Champion: #5 Rebecca Zhu (朱晨麗)
First Runner-up: #14 Hyman Chu (朱希敏)
Second Runner-up: #3 Whitney Hui (許亦妮)
Miss Photogenic: #3 Whitney Hui (許亦妮)
Miss International Goodwill: #6 Nicole Leung (梁麗翹)
Miss Tourism Ambassador: #6 Nicole Leung (梁麗翹)
Miss Popularity: #5 Rebecca Zhu (朱晨麗)
Miss Trendy Vision: #5 Rebecca Zhu (朱晨麗)
Miss Paradise Ambassador: #5 Rebecca Zhu (朱晨麗)
Compared to recent years, the results of this year’s Miss Hong Kong was surprising, which hot shots Rebecca Zhu and Whitney Hui taking home the titles of champion and second runner-up, respectively. Dark horse, Hyman Chu, emerged as the first runner-up, greatly shocking the audience and outshining hot shot Nicole Leung, who was previously crowned Miss Tourism Ambassador and proudly took home the title of Miss International Goodwill. Finally, without a surprise, Whitney Hui won Miss Photogenic with her stunning and desirable features.
Sadly, however, besides the higher-quality contestants this year, the overall atmosphere and production of the show remained bland and lackluster. Aside from the usual swimsuit, interview, and thanking-the-parents segments, contestants were also asked to show gratitude to their favorite contestant and best friend. Overall, I felt the show was poorly slapped together by a team of TVB producers and directors who lacks creativity and originality.
Runway Show, Swimsuits, and More Gowns
In the first segment, contestants were introduced and walked the runway in four different types of clothing: colorful floral dresses, swimsuits, professional suits, and medieval gowns. While some of our favorite contestants may be shining fabulous in some of these gowns, it did not allow us to get to know more about them in a greater level. TVB, have at least two interview segments where our favorite MC’s Eric Tsang, Nat Chan, and Sum Mei can grill these girls to a satisfying challenge! Nevertheless, I must admit that I loved their swimsuits this year though I still hoped they wore them in a manner that showcased some uniformity.
When the time to select the top eight contestants who will make it into the next round, it was interesting to see that they selected five. They would pick the remaining three contestants after some furthering chatting and questioning. Although Janey, Giselle, and Sandy successfully made it into the next round, my picks were different. Lisa seems to be a rational woman who gave some decent answers. On the other hand, despite having experience from a previous pageant, Janey still appeared nervous and thus gave a mediocre performance.
MC Challenges Contestants: Interview
The interview segment has always been my favorite, seeing how Eric and Nat pokes fun at the contestants and in the process, squeezing much humor for the audience. (Yet surprisingly, Sum Mei was the real comedian for the night, making me laugh a few times, 1) when he praised Wyling, and 2) when he explained what it takes to be a career-minded individual.)
Rebecca gave the most memorable performance in this segment when she was asked what she was afraid of losing the most: money, age, or friends. Surprisingly, she replied that she was afraid of none; since she’s young, she still has time to make money; since beauty products are available in many different brands, it can keep her from aging; and lastly, since she aspires to become a career-oriented individual, loneliness cannot get to her. Surprised by her reply, Eric then asked, “Then what are you afraid of?” in which Rebecca replied, “I’m afraid of being cold tonight.” (My mom even joking said, “Because she’s afraid of the cold tonight, that’s how the champion’s cape will land on her shoulder!”)
Clearly, Rebecca gave the most witty and memorable performance in this segment. If it was not for her Mandarin background and Cantonese accent, I’m sure she would have been more articulate in her replies. On the other hand, having aced the previous runway segments earlier with her beautiful looks and curvaceous figure, Whitney was a bit disappointing with her forced and single-answer replies. (However, I have to say that she did not receive a good question at the same time.)
When it came to the announcing of the top four, I was surprised and disappointed that dark horse, Mayanne Mak got placed, instead of hot shot Nicole Leung.
Teary-eyed Girls Expressing Gratitude
The last segment of the show also seems to be a TVB tradition every year for the past ten years, which allowed the parents to come on stage and share the happiness with their daughter. While the Miss Hong Kong image has always promoted beauty and intelligence, kindness was also a necessary factor for the more traditional Hong Kong Chinese people. Expressing gratitude for one’s parents is important, but bringing out the tears of these contestants every year is a bit unnecessary. Somehow, whether it’s in dramas or reality shows, TVB always finds a way to stir the audience’s emotions by tears. Personally, I would prefer TVB to take out this segment the next year around and add an extra interview portion to exhibit the contestant’s wit and mentality. Can I see something with substance instead of the same “Thank you for your support, mommy. I love you.” Seriously, we know.
Contestants’ Performance and Quality
While this year had a decent amount of pretty and well-rounded contestants, my pet-peeve contestants were Susan Su, Gemma Choi, and Wyling Leung. Susan and Wyling were just very unattractive, and the latter, even to the point of ugliness. As for Gemma, she was praised for her cuteness and good figure. But she was the biggest disappointment of the night, showing a lack of interest and respect for the show. Each time, she appeared onstage, she seemed like she was in a hurry to leave. Obviously, she didn’t even bother to try.
Overall, I was satisfied with the results this year. I believe Whitney could have placed higher; and although Rebecca deserved the champion crown, she could have smiled more that night and appeared less nervous.
While I’m glad that netizens are finally not protesting about the top three winners this year, the glamour and quality of the Miss Hong Kong contestants will never match that of the predecessors. And what is the reason for this? Are the quality of Hong Kong girls declining? Some say that in the recent decade, women can enter the entertainment circle via other routes, i.e., modeling and singing competitions. Do you think the HK paparazzi is too hard on this new generation of to-be-artists when they publish all these rumors and speculations that may or may not damage their image?
Congratulations to all the winners who took home prizes and awards! In the future, I hope to see Rebecca and Whitney in acting or pursuing some kind of career in the entertainment circle. Due to their similar facial features, perhaps Rebecca can start out by playing as Fala Chen’s younger sister in a drama. No one will speculate that they are not biological siblings! Hyman, I’m not too sure if there will be a tall enough TVB actor to compensate for her height. As for Whitney, I’m pretty confident that she will be interested in the showbiz and she certainly has the looks, charm, and personality to succeed. Didn’t the rumored-reports state that she loves making friends with the rich? Well, that certainly requires some good networking skills! (P.S. Not implying that these reports are true; it’s a compliment to know and practice the art of networking with higher executives.)