MISS LIBERIA – HITS AND MISSES

By: 
Robin Dopoe, Jr. and Jerry S. Kai-Lewis

It was a great relief to finally have a Miss Liberia. After a four year hiatus, the show ended well; at least not with the conflict of interest that categorized the last event when the organizers had one winner and the judges another. That was in 2012. This time around there was a clear cut winner, without any talk of foul play.

Sadly, the same organizational ineptitude followed this event. It would seem as if the show’s organizers are not too concerned with raising the standard and quality of the event. First was the sound. Why is it that beauty pageant organizers, indeed most event promoters in Liberia, cannot get a grip around sound? Maybe we lack good sound engineers?

While the contestants had some valuable things to say in response to the questions they were asked during the event, most of it was lost to those of us at the back of the hall. “We can’t hear you!” was the cry from the nosebleed section.

And what about the time between wardrobe changes? Should it take 10 women contesting a beauty pageant 45 minutes for each change of set or clothes?

Although we give kudos to the organizers for even staging the event, we are hard pressed to admonish them and future organizers of this beauty pageant about the need for less clutter on stage. Too many side performances to cover up the slow shuffle on stage is very unbecoming – it says a lot about how unprepared you are as an organizer. The many side attractions made the show to resemble a music or dance event. It is sad to say, but you can have beauty pageants where the musicians can even steal the show.

Another miss would be a ‘dead stage.’ Like broadcast journalism where a cardinal sin is ‘dead air,’ when nothing is said when the presenter’s mic is on, a dead stage at events like these leads to, well, too many people walking about doing nothing. And this was way too often the case during Miss Liberia.

One great mishap was the swimsuit section at the event. If the organizers were following modern pageant trends, they would have known that pageants are not really about women’s physical but their mental abilities. Today, beauty is truly in eyes of the beholder; intelligence, however, is universal. Judging beauty contestants just on their looks undermine womanhood, knowing that not every woman has the stereotypical Coca Cola bottle shape. For this reason, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA and other international pageants have phased out the swimsuit section from their events.

Now for the hits…although we have had many misses, there were few positive things that happened at the event. All the contestants came on stage during their introduction in very unique ways to woo the crowd. They spoke their home languages and were properly dressed. The stage and light were properly set up. When the winner was announced, the crowd was well behaved and accepted the result, unlike the last pageant. Overall, the show was conducted in an orderly manner.

Liberian Observer

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