I recently joined 13 other gorgeous girls in the pursuit of finding the new Miss Malaysia Universe 2008. 14 of us checked into The Gardens Hotel & Residences and embarked on a 10-day journey in hopes of being the next Miss Malaysia Universe. A few of the girls (myself included) were there for the experience, hoping to learn some beauty 101 and gain a good insight to what beauty pageants are all about.
Throughout my 10-day beauty queen “boot camp” (yes…it really felt like a boot camp!!), I learnt a lot on self presentation, appearance, poise, posture, speech and confidence. I had to pick up different sets of choreographies (there was always a different choreography per event) and catwalk moves hours before going on stage for public appearances.During this period, I also made good friends with some of the girls. My roommate, Elisabeth is really sweet and seriously loves to cam-whore. I think her cam-whoring rubbed off a bit on me after 10 days.
We were in Sungei Wang on the 24th May for the Miss Marigold Body Beautiful subsidiary title and Summit USJ on the 25th May for a few other subsidiary titles (lazy to list down all lah!). We had to get to the venues 2-3 hours before the real event to practice on the stage. This was to get use to the shape and size of the stage.
I felt weird and rather uncomfortable practicing in front of the crowd who were clearly enjoying themselves and taking pictures of us. At the end of the day, Wincci won the Miss Marigold Body Beautiful title. Congrats girl!
In Summit USJ, we had to do the same round of casual wear, sports wear and evening gown. This time, the choreography was different as there were quite a few mistakes made in Sungei Wang (choreography-wise and also parade). Also, the stage in Summit USJ was smaller and narrower making it harder to parade. Priscilla was crowned Miss Nelson’s Popular. She promised me free jagung for one year.
Rehearsals were difficult; I dreaded them the most as I had a tough time keeping up with the pace. We were usually up at 7am and our day often packed with events, press interviews, photo sessions and of course, the obligatory practice sessions. We often wore thick make-up (concealer, foundation, loose powder, etc…) causing our skin to become dry and stiff.
By the time we were done with rehearsals, it would be late at night, sometimes close to 1am. Then there’s the daunting task of removing the inch-thick make-up and hardened hair-sprayed hair. After a shower and a generous slab of moisturizer (and for some girls, face mask), we’re in bed around 2-3am.
On the plus side, we had the opportunity of experiencing life as a mini celebrity. TV crews, media people, video and cameramen followed us everywhere we went, except in the changing room and backstage of course! Everything was paid for; we had the pleasure of staying in a 5 star hotel with comfortable rooms, great room service, good food (the buffet at The Spread is one of the best I’ve had so far, especially the breakfast!) and lovely hospitality.
We also went on the Superstar Aquarius on the 5th day of the pageant, courtesy of Star Cruises, one of our official sponsors. On the cruise, we were swamped by tourists wanting to take pictures of us, and with us. I felt like an artifact, or a museum display.
There was also a pageant preview show on board the cruise on the second night where two subsidiary titles were given.
This was my lunch on the last day of the cruise. I know it was a big plate. I was very hungry OKAY…plus I didn’t have to squeeze into a tiny bikini until the next evening so let me be! I had a very very good and fulfilling lunch. So did Lis! Hehe…..BURRP!!! ‘cuse me.
Inside the cockpit
The day before the grand finals, we had to go through a closed door interview with the judges…clad in bikinis. The room was extremely cold that it felt like winter. While standing for the pre-judging, my knees were clattering so bad the judges notices it! I think most of the girls felt the same. The pre-judging wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The judges weren’t there to drill you with mind challenging questions, they only want to find out more about you.
With intensive training on catwalk, constant posture check, poise, gracefulness and self presentation, it was truly one hell of an experience; not an experience you can gain anywhere. One thing I don’t get till today is why the organizers kept placing good food in front of us and tell us not to eat so much. Hmmmph….how can?? I just dived into the pile of good food…nyek nyek nyek.
After the pageant ended, I’m very proud of myself having come this far and how much I’ve learnt and grown from it. I went home with more poise, better posture and best of all, more confidence. I took with me wonderful and painful memories (wearing 4.5 inches high heels for 10 hours++ a day!) and new found friends plus some goodies courtesy of our sponsors. Thanks to Wincci and Lis, I now know the power of make-up and what magic it can do…especially to my eyes!
And their crazy amount of shoes!! Like opening shoe shop… 0_0 To Wincci, thank you for lending me your heels (I broke mine backstage), non smudge eye-liner and teaching me how to line my small eyes. Pris, thanks for letting me use your stunning black evening dress and super-tight-until-can-die blue cocktail dress plus accessories to match.
rif, thank you for always being there throughout the pageant and for believing in me. I’m really grateful for the snacks and biscuits you bought for me knowing how hungry I would get late at night. Not to mention coming to Sungei Wang and Summit USJ to support me and also for buying me the lovely red evening gown.
William, thank you for your utmost support and guidance in helping me get to where I am today. Without your encouragement, I would never have had the guts to do this and make it this far.
Shum, Michael, Dan and Roy, thank you for coming to see and support me in Sungei Wang. Your loud cheers wiped away my fears and gave me a great confidence boost since it was my first stage appearance.
This pageant truly is an experience of a lifetime, and one I will cherish for the rest of my life.
*Not of the girls are from the states shown on our sashes. We are only REPRESENTING the states. Only a few of them are really from the state they represent.