Every year the Miss Chinese International Pageant hails some pretty girls and this year is no different. While the show itself is quite the same every year, this year’s winner, Jennifer Coosemans is one of the most beautiful the pageant as ever had in the longest time. The Vancouver-native is deemed the the Michele Reis beauty queen look-a-like. And let’s be honest, although the press is trying to dub the next Reis twin at the launch of every Hong Kong pageant every year, Jennifer is her only doppelganger. Like Michele, Jennifer is also half Chinese.
Given that the Miss Chinese International pageant scouts Chinese pageant winners from across the globe from Australia to Canada to the United States, these contestants are usually more qualified than those of the Miss Hong Kong Pageant, another competition held by the same local TV station, TVB. However, despite the quality, at least half of them are not fluent in Cantonese, Hong Kong’s main Chinese dialect. They can speak English and/or Mandarin, China’s main dialect.
Mary Chen from New York and Ruco Chan’s favorite was also lucky enough to take away first runner-up with her optimism and sunshine personality. Tiana Luan of Sydney, Australia took second runner-up was also popular among the female celebrity judges that night. Her athletic spirit and tan reminds me of Sisley Choi and Mandy Chai, who were both present as a celebrity judge and MCI pageant winner in the previous year, respectively.
TVB’s pageants (or for the matter, any type of awards show) has been democratized over the years for better or for worse and this year’s pageant show even took it to a greater level where the judges are all celebrities. The 20 celebrities that made up the female crew (with an honorable mention to the Vancouver clique as MC Lawrence Cheng liked to call it) included past Hong Kong pageant winners. A few notable names were Grace Chan, Sisley Choi, Samantha Ko, Kayi Cheung, Whitney Hui, and Jacqueline Wong who made up what they called the “Gorgeous Group.” The handsome males that night included Ruco Chan, Pakho Chau, Alex Fong, Alfred Hui, Sammy Sum, and Lai Lok Yi. They were known as the “Diamond Group”, perhaps hinting that they are Hong Kong’s diamond bachelors. Just so you know, Lok Yi is taken already. But that’s okay, as long as Ruco isn’t.
For the better, TVB has decided on only 14 contestants as opposed to 20 or more in previous years. Since every year, only a few stand out, this is certainly a good decision to save time on the show and overall resources. I won’t be redundant, but if you’ll like to see close-up portraits of the 14 contestants, click here. The contestants’ measurements can also be found here.
As with all pageant shows, it always starts off with each contestants intro. This year they appeared in black and white gowns with red satin gloves, perhaps aiming for a Hollywood glam look. I personally found these gowns quite tasteless (for this segment at least) with the exception of Jennifer’s, whose dress had large leg slit and a chiffon flow. The black and white lace contrast is too harsh and ages them all.
This segment allows for each contestant to choose their own outfit that most represents them and their country. Mint from Bangkok (Yeah, that’s really her name believe it or not. Girls in Hong Kong also like to be named after fruits.) definitely made a statement in her siren, glitter red gown with an equally on-fire long cape that followed it.
During the swim, also the most popular, segment, the contestants revealed their bodies in strappy leopard-print bikinis paired with black gladiator heels. While leopard-print continues to be a favorite by Hong Kong women, I much prefer gold or silver strappy heels for this segment, not to mention gladiator heels aren’t the most trendy this season as much as I love them.
The girls switched off their swims for the crop top trend that’s been everywhere for a few years now. While the dancing segment was somewhat lackluster, it was also revealed that Alice Wong from Los Angeles took home Miss Friendship, an award that was voted among the candidates.
This segment consisted of a talent performance of the top five contestants, which consisted of Jennifer, Mary, Tiana, Mint, Sophia Wu from Nanjing.
Right before the winners are announced, the girls once again grace the stage in qi-paos, the Chinese oriental fashion piece. While I have to applaud that TVB usually gets these gowns on point, I despise the waist cutouts in these. At least the gradient from glitter to chiffon from butt to ankle saved the outfit.
Check out what other outfits the contestants wore during the pageant here.
The final three are announced. It really makes you wonder what happened to Mint, who was a celebrity favorite earlier that night.
Because of the duration of the pageant from meeting the press to the final night of the show is generally only three weeks or less than 20 days, unlike the Miss Hong Kong pageant, we aren’t allowed enough time to the know all the contestants. Yet, there can’t be any criticism for Jennifer’s win as she is excellent in beauty, education, and spirit. Her only flaw, like every other girl in the pageant, is her lack of fluency in Cantonese. She expressed interest in joining TVB after she graduates, so beware. She might be the next face that can’t speak her lines well.
Other notable mentions regarding the show is MC Lawrence Cheng’s consistent degrading comments about the girls, not only Mint who was on stage, but also Janet Chow, who was one of the celebrity judges. To Mint, he consistently reminded her that although she leads the poll in the first three segments, it doesn’t mean she’ll take a spot in the top three. Um excuse me, but should he be held accountable for her eventually not taking a spot in the top three? Later, he called Janet “auntie” and even Janet questioned, “Auntie?”, but laughed it off. Thank god, Janet is known for her ability to make friends and not enemies.
Finally, Ruco has a new nickname, “Chin Pan”, meaning “frying pan.” I’m also not sure about that one.
The show was a short 90 minutes, very straightforward, and barely entertaining.