It's beauty, brains and betting for our tipster this week, unfirtunately for him, he only ticks one of those boxes! Lee Phelps delves into the glamour of Miss World looking at some big odds for his free pageant picks.
This week the only stats I’ve been pouring over have been vital ones, and I’m more focussed on Misses than shots. I have the job of previewing Miss World! This year London hosts the most famous of all beauty pageants with over 120 of the globe’s most gorgeous women vying for the coveted title.
Let’s talk about how you earn the crown. There are five categories which contestants accumulate points in: Beauty With A Purpose; Multimedia; Sport and Fitness; Top Model and the Talent Competition.
Beauty With A Purpose
This flowery title is at the heart of the Miss World Organization and is also a registered charity. The primary aim of 'Beauty with a Purpose' is to provide aid and attention to children in dire need of care across the world.
“Every year at Miss World many of the contestants take part in charity projects & selfless acts within their community. They present to us their projects and the best project we see receives the Beauty with a Purpose Award, which rewards them with many points towards their final score, but and $10,000 will be presented to the charity that the winner has been working alongside.”
Interestingly, for a category “at the heart” of the process, no winner has ever actually won the title.
The ten finalists are: Bolivia, Brazil, England, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Netherlands, Philippines and South Africa.
“The judges are looking for the contestant who is able to use the media to create the most positive and engaging image of themselves and the Miss World experience during the competition. A balanced mix of interesting pictures, attention grabbing videos and well thought words (in both popular and native languages if possible) on their official social media channels is key to this. They must also interact with their audience, be inventive and original in their style, and above all entertaining and informative!”
I’ve looked at every single contestant (I take my research seriously) and here are the top five most ‘liked’ and followed contestants.
Miss Moldova’s Facebook page has a massive 665,000 likes, but she last posted on October 8th.
Miss Thailand is second best with 385,000 Facebook likes on her page and 1,681 Twitter followers;
Miss Philippines’ Facebook page has 331,000 likes and she has 2,225 Twitter followers;
Miss Nepal has 194,000 likes on her Facebook page, with 4,000 Twitter followers. In addition her Facebook page mirrors the criteria above closer than any other contestant.
Miss India’s Facebook page has 143,000 likes.
Sport and Fitness
“The judging is carried out by our professional fitness instructors and scrutinisers who score the contestants on their fitness assessment, before refereeing and adjudicating the sports events that take place. These are then added up to give a final score, and an overall winner of the event.”
The event was at Lee Valley Athletics stadium and comprised of 60m sprints, 400m relays, a long-jump, tug-of-war and a bleep test (shuttle runs). Finland’s Krista Haapalainen was the overall winner on the day. Betting favourite Rolene Strauss, from South Africa, was the only contestant to score full marks in the preliminary round, and bagged the bronze medal on finals day, with Miss Hungary second. Miss South Africa also won the bleep test, Miss Hungary jumped longest and Miss Cote D’Ivoire scooped the 60m prize.
“A professional approach to the challenge. Good posture, balance and technique are key requisites for a great catwalk model, and these elements will be scrutinised by the judges.”
The final of the competition was held at the Fashion Retail Academy with 20 finalists. Miss India Koyal Rana bagged first place in World Designer Fashion, Miss Scotland Ellie McKeating placed second, while Miss Dominican Republic Dhio Moreno settled for third.
There are no results available for the overall competition but front runners in the betting and from the other events like South Africa, Hungary, Australia and India are all in the final spots for this category.
“What are the judges looking for? : To put it simply, the ‘Wow’ factor. The judges are looking for a really talented individual whose performance sends shivers down their spine. They must also have great stage presence and confidence, dominating the space around them.”
At the time of writing there is no information about the finalists or front runners.
“The winner of the People’s Choice Award is announced during the latter stages of the Miss World Final, and the winner, if she is not already selected, will join the final few contestants on stage. These contestants will then face the judges’ questions before the winner of Miss World 2014 is announced!”
The Miss World Organisation has been posting a top ten (in alphabetical order) on its Facebook page, so one of the outsiders may sneak into the final and offer a big price. Based on the social media stats above and the quality of her activity, I think Miss Nepal has a chance of making the final and with betting odds listed at 150/1 may be a nice small stake each way bet.
My Free Picks
Miss South Africa is an obvious favourite, with the nation growing and perhaps in need of some positive publicity after the events of this year, when the World’s media was watching the Oscar Pistorious trial, but Rolene Strauss is short in the betting.
Apart from an outside bet on Miss Nepal at that huge price (last year Nepal won Beauty With A Purpose and placed in the top 10 too), my two main bets are on Miss India (8/1) and Miss Philippines (80/1).
India have a rich tradition in Miss World, but haven’t won since 2000 and are due another crown. Koyal Rana set up the Moksha Foundation at the age of 19 with her friends, an NGO focused on encouraging green energy production and awareness campaigns for health and legal issues and studied International Finance at Harvard.
Valerie Weigmann is Miss Philippines. Her price ranges from 20/1 to 80/1. When deciding our free picks we took into consideration that she is in the top ten for Beauty with Purpose and also featured strongly in the Multimedia category, add to that she is on the top ten People’s Choice category, if she is in the final, that 80/1 will look very nice indeed.
Free Picks: Miss India to win (8/1). Miss Philippines each way (80/1). Miss Nepal each way (150/1)