Miss Earth 2014 controversies: Philippines as winner, Brazil's interpreter

Miss Earth 2014 coronation night has ended not without controversies.

85 candidates competed for the Miss Earth 2014 crown earlier at the UP Diliman Theatre in Manila, Philippines. The host candidate Miss Philippines Jamie Herrell won and succeeded Miss Venezuela Alyz Henrich.

Miss Philippines Jamie Herrell crowned Miss Earth 2014 (screenshot from Rappler's live stream)

It was I think a convincing win by Miss Philippines, after she nailed the Question and Answer round, where she was asked, "If you win tonight's crown, what will you do to help slow down or reverse the effects of global warming?"

And she answered: "Global warming has been known for being long overdue issue. That is why if I am crowned tonight, I will use my title to inspire others, to help our environment, and we start with the kids. Because the kids are the people of tomorrow, and if we teach them, they will also help their community. And that's what I will do if I am crowned Miss Earth tonight."

Winning answer indeed! She's beautiful and smart, a worthy successor to Henrich as ambassadress of the environment. As I've said before, Jamie was the best representative of the Philippines in Miss Earth since Sandra Seifert, who won the 2nd highest title, Miss Earth Air, in 2009.

But just like those times when Miss Japan won the Miss International 2012 crown in Japan, Miss China was crowned Miss World 2012 in China and Miss USA won the Miss Universe 2012 title also at her homeland, Jamie winning Miss Earth 2014 at home immediately become an "issue" for many, as they accuse the pageant as a "cooking show" or being too biased in their own candidate's favor.

Well, that's always the case actually for the Philippine-based Miss Earth pageant. Whenever the host candidate places in the Top 8 or wins one of the elemental crowns, the "cooking" issue pops up again and again. What more now that the highest title has been won by the Philippines for the 2nd time after Karla Paula Henry did it 6 years ago. (Karla's win then was also questioned by many.)

In this year's pageant, it also puzzled everyone why the Portuguese-speaking Miss Brazil Leticia Silva was not given an official interpreter during the Q&A portion, and instead had fellow candidate Miss Switzerland Shayade Hug translating the English question for her.

Unplaced Miss Switzerland serves as interpreter for Miss Brazil during the Top 8 Q&A (screenshot from Rappler's livestream)

It's my first time to see a candidate acting as an interpreter for another candidate in that crucial moment. Miss Switzerland tried her very best to translate the English question into Portuguese, then Miss Brazil's Portuguese answer into English. She later apologized for not being so good using the English language: "I'm so sorry I'm not the translator of Miss Brazil, and my English is not so good."

I feel sorry for Miss Brazil. It possibly ruined her chances to be one of the 4 title winners. There were already 2 Miss Earth titleholders and 5 runners-up or elemental winners from Brazil, but there was never such problem during the Q&A.

And the controversy doesn't stop there. It's also being questioned why the candidate with the most social media shares in the Yahoo! Beauty for a Cause online competition did not automatically advance to the Top 16, as previously announced. Miss Nepal Prinsha Shrestha would have been the Yahoo! Beauty for a Cause winner, with a wide lead of 51,718 shares on Facebook and 5,398 tweets on Twitter.

Thru Facebook, the Miss Earth organizers released an official statement on this issue right after the pageant: "Although the management was not able to give an announcement or explanation earlier as required, the decision to not include the winner of the Yahoo Beauty for a Cause in the top 16 in the Miss Earth finals had been thoroughly discussed and agreed on by the management involved because, as observed, the voting process will be unfair to those countries who cannot fully participate in the voting due to the limited availability of the specified Yahoo voting page which resulted in limited accessibility of the voters from countries. As observed, There were also times when the voting link or news banner on the Yahoo home page will not be available to give way to other immediate news. If a voting process with limited scope and inconsistent voting site will produce results that will be unfair to other participating countries this form of voting will be stopped in fairness to all concerned."

The Top 16: (in order of announcement)

TAHITI, Hereata Ellard
RUSSIA, Anastasia Trusova
KOREA, Sumin Shin
COLOMBIA, Alejandra Villafañe
SCOTLAND, Romy McCahill
MONGOLIA, Tugsuu Idersaikhan
ZAMBIA, Cartier Zagorski
BRAZIL, Leticia Silva
VENEZUELA, Maira Alexandra Rodriguez
THAILAND, Sasi Sintawee
USA, Andrea Neu
EGYPT, Nancy Magdy
PHILIPPINES, Jamie Herrell
SPAIN, Zaira Bas
MEXICO, Yareli Carrillo

After the Swimsuit and Long Gown Competitions, the Top 16 were cut to just 8.

The Top 8: (in order of announcement)
BRAZIL, Leticia Silva
MONGOLIA, Tugsuu Idersaikhan
VENEZUELA, Maira Alexandra Rodriguez
USA, Andrea Neu
PHILIPPINES, Jamie Herrell
RUSSIA, Anastasia Trusova
SPAIN, Zaira Bas

Question & Answer (Q&A) Portion:

Question for Miss Brazil: When can you say that a woman is truly empowered?
For Mongolia: In your opinion, what differentiates this beauty pageant from other international beauty pageants?
For Slovak Republic: Have beauty pageants lost their relevance? Why or why not?
For Venezuela: What is the significance of beauty pageants in this time and age?
For USA: You've been doing a lot of great things in the Philippines the past month. Now, which one do you think should be done first by all of us?
For the Philippines: If you win tonight's crown, what will you do to help slow down or reverse the effects of global warming?
For Russia: How has this pageant changed the way you look at the environment?
For Spain: What's the best gift you can give to Mother Earth? And why?

And the Final Results:

MISS EARTH FIRE 2014: RUSSIA, Anastasia Trusova
MISS EARTH WATER 2014: VENEZUELA, Maira Alexandra Rodriguez
MISS EARTH AIR 2014: USA, Andrea Neu

AUSTRALIA, Nadine Roberts
AUSTRIA, Valerie Huber
BELGIUM, Emily Vanhoutte
BOLIVIA, Eloísa Gutiérrez
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, Bogdana Trifković
BOTSWANA, Nicole Gaelebale
CANADA, Cynthia Loewen
CHILE, Catalina Caceres
CHINA, Shirley Sham
CROATIA, Ana Batarelo
CURACAO, Akisha Albert
CZECH REPUBLIC, Nikola Buranská
DENMARK, Aisha Isabella Hansen
ECUADOR, Maria Jose Maza
EL SALVADOR, Georgina Gonzalez
ENGLAND, Gabriella Gatehouse
FIJI, Zoe McCracken
FRANCE, Laëtitzia Penmellen
GABON, Hulda Marilyne Ondo
GERMANY, Arta Muja
GHANA, Nana Ama Odame-Okyere
GUAM, Erin Marie Wong
GUATEMALA, Thalia Raquel Carredano
GUYANA, Stacy Ramcharan
HAITI, Fabiaula Dumas
HUNGARY, Sydney Van Den Bosch
INDIA, Alankrita Sahai
INDONESIA, Annisa Ananda Nusyirwan
ISRAEL, Tala Safadi
ITALY, Beatrice Valente
JAPAN, Reina Nagata
KAZAKHSTAN, Assel Zholdassova
KENYA, Lydia Marcella Manani
LATVIA, Alise Feldmane
LEBANON, Amina El Hassan
MADAGASCAR, Judie Jaomarina
MAURITIUS, Anne Sophie Lalanne
MYANMAR, Ei Mon Khine
NAMIBIA, Paulina Malulu
NEPAL, Prinsha Shrestha
NETHERLANDS, Talisa Wolters
NEW ZEALAND, Sheree Anderson
NIGERIA, Damola Akinsanya
PAKISTAN, Shanzay Hayat
PANAMA, María de Lourdes Gallimore
PARAGUAY, Sendy Cáceres
PERU, Elba Fahsbender
POLAND, Patrycja Dorywalska
PORTUGAL, Raquel Fontes
PUERTO RICO, Franceska Toro
REUNION ISLAND, Lolitta Hoarau
ROMANIA, Andreea Chiru
SAMOA, Natasha Westropp
SLOVENIA, Patricia Peklar
SOUTH AFRICA, Ilze Saunders
SRI LANKA, Imaya Mahaliyanage
ST. LUCIA, Francillia Austin
SWEDEN, Frida Fornander
TANZANIA, Nale Boniface
TONGA, Sicilia Makisi
UKRAINE, Valeriia Poloz
ZIMBABWE, Sandiswe Bhule - Mykiru.ph

About mykiru

Mykiru is an entertainment blogger, having been named as one of the Top 10 Pinoy Showbiz Resources in the Philippines. For a decade now, Mykiru.ph has been delivering the latest, the hottest and most trending issues in the country.

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