CARACAS, Venezuela – For the first time in decades at Miss Venezuela competitions, the so-called “Most Beautiful Night” of the pageant power plant won’t be live as organizers attempt to hold a compelling competition practically amid a pandemic lockdown.
The famous beauty pageant – Miss Venezuela produced seven Miss Universe winners, six Miss Worlds, and seven Miss Internationals – has seen corruption, sex scandals and legal proceedings in recent years. However, the novel coronavirus poses a challenge like no other, forcing the pageant to cease its musical productions and live audience, while still retaining the interest of its legion of loyal followers.
Each of the 22 participants was strictly locked at home under the quarantine requirements that Venezuela imposed in mid-March. He relied on distance learning via social media to master the catwalk walking, makeup and performing, organizers say. The six-month training process to prepare the young women was carried out entirely online.
The organizers then recorded each participant individually, without protective face masks, walked across the runway and performed on stage. The videos have been edited to make viewers feel like they have all performed together in a group.
The recorded show will be broadcast on Thursday evening. The coronation of the new Miss Venezuela and the two finalists will take place the next day in a different recorded program.
The event’s general manager, Nina Sicilia, rejects the notion that a separate recording of attendees will destroy the event’s raw emotions. She said that during the show’s opening run, each of the contestants was moved to tears and had to touch up their makeup.
“Necessity sharpens ingenuity,” said Sicilia, the 1985 Miss International winner. “We had to reconfigure and adjust our resources and opportunities and always be aware that this shouldn’t change our focus.”
The quarantine measures are aimed at avoiding infections for the 22 candidates, dozens of people who work around them and producers of the private broadcaster Venevision. This is the 67th Miss Venezuela competition.
Sicilia took over the management of the pageant two years ago together with María Gabriela Isler, Miss Universe 2013, and Jacqueline Aguilera, Miss World 1995. The organization’s executive committee saw a dramatic change following the sudden departure of Osmel Sousa, known as the Venezuelan beauty tsar. who directed the competition for nearly four decades.
Ricardo Di Salvatore, Executive Producer of Venevision, said this year’s Miss Venezuela was an “experiment”.
“A program that you have been doing for so long and live with the adrenaline rush of being ‘live’ for three hours has turned into two and a half months of individual recordings with the participants, in which the standards for biological safety have also become protagonists of the event, ” he said.
They looked at others’ examples to come up with ideas on how to have a beauty pageant in the middle of a pandemic. They borrowed ideas from similar shows in Spain, the United States, and Italy, Di Salvatore said. Countries like Panama and Colombia have also held beauty pageants despite the pandemic.
Participants between the ages of 18 and 26 come from a variety of academic backgrounds – including doctors, lawyers, journalists, teachers, and even a former naval cadet.
Learning how to speak on a computer screen or cell phone in public was especially difficult for many, but Miss Venezuela public speaking coach Dave Venezuella said he was confident that each of the participants had overcome this obstacle.
One challenge with the distance learning program was to help participants overcome stage fright, Capella said. He initially encouraged them to openly acknowledge their fears and drew questions from videos from other international competitions to learn how to think on their feet.
Sicilia said the show must go on despite the troubles caused by the pandemic.
“Our goal has always been to attract Miss Venezuela,” she said.