OH. MY. GOODNESS. GRACIOUS.
I never thought I’d be spending the first morning of my Christmas vacation writing a blog about the Miss Universe pageant… LOL! But based on the responses I’m still seeing in social media, I realized I needed to give up a mimosa or 2 to make a few points…
To fully set the stage – Yes, I’m enjoying a bit of time off with my family right now – which means, I didn’t see Miss Universe live. I didn’t watch the whole thing. Until I do, I admit, I’m not going to have the same “context” that many of you have.
If you missed it too – Check out this link right here…
I’ve seen the final couple of minutes of video that’s floating around social media – but in many ways, I feel like judging the last 2 minutes of the Miss Universe pageant and making a proclamation is a lot like taking a Bible verse out of context and then quoting it all your life (without reading everything else around that verse). Context is important – and I don’t have enough ‘research’ to know how the production went all night…
Here’s what I do know…
It’s a terrible situation.
I’m not denying that AT ALL! To have two ladies trying to “hold it together” in that moment, is super impressive. Both of them maintained their composure pretty darn well (all things considered) and that’s a testament to being a strong/mature pageant contestant!
But that point aside – There is A LOT to talk about… Therefore, in random order – Here’s a few comments I’m hearing – and my thoughts regarding each.
– Steve Harvey Screwed it Up
Again – I didn’t see it, but apparently, Steve Harvey was seen as a few notches below Bert Parks or Chris Harrison when it comes to his ability to host a pageant (based on what I’ve heard). Nobody’s perfect – but if Steve was indeed having difficulty much of the night – it’s not unreasonable to believe he may have screwed something up at the end. He was likely out of his element and may not have understood how the Top 5 announcement works… Totally possible.
– Live TV is Scripted to the SECOND
Honestly, there’s A LOT of time left in the telecast from the time they bring the Top 2 ladies center stage… Over 5 minutes in fact. And as someone who’s worked in live media for 15 years, 5 minutes is an ETERNITY if you don’t know how you’re going to fill it!
That’s why you see the hosts talking to the ladies BEFORE the runner up announcements (“How are you feeling right now? What’s going through your mind? And this is when the ladies all say how proud they are to be standing there and any one of their fellow sisters would make a wonderful Miss fill-in-the-blank).
Live telecasts need to end with the crowning – not go on for 2 1/2 minutes after the crowning. That part alone leaves people skeptical.
– Miss Universe Has a Reputation…
Do you remember last year’s Miss Universe? People told me the winner was listed on Wikipedia for HOURS before the pageant had even taken place! At first, I wasn’t sure I believed it, but it was true (and I saw it with my own eyes). Was Wikipedia just “lucky” with their guess? Or had the final outcome been pre-determined? Given that situation, people with short memories can look at this year’s botched crowning and last year’s pre-determined winner, and easily become skeptical.
– Nobody is THAT Cruel…
One of the loudest responses from folks who think there’s no way this thing was staged – is, “WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT? NOBODY IS THAT CRUEL!!!” Well – I gotta say, I just don’t agree. Mainly because, I’ve seen production companies put ratings/publicity WAY ABOVE the well-being of “cast members” over and over again (think The Bachelor, or any other “reality” TV show you watch).
If you remember correctly, Miss USA was held on a sub-par network only a few months ago (due to NBC pulling the contract after Donald Trump’s comments). The production company could be the master-mind of such a thing – NOT the Miss Universe Org. Or, perhaps they purposefully confused Steve Harvey by giving him a card that said one thing and the teleprompter said another. And trust me – production company’s HAVE NO VESTED INTERESTED in the “cast members” – only in the final result = Publicity/Ratings for them.
– Camera Angles Tell a Story…
Camera Angles scream the loudest to me. To have a camera on Miss Philippines at the end (or the Top 5 finalists) – seems a little “out of sorts”. To not have Colombia “take a walk” seems strange. To not have the ladies rush the stage to congratulate the winner, is down-right odd.
It’s possible that the camera crew and the production booth were both outstanding “in the moment” and did everything right. They were able to hold the ladies on stage without rushing the winner. They were able to get Steve’s attention and tell him he read the wrong name. They were able to capture the right angles on stage and move from shot to shot fairly seamlessly. They’re professionals – and they could be THAT GOOD. However, if a production team truly is that good – it’s pretty easy to believe the possibility that they were in on it – and were completely capable of pulling one over on the audience too.
– Donald Didn’t Do It.
After The Donald’s comments and NBC’s subsequent refusal to air the Miss USA Pageant, Donald went to the table where many people speculated that he would sell his portion of the pageant to someone else. But instead of selling, he bought the whole thing outright. Then, days later, he sold the whole darn thing to the current owner WME/IMG. So – Donald no longer has any stake in Miss Universe succeeding (or failing) – except that people still associate his name with the brand of Miss USA/Teen USA/Universe because he’s owned them since 1996 (that’s the power of branding).
HOWEVER – the new owners have a serious need to make the pageant relevant again! Like other pageants, the ratings of Miss Universe have been slipping and the “negative publicity” surrounding the pageant – thanks to Trump and his comments – needed a new conversation. If everything goes right at Miss Universe – nobody cares. But now that this massive gaffe has taken place, it’s a social media dream.
– But Steve Harvey Apologized!!!
Look – I’m not saying Steve was even in on it! He may have been a pawn and may have been confused between the card, the teleprompter, the people screaming in his ear, etc. I think it took an insane amount of courage to go back and do what he did – without stammering, without looking sheepish, without apologizing profusely. He recovered well! Which again, will lead some folks to believe that he knew all along what he was doing. For a guy who hosts a talk show and The Family Feud, his stock just went through the roof! He’s got recognition now – and as many people say, “There is no such thing as bad press…”.
– Why Stir Up Controversy in the First Place???
I can understand why some of you think I’m just trying to “stir the pot” to get my own few minutes here… But honestly, I’m not the only person who thinks this whole thing may have been staged.
The general public thinks it was staged (don’t believe me? Check out twitter!). And if the general public (who doesn’t normally care about pageants) thinks pageants are rigged – WE HAVE A PROBLEM! I’m not trying to scream “CONSPIRACY THEORY” just yet – but you need to know that if the general public isn’t buying it, then that’s a big, big deal!
Because it keeps ladies from going into pageants if they think they’re rigged.
It keeps parents skeptical about legitimate outcomes when their daughters are involved.
And trust me – there’s enough subjectivity within judging pageants to always cause people to wonder “if the right girl won” without a major mess-up like this one!
If the general public thinks pageants are a farce – that’s more than just thinking they’re irrelevant. Those of us who’ve been fighting for the relevancy of pageants typically do so by saying, “These girls are incredible! Have you seen their academic records? Have you seen how many hours they’ve dedicated to community service? Have you noticed their commitment to their platforms and CMN?”
But now – the conversation has shifted. It’s no longer about whether or not pageants are “relevant” in today’s culture… Now, it’s about whether or not there are people behind the scenes, pulling strings however they wish.
And while THAT CONVERSATION is NOT one I’m interested in having… It’s too late. It’s here. And instead of fighting the pageant battle on one front – we’re now fighting it on two fronts.
Legitimacy and Relevancy.
My advice? Offer your opinion as to what you think happened – and then support it in a way that’s not divisive and not mean-spirited. Here’s why…
First, you’ll be able to communicate with non-pageant-people about why you choose to be involved despite these mis-conceptions (never a bad thing).
Second, you’ll be practicing “graciousness” – as opposed to “your opinion doesn’t matter so I’m going to tell you mine” – LOL! Everyone knows the best titleholders find a way to communicate their own opinions graciously – and they give everyone else a chance to do the same. PS – if you’ve ever been in the interview room and felt like you were arguing with a judge, practicing graciousness is a GREAT tip for you. 🙂
Do I personally think the Miss Universe crowning was staged? I don’t know for sure… And until I watch the whole thing on YouTube, I won’t have an opinion worth sharing. However, I do know there’s always something to learn from every situation.
Mistakes happen – But, so do publicity stunts.
We may never know the truth behind Miss Universe 2015 — But we have two options…
- Use all this publicity to OUR advantage by changing the conversations around pageantry – and helping others recognize the amazing reasons why pageants are worthy and relevant… Or…
- Fight with each other about whether our opinion is right or wrong – thus reinforcing the previously conceived notions of “Miss Congeniality” that the general public has of us.
The choice is yours. As for me and my household – we’re about to choose the beach.
MERRY CHRISTMAS JUNKIES!!!