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Universal feud

Netnet Camomot

WE were yelling at the top of our voices and jumping like crazy upon realizing Steve Harvey wasn’t joking and was serious with his apology.

I was out of the house at 7 am last Monday and arrived home by the time Seal was about to serenade the Top 3, enabling me to also catch Harvey’s booboo.

It’s a given that the Miss Universe contest tends to show a lot of boobs. It’s a beauty contest after all, and not a quiz bee, with that SOP of having candidates make rampa in two-piece swimsuits.

And it’s a live show where the ultimate wish of the directors, producers, and most especially the candidates themselves, is for everything to flow smoothly without a teeny weeny hitch. In other words, please don’t change the “s” in boobs to “oo,” for it could mean slipping on the stage floor during the swimwear or evening gown competition, the brain blacking out during the Q&A and forgetting answers memorized since birth, a wayward strand of hair not bowing to the blowdryer’s powers, false eyelashes falling down and sticking to the face, or a six-inch heel barely hanging on to its mother shoe.

But the mother of all beauty contest booboos could be the host announcing the wrong winner. This is a blessing in disguise, though: the booboo has forever cemented Pia Wurtzbach’s victory as a special part of the Miss Universe’s Remember when?

Loads of crazy stuff could happen in a live show, that is why when Miss Philippines was finally announced as the winner, she opted at first to wait for the floor director’s instructions rather than rush to the front of the stage to claim what’s rightfully hers. Expect that from Wurtzbach who has been there, done that, more specifically three years of joining the Miss Philippines’ pageant.

When asked about how she was able to answer the questions well, she humbly told her interviewer about the three notebooks–one notebook for each year–containing all the possible Q&A presented to her by her handlers, which she had with her at the backstage so she could review them during lulls in the show and prepare her for the Q&A, the final part that she was sure of reaching somehow. Hmmm. This is one Cagayanon who practices the Law of Attraction, the exact opposite of Debbie Downer.

Yes, she’s a Cagayanon. Had she been a loser who quit after her first try, she would have been banished to Siberia, never to be seen and heard of again. But she’s the epitome of a saying’s definition of a winner: a loser who never quits. And because of that, Cagayanons are now proud of her, even if she and her family transferred to Manila when she was about 11 years old. And, guess what, she and my friend were “neighbors” a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Hehe. OK, in Kauswagan.

But the true test of a beautiful face is when it’s bare and you can see it up close. Because what’s behind that face, the heart and soul of its owner, will always manage to escape through the  pores of the skin, and illuminate the surroundings lucky enough to bask in its presence. If Wurtzbach has that, then she is indeed the Miss Universe.

“Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko” is a popular Hotdog song which the band performed during the Miss Universe 1974 pageant in Manila. Brothers Dennis and Rene Garcia are the brains behind the band, and after Wurtzbach won in the most recent version, a journalist asked Dennis through Facebook if he’s planning to compose a song for her. After all, it has been 42 years since the Philippines has had a Miss Universe, having to content itself with a nandoon-na-nawala-pa scenarios for all the runners-up we were grateful for in the last several years.

Wurtzbach is the third one who made it to the top, after Gloria Diaz won in 1969, and Margie Moran in 1973. In case you haven’t noticed, all three have upper front teeth that kind of protrude up to a certain extent, enough to make the beauty queen’s smile dazzle pa more.

Forty-two years of no Pinay Miss Universe and now that the crown is finally back on her head, Harvey announces the wrong country. This is not “Family Feud,” the long-running TV game show which picked him to be its latest host. This is universal feud, with the mistakenly called winner, Miss Colombia, seemingly hanging on to her few minutes of Miss-Universe glory, probably buoyed by the comment of Perez Hilton who said she’s Sofia Vergara and she will have a brighter future than Wurtzbach. Hilton was one of the Miss Universe 2015 judges who unanimously voted for Miss Philippines.

As expected, there are now many memes starring Harvey and one of them is an invitation from Comelec, to be its chairman. Could be because the Comelec is also known to declare the first runner-up as the winner? Hehe. But he has also been called that non-politically correct word for black, and many politically correct people are not happy with that.

His booboo has been called an honest mistake. Honestly? Seriously? Pag-sure oi. The words on the cue card were crystal clear on the names of the winners, with the Miss Universe having its own special spot on the lower right corner. How could he miss that? But there’s chika he was drinking and gambling before the show. Well, what else should one do in Vegas anyway? FYI: Vegas was the venue of the latest Miss Universe contest.

I don’t know if a host is allowed to verify and confirm the names of the winners from the accounting firm’s representative who handed him the result. But from hereon, I guess that will become the SOP for all future contests, to ensure the host has the name of the winner even if it will take precious minutes off a live telecast. Better that than creating confusion, scandal, intrigues, conspiracy theories, even racism in what is supposed to be a universal, OK, worldwide event meant to momentarily unify all these countries.

This is nothing new, though, to Pinoys. In addition to Comelec’s rumored reputation in, ahem, misreading election results, there was a time when Pinoys had a sneak peek into the intentional misreading of a winner’s name. It was June 1994 and the awards show for the Manila Film Festival was ongoing when Ruffa Gutierrez and Gabby Concepcion instantly became best actress and best actor instead of Aiko Melendez and Edu Manzano.

Gretchen Barretto, Miss Universe Mauritius 1994 Viveka Babajee, and Rocky Gutierrez were onstage as the presenters for the best actress award when Babajee and Rocky announced Ruffa as the winner, Rocky then put the envelope containing the real winner’s name into his pocket, with Babajee saying, “Take it! Take it!,” and then giving the award to Ruffa. Thus, it came to be known as the “Take it! Take it!” scandal.

Ruffa and Nanette Medved gave the best actor award to Concepcion. The investigation later revealed that Lolit Solis and Annabelle Rama were the ones who planned the misreading. Solis was then Concepcion’s manager, and Rama is of course the mom of Ruffa and Rocky.

The Miss Universe 1994 competition was held in Manila. That’s probably how Miss Mauritius arrived here? Hmmm. Miss India Sushmita Sen won that year, with Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres turning over the crown and sash to her. Charlene Gonzalez was then the Philippines’ representative who managed to be in the Top 6 and win best in national costume, an award which became controversial with allegations of favoritism for the host country.

Torres became a celebrity here in the Philippines and lived here for five years, and she had a four-year relationship with Aga Muhlach who eventually married Gonzalez.

Torres married Marc Anthony in May 2000 but the marriage went pfft and they got divorced four years later.

In this complicated part of world history, Babajee had it worse–she committed suicide in June 2010 allegedly due to depression after a failed relationship with a boyfriend.

All the other characters have managed to move forward although Rocky seems to be less popular than his siblings, and the booboo’s effect on Harvey’s career has not sunk in yet.

As for Miss Colombia, there’s a $1-million offer for her to join the porn industry. The offer comes with delish conditions–she can keep her undies on?–but still, it’s porn! O my gas.

But then, Japanese porn star Maria Ozawa has joined this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival through “Nilalang” with Robin Padilla, thus, proving that porn can be a rocket ship to the rest of the universe.

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About Netnet Camomot

Netnet Camomot once edited a society page and covered society stories for another newspaper. She has long been writing about the lighter side of anything under the sun, including pressing issues of the day, with a touch of humor.

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