Miss Universe. The casino resort and hotel complex is due to open in December in time for the arrival of the candidates in January. The $2.4 billion phase one of the casino project includes 993 hotel rooms, an indoor night club with a man-made white beach complex that can accommodate 4,500 people, and a dancing fountain that will rival the world’s biggest. Okada will not be the official residence of the candidates, it will be Solaire, Conrad and Nobu Hotel, but Okada Manila will surely be featured in one of the events.
3. Live telecast
The show will be telecast live worldwide reaching more than half a billion audience in 190 countries and territories. The spectacle will run for three hours and will train the spotlight not just on the candidates but also on what the host country has to offer including the country’s culture and tourist attractions. Apart from Solar Channel, the show will air live simultaneously on three major TV stations TV5, GMA 7 and ABS-CBN.
4. The delegates
As of this writing, 78 confidently beautiful candidates have been confirmed to join the annual “Olympics of Beauty.” A dozen more countries are yet to hold their national pageants. As early as now, pageant fanatics’ eyes are on Philippines’ Maxine Medina who will attempt for a back-to-back win, Colombian model Andrea Tovar who has been preparing for the pageant for over a year now, the feisty United States Army Reserve lieutenant Deshauna Barber, and the almost 6-foot tall models Mariam Habach (Venezuela) and Alena Spodynyuk (Ukraine).
5. Pre-pageant events
Miss Universe 2016 will hold pre-pageant shows in Cebu, for the swimsuit competition, Davao, Iloilo, Palawan, Boracay, Baguio, Bicol, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga and Vigan in an effort to support local tourism. Additionally, a reality-documentary television program entitled Journey to the Crown: A Celebration of Beauty has just premiered on ETC, one of the pageant’s media partners. The show will continue leading to the crowning of Pia Wurtzbach’s successor.