What Are the Chances of Rachel Peters Winning Miss Universe?
Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Traditionally, beauty pageants have been designed to judge physical attributes of women. Today, we’ve seen how these events have broken glass ceilings, whether it becrowning a transgender woman, recognizing the beauty of albinos, or using the stage to protest gender violence.
On Nov. 26, Miss Universe, arguably the biggest and the most anticipated beauty pageant in the world, will hold its 66th edition, and as always, the Philippines has sent off its bet: 26-year-old Filipino-British Rachel Peters.
During the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 competition’s interview portion, Peters — who has olive skin, almond eyes, and long, jet-black hair — was asked what her message would be for leaders of Southeast Asian nations. After a blink and a sigh, she answered: “I believe that one of the biggest problems that our country faces today is divisiveness, in politics, in religion, and also in culture. I believe that is something that is the same all over the world and that is something I want to address. I believe that people can tolerate each other’s differences and respect each other’s opinions.”
The crowds cheered, she gracefully left the stage in her red gown, and eventually, won the title of Binibining Pilipinas Universe. On the 26th, Filipinos, who are known to have a strong beauty pageant culture, will certainly be glued to telecasts, with their fingers crossed. She may win, she may lose, but one thing is certain: Filipinos will continue to cheer her on, segment after segment, walk after walk.
After videos of the preliminaries (the usual measure of whether a candidate will be chosen to be part of the top 16) were shared online, CNN Philippines Life asked beauty pageant experts who are all part of online communities that analyze pageants here and abroad — Marki Tejano (Sash Factor), Noli Berioso (OPBM Worldwide), Alvin Sebetero (Analyzing Pageants), and Adam Genato (Sash Factor) — to tell us about Peter’s biggest competitors, which segments she’ll shine in, and what her chances are of bagging the crown. Below are edited excerpts of the interviews.
What would you say are Peters’ strengths that could help her win the crown? On the other hand, what are her weaknesses that may contribute to her not getting the title?
Marki Tejano: The factors that may help her to win the crown? First is the fans ... The support of the fans boost the candidates' energy to give their 100 percent … Another factor is she's really well-trained. Her walk during the swimsuit [in the preliminaries] is sexy and yet not sexual. With her long gown, she was so elegant.
The only [reason] I can see of her losing is that there are so many competitive candidates this year. That's the only thing I can see might be the reason.
Noli Berioso: She has the aura of a past Miss Universe winner. Nakikita ko. Kasi ‘yung mga past winners, meron silang certain aura na hindi mo ma-explain, basta nakikita mo 'yun sa kanila. May mga similarities sila. Nakikita ko ‘yun kay Rachel. Weakness niya, sa mga pics kasi may tendency na hard ang register niya so dapat ingat at bantay din siya sa styling para ma-soften ang features niya sa stage and photos.
Alvin Sebetero: One of her strengths [is that] she can deliver in swimsuit and evening gown ... She was able to carry it very well and with confidence, and that's actually the strength naman of Philippines, the evening gown and swimsuit performance.
Adam Genato: Rachel’s long and lean body plus her mile long legs will surely make her standout among the rest. I also believe that her cosmopolitan lifestyle or upbringing is a huge advantage on her part. Rachel had lived many years of her young life in faraway lands like Australia, London, among many other places. So her maturity and multi-cultural background is definitely an asset in this competition.
As for her weakness, she had this tendency to develop stage fright [which was] evident when she joined her first national pageant three years ago. But I believe she was able to address her weakness through the help of her Kagandahang Flores mentors. When you hear her speak now, her intonation, delivery, and articulation are just amazing. She has definitely improved a lot.