Behind-the-scene photos of the preliminary rounds of the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 made online buzz early this week.
While some praised the pageant organizers’ efforts, some Filipinos criticized the set up due to a perceived lack of preparations.
In an Instagram post last September 26, Frontrow CEO Sam Verzosa shared some photos during the preliminary competition of the pageant and shared that he is one of the judges.
He is joined by two other judges for the preliminary competition, Miss Universe Philippines organization national director Shamcey Supsup and Aces & Queens co-founder Jonas Gaffud.
Aces & Queens is a Philippine beauty camp that trains and mentors beauty pageant contestants, including Miss Universe Philippines candidates.
“Judging for the Prelims of Miss Universe Philippines w/ @jonasempire.ph and Ms. Shamcey Supsup. Tonight at 7pm is the live stream event for the preliminary competition on KTX.PH. Remember, it’s a live stream so please be on time for the season pass holders,” Verzosa wrote.
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The photos showed the three of them sitting on monoblock chairs at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
The video, meanwhile, showed a clip of the 28 candidates walking on a makeshift runway inside the airport.
These shots were soon posted on pageant-dedicated Facebook pages.
While they earned positive reactions and left pageant enthusiasts excited for the coronation night, some online users criticized how the preliminary segments of the prestigious pageant were handled.
Some of them noticed the lack of table-and-chair arrangement and said that the set up could have been refined.
“Ba’t ganyan? Di man lang pinaghandaan. Di pala nila kaya ata ihandle ang MUP,” one Facebook user said.
“Eto Ms. Universe Philippines walang budget para sa lamesa? Pati upuan monoblock chair,” another user commented.
“Nawala ang prestige at class,” another user wrote.
Others questioned why the judges also happened to be heads of Miss Universe Philippines and beauty camp, two stakeholders of the pageant.
“Bakit yung mga judges sila sila din lang naman dapat kumuha sila ng batikang judges sa prelims at grand coronation?,” one Facebook users asked.
“I smell something kayo ang organizer tapos judge kayo sa prelims… I smell bias for sure sana iba ang nag-judge. Masyadong halata,” another online user wrote.
“Is this a sick joke??? The candidates are spending a lot just to join especially on their outfits and long gowns and you don’t even care to find a prestigious venue??? More so invite other judges than yourselves??? It’s like watching a barangayan contest and held under a covered basketball court. That’s how cheap it came across,” a different Facebook user lamented.
Despite these criticisms, some Miss Universe Philippines fans defended the Miss Universe Philippines Organization and the preliminary rounds set up.
“I don’t know why they hate the New Org. May ambag ba sila? Kumita ba sila nung nasa BPCI pa? Or binayaran sila to bash? Haixxt. Sana sa susunod sila naman mag organized hoping lahat ng bashers mag ambag ng idea in the next pageant. Kuda kayo ng kuda bilhin nyo kasi yung franchise,” a Facebook user wrote.
“….daming reklamo. Preliminary yan di ba? Ano ba importante ‘yung candidates o ‘yung upuan? Pati judges pinupuna,” another user said.
A Facebook user quipped that the venue is literally the runway.
Some fans are hopeful that the organizers of the pageant would improve the setting during the coronation night.
“Ang bongga.. yun MUP airport na nga lang hndi pa nabigyan ng magandang pailaw man lang..daming sponsors eh.. mahal pa ng bayad… sana man lang bumawi sila sa coronation…o sana may palive man lang,” a Facebook user commented.
Amid the cheers and jeers, the interview and evening gown and swimsuit legs of the competition successfully concluded late last week.
Several candidates managed to earn the spotlight online because of their winning interviews, dazzling evening gowns and captivating walks.
Miss Universe Philippines 2021 candidate Rousanne “Ayn” Bernos even received a nod from Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on Twitter.