As I said I was very happy with the results, the best since 2006! MHK has definitely come back in full force after a few years of disappointment. The production, the contestants, the results were all good and that's why I loved this year so much. There are however a few niggling points I will discuss later.
The opening was ok, I didn't get why Phoebe Pang was the fairy introducing the girls though. I liked the float the girls were introduced in as well. The gowns however were a bit hit and miss. I liked Rebecca's gown, it was very regal and had an oriental touch. I also thought the colour of Iris' gown suited her and the fit of Mayanne's and Giselle's gown did them well but the rest were like student projects.
01. Janey Yan
This fiery red doesn't look good on Janey and the materials looked cheap but the gown did try to enhance Janey's youthful qualities.
Janey looked gorgeous on the night and reminded me of Linda Chung!
02. Iris Kwan
I think the gown's "personality" fits Iris', a demure purple with a traditional gown shape but then the gown itself was besotted with random add-ons and the ruffles didn't look elegant.
I knew Iris would brush up well, she was one of the surprises (in terms of beauty) of the night but then Iris didn't really perform and spoke hesitantly and she didn't carry herself with confidence.
03. Whitney Hui
Her hairstyle is a little dated but despite the hairstyling Whitney looked beautiful and confident.
I still don't get why she received all the bad press especially the one about her borrowing money from her friends and not returning it. Supposedly those "friends" were going to protest against her in front of TVB on the night but I don't think that actually happened. I feel so sorry for Whitney.
04. Giselle Lam
I'm not a fan of Giselle's gown but I thought it showed off her upper body well.
Giselle isn't blessed with photogenic features but she impressed me with her natural confidence, charm and wit.
05. Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca's gown was perfect for her (maybe a different shade of blue would be better though). The gown was elegant and regal and Rebecca carried it very well.
Rebecca's natural elegance and confidence was her key to success.
06. Nicole Leung
Nicole's gown was pretty boring and it didn't really know what it wanted to do. The colour is also hard to carry well.
Nicole wasn't my favourite because her features could register in two very different ways (beautiful or shocking) and her voice is DJ-fied to the max.
07. Sandy Wu
Sandy's gown was the worst because it looked like a nightie.
Sandy was disappointing in general not that she performed poorly it's just that she wasn't the type of contestant I thought she'd be. Her voice was my major concern but she not only sounded like a young girl she acted like a young girl as well. She also moved about the stage in a very rushed manner which was a distraction.
08. Susan Su
I think Susan's gown was too low-key in that it didn't look good or bad.
Personally I think Susan is the least photogenic amongst the bunch but I was amazed that her Cantonese was actually OK.
09. Mayanne Mak
I liked the fit of Mayanne's dress but I did not like the shoulder piece.
Mayanne was the surprise of the night, I knew she had potential to be a dark horse and she proved me right. Her looks improved so much that I'd consider her a shot for Miss Photogenic but sadly she still needs to tone her body a bit more.
10. Lena Li
I'm personally not a fan of evening gowns with an evident divide.
Surprising I actually warmed to Lena, I thought she'd annoy me but I found her attempt to speak Cantonese endearing and thoughtful, sadly though Miss Hong Kong is still Miss Hong Kong so if you can't converse in Cantonese then you should be out.
11. Lisa Lau
The gown had potential but the colour wasn't right.
My main concern is not with the gown, it's actually ok bar the yellow material, but with her hairstyle. It destroyed her elegant looks and aged her considerably. Her chances of making it further diminished every second whilst she sported that hairstyle.
13. Gemma Choi
The bottom of her gown not only engulfed her it had this hideous red tinge coming out from a dark purple.
Anyway Gemma was sweet but a lot of the times she didn't look present. Being one of the shortest also didn't help especially when she was sandwiched between Lisa and Hyman.
14. Hyman Chu
The gown is an absolute no no but Hyman managed to make it work for her.
She was definitely one of the strongest all round contestants of the night. I nearly lost faith in her when nobody gave her any attention but I was right to stick by her as she was indeed witty, confident and beautiful. How Toronto produces so many great contestants is beyond me.
15. Wyling Leung
I only just realised that 10 or 11 of these girls were either not born in Hong Kong or don't live in Hong Kong. I'm not discriminating against them I just find it interesting that local HK girls seem disinterested in the pageant nowadays.
Anyway back on track, Wyling's gown was another no no but her main problem was her awkwardness, it just didn't work for her.
The competition then proceeded into the very first Swimsuit segment. I liked the whole dance routine thing as it mimicked the kaleidoscope theme, the whole segment was done tastefully though I must say the figures of this year's batch was average.
JANEY! Awful posing girl! Your mama didn't teach you to lie seductively on a seat?
But to be honest Janey does have a very toned body, her overall performance was strong but she wasn't at her best in this round I thought.
Awkward hand and leg placement...
Iris needed more toning and confidence.
A bit too slouchy and why is she so pink? But still gorgeous as ever.
The hairstyle was still irking me but Whitney looked beautiful and confident and her body wasn't as bad as I had expected.
Giselle amazed me with her performance, she showed confidence and actually, dare I say it, sex appeal. She also had a very toned body.
Mama diva in da house.
Besides her hairstyle Rebecca was in tip top form here. Even when I praise some of the girls' catwalks most of them are actually rather timid but Rebecca actually had a strut! She was obviously the best in Swimsuit.
Nicole tried to show confidence and attitude which was good but at times it did verge onto looking cheap. She's also one of the girls that needs some toning around her midriff.
Totally engulfed by the cloak.
Sandy looked good but her styling was a bit ancient here. She also needed to tone up her body and she still walked too fast.
Susan's toned physique helped her massively here though she's a tad on the skinny side.
The surprise of the night continues strongly looking elegant and sexy.
But this is still a swimsuit competition so having one of the worst physiques amongst the bunch will automatically put you at a disadvantage although she was confident throughout.
Lena's body is quite disproportionate and her swimsuit didn't do anything to hide it and her swimsuit was too different compared to the others.
But Lena looked beautiful and confident thus she scored well with me here.
Eric joked that her name sounded like "See Lai" (Middle Aged housewife) but in all honesty her hairstyle and the way she presented herself resembled a see lai.
On top of that her body, though toned, was very pear shaped so she scored very lowly in this round.
Gemma was ok here though quite boring, she never really looked invested in the competition.
She looked so tall here though statistically we've seen taller at MHK/MCI.
A lot of people didn't like Hyman's confident (smug) looks but I loved Hyman's confidence and she knew how to put on a show. Her body however was weak, only helped by her long limbs.
Wyling actually performed ok here and trust me those dancers wearing random coloured suits were actually quite a nice addition.
Sadly whilst performing at her best Wyling still seemed awkward.
So after the first two rounds the judges declared their current Top 5 as...
Quite shocked that Susan was included, possibly because of her toned body.
Then the pageant turned to oddities to fill time. I could take their first walking and posing round but after that they did another one! Why? The "Strong, Modern Woman" section was ok, at least we got to hear who they admired, though I still hate the rehearsed speeches, but then they had another section where the girls started to pose and talk about how they were like certain elements or natural occurrences. I just wish they spent the time as a talent round.
This post is already getting too long so I'm going to skip these two rounds.
So after a few pretentious rounds, as is always with MHK, my rankings of the girls was like this.
1st - 5. Rebecca Zhu
2nd - 3. Whitney Hui
3rd - 14. Hyman Chu
4th - 4. Giselle Lam
5th - 9. Mayanne Mak
Joint 6th - 1. Janey Yan and 7. Sandy Wu
8th - 11. Lisa Lau
9th - 10. Lena Li
10th - 13. Gemma Choi
11th - 6. Nicole Leung
12th - 8. Susan Su
13th - 2. Iris Kwan
14th - 15. Wyling Leung
Rebecca looked elegant and calm throughout the night. She had the aura of a winner.
Whitney was close behind throughout. Both these girls placed in the Top 3 of each segment for me.
Hyman's confident performance allowed her to rise amongst the favourites despite not being the most photogenic.
Giselle was another shocker. She might not be a looker but her confidence and eloquence gave her an edge amongst the competition.
I loved Mayanne on the night but her body lost her a lot of points. She had basically the same qualities as Giselle the only difference being Giselle had a toned body but she did not.
Janey was consistent throughout the night so she came in at 6th with pre show favourite Sandy. Sandy never really stood out on the night.
Despite Lisa's bad styling her confidence and eloquence managed to put her at 8th.
Lena just missed out on a Top 8 position due to her weak command of Chinese and her eccentric posing.
Gemma's energy-less performance placed her at 10th.
Nicole, the dark horse of many, didn't impress me so she placed 11th. I still don't understand why she DJ-fied her voice up because she doesn't speak like that normally.
Besides her lean physique Susan didn't stand out.
Iris was beautiful on the night but besides that she was really weak in every other segment
Finally the "ugly duckling" Wyling came in last.
The ugly ducking reference is referring to how Wyling seemed like the odd one out not because she's ugly.
At this stage the judges proceeded to announce a Top 5 of 8. I didn't understand this move, well I did I just thought it was stupid. The Top 5 should also have had to answer questions and the +3ers were always going to be on the back foot.
so very similar to mine.
The other girls were put through another round to compare them in which the girls had to solve certain difficulties that other contestant faced. Some of the questions were very funny such as Janey's where she asked help on how to feel confident despite being laughed at for having a backside as big as some African women and Lena's where she wanted to know how to differentiate between "Mo (Haven't) and Ng Sai (No thank you) but Lisa and Wyling actually answered those questions very well. I think this round was a very good one so the Top 5 should also have been part of it.
After those questions it was announced that...
1. Janey Yan
4. Giselle Lam
7. Sandy Wu
would join the Top 5
A great (and fair) top 8
The final round, I believe all the crying bits weren't considered as "rounds", was the Q&A section for the Top 8. The girls did their Q&As in swimsuit so this round was definitely weighted massively upon for me.
Janey looked gorgeous, the best she had looked all night and she also looked very good in her swimsuit.
She was surprisingly eloquent but her attempt at an answer to her question was quite vague and illogical. I know that MHK questions are normally written to be satirical but that's to show wit and charm which she didn't do well enough.
I actually liked Whitney's hair tied up in a bun more than her initial styling, she looked so much fresher and we could finally see her beautiful face.
Whitney's Achilles heel for the night was her speaking, in any other year she probably would have sailed through with her eloquence and poise but this year there were quite a few girls who could speak very well so it was evident Whitney was lacking in this respect.
Giselle had one of the better bodies amongst the group.
Giselle might not be the prettiest but her confidence, charm and wit really stood out in this round.
Rebecca's body didn't look as strong in this swimsuit, possibly because it accentuated her hips.
Rebecca continued her calm and collected performance, she performed strongly here though I wish she'd let lose a bit.
Nicole's body needs toning and her eyes are still distracting.
Nicole's eloquence is undoubted but her answer wasn't as strong as I'd expect. Nicole actually looks very pretty 80% of the time but her crazy eyes always distract me.
Sandy continued to disappoint sadly, her body looked plumper than before and she continued to rush her presentation.
Sandy's chances of making the Top 4 looked slimmer by the second because of her relatively weak answer and the way she spoke was always going to be a problem unless she spoke in an elegant and sophisticated manner.
If Mayanne had a better physique I would easily put her as a potential winner, she is definitely the most improved out of all the contestants.
Hyman looked the best she has since the start of this competition here but her body is still pretty average.
Hyman continued to show charm and wit, she did very well in this segment though her confidence might have been misinterpreted as snobbish.
Just for comparison reasons here are the other girls in the same swimsuits.
I'm not going to talk about the sob stories as it's not really part of the competition. Afterwards they named the Top 4, I really don't know why they did that. I wish they stuck with Top 5 14-10-5 would have been ok why 14-8-4? 4 is such a harsh number as only one girl misses out totally especially since it'll be Top 3 + Nicole who will be in all the photos not the 3rd Runner Up.
My Final Ranking of the night
Winner - Rebecca Zhu
2nd - Giselle Lam
3rd - Hyman Chu
4th - Mayanne Mak
5th - Whitney Hui
6th - Janey Yan
7th - Sandy Wu
8th - Nicole Leung
However I do believe it's important to assess the girls pre show as well because what's the point of all the weeks prior if everything lies upon one night so considering pre pageant and performance on the night my ranking would be.
Winner - Rebecca Zhu
1st Runner Up - Hyman Chu
2nd Runner Up - Whitney Hui
Top 4 - Mayanne Mak
5th - Giselle Lam
6th - Janey Yan
7th - Sandy Wu
8th - Nicole Leung
This was in fact how the Top 4 girls placed on the final night! The only reason why I removed Giselle from the Top 4 was because she didn't make such a strong impression as the Top 4 even when she performed well.
So in fact the result was perfect for me.
My Miss Photogenic - 3. Whitney Hui
My Miss International Goodwill - 9. Mayanne Mak
Overall I'm very happy with this years group and results it'll be interesting seeing what happens with the 2011 alum.
What was Eric Tsang wearing!
I think the perfect competition would be
1) Short intro/dance segment - Intro just number and name + stand and smile at judges
2) Swimsuit Round - elegant/sexy (sit on chair and look up to the ceiling + a water wall that the girls have to walk along)
3) Q&A Round - Questions more thought provoking and generally not amusing ones (in evening gown)
4) Announcement of Top 10
5) Talent Round - 1m30 talent segment
6) Evening Gown presentation - Qi Pao to be exact
7) Swimsuit/Debate Round - Self chosen swimsuit the girls are then paired off for a debate
8) Announcement of Top 5
9) Interview - amusing, witty, challenging 3-5 minutes (like MCI 2009)
10) The Top five chose who they think will win etc (I remember they did this in MHK 1995, it was quite interesting seeing what the contestants themselves though)
11) Announcement of Winners including Miss Photogenic, Miss International Goodwill and Miss Friendship
Like this would ever happen considering the time. It would have to be a Miss Venezuela type bonanza!