Avatar? Encantadia?: Miss Earth 2020 winners announcement gives birth to quips on pageant titles

December 1, 2020 - 5:48 PM
Miss Earth 2020
Miss Earth Fire Michala Rubinstein, Miss Earth Water Roxanne Baeyens, Miss Earth Air Stephany Zreik and Miss Earth 2020 Lindsey Coffey in this promotional photo uploaded on Miss Earth's Facebook on Nov. 29, 2020. (Photo from Miss Earth via Facebook)

The announcement of the winners of Miss Earth 2020 in local news reports was met with quips related to “Avatar” and GMA fantasy series “Encantadia” due to the titles given to the pageant victors.

The annual environmental-themed beauty pageant on Sunday crowned Miss USA Lindsey Coffey as this year’s titleholder while three others were crowned as runner-ups through the elemental titles Miss Earth Air, Miss Earth Fire and Miss Earth Water.

Miss Venezuela Stephany Zreik won as Miss Earth Air while Miss Denmark Michala Rubinstein won as Miss Earth Fire.

Miss Philippines Roxanne “Roxie” Baeyens, meanwhile, won the Miss Earth Water title.


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A post shared by Roxie Baeyens (@roxieebae)

Beayens is a Filipino-Belgian who hails from Baguio City and has won two special awards in Miss Earth Philippines 2020—the Darling of the Press and the Eco-Video award.

She shared that her environmentalist mother is her inspiration in joining the pageant.

“All my life, I was a witness of my mom being an environmentalist and I wanted to continue the legacy in my family and be the change I want to see in the world,” she said before.

In the Miss Earth Philippines pageant, Baeyens’ environmental advocacy is urban gardening or the practice of cultivating plants in urban areas.

“The cities are no longer green and we have to start making changes and start planting,” she previously said.

This year’s coronavirus pandemic has prompted Filipinos to take interest in indoor gardening as they spruce up their spaces with greens to occupy their time while quarantine measures are in place.

Meanwhile, when local media reported the results of Miss Earth 2020, some news articles featured Coffey and Baeyens’ titles on a single headline which prompted some Filipinos to comment that it gave them “Avatar” or “Encantandia” vibes.

A title of an ABS-CBN News article reads: “USA named Miss Earth 2020; Philippines wins Miss Earth Water.”

CNN Philippines also had a similar title: “USA wins Miss Earth 2020; Philippines’ Roxanne Baeyens clinches Miss Earth Water title.”

GMA News Online also featured the two women in one headline: “Miss USA wins Miss Earth 2020, Philippine bet Roxie Baeyens is Miss Earth Water 2020.”

Twitter user quipped upon reading a headline that featured both titles: “Kala ko Encantadia 2020 bsksdjdkw.”

“Miss Earth? Miss Earth Water? Ano ‘to? Avatar? Bc (Because) I just so don’t get itttt,” another online user with a crying-with-tears emoji.


“Una kong basa Miss Earth Waterbender. Avatar ka ghorl,” said another Filipino.

“Avatar” or “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is a multimedia franchise featuring a fantasy world where people can manipulate or “bend” elements such as air, fire, earth or water. The individual who can bend the four elements and maintain balance in the world is called the “Avatar.”

“Encantandia,” meanwhile, is a fantasy television series previously aired by GMA Network which features four divided kingdoms full of mythical entities in an enchanted realm, the Encantandia. Its tranquility is dependent on four gemstones kept by the kingdoms which represent air, earth, fire and water.

Miss Earth 2020 is the 20th edition of the beauty pageant and the first one in its history to be conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pageant began on September 21 and its preliminary competition was streamed on November 24 via virtual channel KTX. The virtual coronation was telecast on TV5 last November 29.

Beauties with a cause 

The Miss Earth pageant is an environmental event that channels the beauty pageant industry as a tool for promoting environmental awareness among the public.

Under its “Beauty With a Cause” slogan, candidates and winners are expected to actively promote and get involved in the preservation of the environment and the protection of Mother Earth.

“Apart from a strong emphasis on environmental protection programs, MISS EARTH also aims to showcase and promote various tourist destinations. Every year, more than 80 delegates from all over the world compete on beauty and knowledge of environmental issues,” its website says.

The winner of the beauty pageant, who carries the title Miss Earth, serves as the ambassador to environmental protection campaigns around the world.

The pageant’s runner-ups are styled after classical elements of nature which are air, fire and water. They are called as Miss Earth Air, Miss Earth Fire and Miss Earth Water.