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Pageant time in Auckland


April 17, 2008/12.05

Of course, I can’t whisper a word about the placings of the girls at Miss Universe New Zealand 2008 so far, but I will say a few general things. First, the judges work together really well and we welcomed designer Patrick Steel to the fold on the interview night tonight (joining Yvonne Brownlie, May Davis and myself). Secondly, the photos on the website are pretty poor relative to how the girls actually look (they are prettier in person). Thirdly, the calibre of contestants is higher (with respect to the 2007 entrants) based on the interviews.
   On average, each interview was far longer this year, with the sessions totalling a similar time to last year despite fewer contestants. That means we spent nearly twice as long per contestant. We had a student homeowner paying a mortgage, we had one girl who had to get a sponsor at the last minute after one pulled out, and we have contestants who have travelled to multiple continents. We had some glam shoes from very unlikely retail sources. We had some of the sharpest answers in my involvement in national pageants from 2003 to today.
   Now, the girls with the above characteristics mentioned may or may not be placing very well tonight: that is confidential. But the competition looks fiercer and, refreshingly, the cattiness is no longer detectable compared to last year, and that may well be fewer fictional, anonymous comments on the blogosphere this year.
   Kylie Anderson and Sylvie Laurenson have returned from earlier years, and no doubt have confronted stiffer competition this time round. There is no such thing as a sure win based on experience: each year’s group is different.
   I was absolutely right not to come to Auckland with preconceived ideas about possible winners: didn’t work last year after meeting the contestants, sure wouldn’t have worked this year.
   One notable difference was that we judges did confer after each interview, going with the flow. We weren’t told not to this year, but I don’t believed this resulted with any groupthink. With the higher calibre it would have been impossible not to say something, with hindsight: everyone elicited some comment after the judging. Say what you will about pageants and objectification; at least the vacuous beauty queen seems to have been relegated to the past as far as New Zealand is concerned.

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beauty / culture / Lucire / New Zealand / society
Filed by Jack Yan

4 thoughts on ‘Pageant time in Auckland

  1. Thank you so much for the info! You got photos of the coronation? :) Fantastic job of updating everyone!

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