Hundreds of people gathered inside to witness the country’s first and only international beauty pageant, while the rest of the country eagerly watched through Channel Me.
The international hunks and beauties kicked off the event with a brisk walk across the stage, carefully orchestrated to hip hop artist Nay Win’s A Yan Mite Tal Tha Mee Yay (Such a Cool Girl).
The women dazzled the crowd with their golden short dresses, each of them designed with different features to complement their figures and personalities. They were joined by the men, who wore even more distinct threads – shorts, shirts and sweaters, all designed to show off some amazing muscle.
The MMTCU is a locally-based organisation, and this is the second time it has hosted the international competition. This year the pageant included 46 contestants from 25 different countries. MMTCU plans to invite more models for next year’s event, given the competition’s ever-growing success.
All of the contestants looked excited on stage, enjoying the rivalry that had bought them all together for the 10-day competition. But in just three short hours a winner would be announced.
The jovial atmosphere was quickly replaced with a more cutting-edge vibe, as the contestants were re-invited to the stage – this time to be judged. 16 of the world’s finest-looking young men would soon become 9; and the 30 international female beauties would be reduced to just 12.
Myanmar was still in the running at this stage, with their rivals from Borneo, Cambodia, El Salvador, France, Vietnam, Korea, Philippine and India sharing the stage
A combination of 10 local and international judges formed the “beauty jury”, which had been watching the models dance, pose and strut their way across the country over the past two weeks.
The contestants all received applause after their respective parades, especially Miss Myanmar with her glittering golden dress, and Miss Cameroon, wearing a stunning glittery-pink evening gown.
It may have been the pink dress and slender figure that saw Miss Cameroon make the final cut, alongside beauties from The Philippines, France, Canada and Indonesia. They all took the stage, however, without our very own MC Evelyn.
Miss Myanmar didn’t go home empty-handed, though. She was awarded the Miss Congeniality and Miss Transportation Awards, which entitles her to free travel for a year across the country.
Our handsome Mister Myanmar also missed out on the final round, out-modeled by the likes of the Misters from The Philippines, Vietnam, El Salvador, South Korea, France and India – all would come under the spotlight in the Q&A round.
Aside from the main award itself, the hosts Ko Swan Htet Aung and Ms Christine Picardal announced the other special awards for the competition – Mister and Miss Popularity, Best National Costume and Mister and Miss Congeniality Awards. The audience was treated to a combination of physical beauty, impeccable fashion and personality from all of the models, each taking to the stage in their formal wear, evening attire and swimsuits.
After showing off their curves and smiles, the six remaining finalists were judged on their personalities and conversation skills in the Q&A round. Here they were given 45 seconds to answer questions about tourism.
Among the six male contestants, Mister Korea stood out with his cute smile whilst Mister France also attracted many female fans with his well-shaped beard and muscles.
However, it was Mister Yves Campos from the Philippines, with his stylish haircut and boyish good looks, who won the show. Mister Vietnam was the very worthy runner-up, and the Misters from Korea, India, El Salvador and France took the other honours.
Olivia Gunawan from Indonesia, who wore a gorgeous body-hugging shiny red ball gown, won the pageant’s top prize for the ladies. The runner-up was Miss Philippines, who also dazzled the audience with a red dress that showed-off her figure and long legs. The Misses from Malaysia, Cameroon, Canada and France won the other top-place awards.
The two winners each received a US$10,000 cash prize (K15 million), as well as a year-long contract with MMTCU Myanmar to help promote tourism through similar events and cultural exchange programs, both here and overseas.