Miss Asia this year got bigger, grander and better girls but the pageant got "filthier" and stupendously boring.
I just finished watching Miss Asia 2010 and I must say I'm not impressed. It's not the quality of the girls or the staging of the event but Miss Asia 2009 kept me interested because of its tongue in cheek humour, somewhere most pageants dare not go. This year however it crossed the line, I quote one of the presenters Gilbert Lam, who by the way looks incredibly good for 48 years old, said to No.18 something like this "If No.18 was the ink I'd like to be the brush, so I can dab her" to which fellow presenter Go Duk Chui (don't know his english name) just stood there not knowing what to say. If you don't think that's a bit vulgar then don't bother reading on.
Besides that there was no humour in the show which got me so interested in last year and most of the "rounds" were pointless and boring. I think TVB have upstaged them this year in terms of the show (for MCI) but Miss Asia still leads the way with beautiful contestants, Only Eliza, Candy and Simwayn could stand up amonst this lot. I must say, whilst I have no idea where they hosted the show - some place called Hupfei - the stage looked grand, on the other hand MCI's move to China seems to have demoted it. Also I want to question ATV for choosing to broadcast Miss Asia on the same time as TVB Awards. Whilst I understand this would create hype and tension it's almost impossible for ATV to draw more viewers based on that decision - they scored 3 points worth of ratings. Last year they scored 8 peaking at 11 - far beyond normal ATV viewer figures. I must say though ATV puts its soul out for Miss Asia, considering it's one of their biggest events whilst TVB seems slowly uninterested with the whole pageantry business.
The opening swimsuits were a bit retro btw and why were so many rounds dedicated to swimsuit!
I had no idea who the favourites were until watching the show but favourites or not I was in shock when both No.9 Waranya Kittwattana from Thailand and No.10 Sera Kawashima from Japan were eliminated. I have to admit the only girl that caught my attention in the first three rounds was No.9 Waranya. She looked beautiful, exquisite and very friendly. What annoys me is that the judges managed to eliminate 8 girls in 3 very pretentious rounds, one a quick introduction, another a seductive dance routine behind silk screens and the other simply a dance routine in swimsuits. They didn't even have their own individual segments in the dance routines so unless the judges have 18 pairs of eyes I don't understand how they could have judged them and on what? It seems like beauty alone would have done the trick. I think the judges knew before the show even started who they were going to chose for the Top 10.
By the way the 6D thing is utter bollocks. Let me try to remember them Dream City, Devil Body, Decent, Delete - I don't even want to go on. I smell cheese a block away. The only decency in the show was probably when Hui Ying (Miss Asia 2009) danced - she's a professional dance teacher you see.
The silkscreen dance routine segment was ok, it was handled well as it was seductive but not over the line but honestly stating the girls' measurements like that was a bit too much. I must say by this time I was quite bored of the pageant.
The whole "2 girls chose 1" thing is so overdone. What annoyed me was when they had pretty pictures of tourist hotspots of the locality signifying whether each girl made it through or not, that was just too much advertising.
The Q&A round, the only plausible judging process was all a bit fake. I'm sure many of the girls rehearsed their answers, probably because ATV had given prior guidance to them - not necessarily what the question would be but maybe told them to remember this and that. Two obvious times when rehearsing must have occurred was when No.4 managed to recite facts about shuttlecock (sport) and when No.8 said "Well we haven't been told why..." hmm... so you were told stuff.
What concerns me is how ATV manages to get decent girls despite the winners probably getting little coverage compared to TVB. Just compare this year and it is evident Miss Asia is getting better whilst MCI is getting worse. TVB needs to learn a few tricks, and maybe accept Japanese and Korean delegates.
One thing that was particularly interesting was when each girl was allowed to chose who they supported amongst the Top 4. 9 out of the 14 eliminated girls went for No.8 Vita from Tajikistan whilst nobody supported No.11 Jessica from South Korea. It wasn't shocking as ATV is known to be quite a back-stab, bitchy pageant relative to MCI and I can believe Jessica as somebody in it for the win and wouldn't care to make friends with any of the other girls - though I must say Jessica looked stunning on the evening.
Anyway results wise I was shocked they chose to have a Top 4. I think this year had better girls, on average, than last year but they chose to have 4 finalists instead of 6? Weird. I was quite shocked that No.2 was eliminated for No.15, and supposedly No.3 as I thought they were favourites. BTW I decided I didn't like No.3 that much. She's ok but overrated.
No.18 Wang Xin won, which was predictable considering the pageant was held in China and her biggest opponent No.8 Vita spoke no Chinese. I don't think No.18 is the prettiest but like Hui Ying last year she has an air of elegance and poise. What shocked me was China having 2 in the Top 3. No.15 isn't bad it's just that there are so many girls better than her and I find her a bit over the top.
My favourites of the night were probably
The rest were either forgettable or not up to scratch compared to those 8 I thought. Honestly if I was a judge I would have a hard time choosing from these 8. However what I like about Miss Asia is that they are trying to chose credible winners each year. Girls with beauty, brains, elegance and a friendly personality. I think both Wang Xin and Vita had those qualities. Jessica probably didn't have the friendly personality but she definitely was beautiful, charismatic and witty. I must say though Vita struck me as a very genuine girl. I also liked No 5. Elena Min. It seems the curse of the English speakers goes on. Last year I commented on Tiana Tran (coincidently also No.5) being a good choice if she knew Chinese better and the same fate falls on Elena who looked beautiful on the night but sadly spoke English throughout her Q&A.
I must say though I think Miss Asia 2009 was a great year but I think the standard was more varied. There were still a bunch of amazing girls in Miss Asia 2009, as much as in Miss Asia 2010 but Miss Asia 2010 had a better crop on the whole.
Overall I'm disappointed with Miss Asia, something I didn't expect to feel considering this is the strongest batch of girls I've seen in any Chinese pageant. What Miss Asia needs to do next year I think is go back to Hong Kong (but still get a good stage), get girls as good as this year, get more girls who can speak Cantonese - it all felt a bit too foreign for my liking this year, be a bit less crude and most importantly get the humour back on track! Hopefully I'll see you in in 2011 for Miss Asia.