The first day of preliminary competition at Miss Universe 2012 is a wrap.
This morning, I got to meet my fellow prelim judges – a diverse collection of successful professionals from entertainment, modeling and other industries. I especially enjoyed meeting Carlos Anaya, Managing Editor or MY Lifestyle magazine and Crystle Stewart – Miss USA 2008. They both had personality for days. And in person, you can really see why Crystle won the Miss USA title! She just exudes beauty, poise and confidence!
The judges then got to preview all 89 contestants. This breaks the ice for the delegates and give us judges a first look. Having judged last year, I can say this preview is very helpful. Because there are so many contestants, getting an initial look at them helps judges start to identify which young women catch our eyes.
The real competition then began with the interview phase. Prelim judges get to spend only about 3 minutes with each competitor. It’s a quick test to see which young women speak intelligently, have poise, exude personality and demonstrate confidence. Whoever wins the Miss Universe crown will spend a year making appearances to speak to everyone from children to world political leaders. I am looking for which contestants can be a great representative in all those settings. Today, we only got through about 2/3 of the delegate interviews. There are more tomorrow, as we finish up the interview phase.
One thing I like about the interview process is the opportunity for me to learn. In no other single place can I meet so many people from different countries, hear so many languages, and learn about so many cultures. Miss Universe is a one-stop place to appreciate the diversity of the world.
More of that diversity will be on display tomorrow for Day 2 of the preliminary competition. I can’t wait to see it, and begin to select which contestants may WIN!