Just last weekend, I had the honor of being invited to join the panel of esteemed judges to judge the Jasmine Girl Search. Jasmine magazine is a Chinese fashion, beauty & lifestyle magazine distributed in Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
That’s right, you read it. CHINESE! 中文! So not only was it my first time judging a pageant (which is a feat on its own), the entire event was all in Chinese!
It was certainly a challenge trying to follow what was going on but I’m glad that for the most part, I actually knew what was going on. Not only that, I prepared several questions all in 中文 to ask the brave beautiful contestants.
I’m not going to lie, out of the 5 questions I asked to 5 different contestants, I only understood what half of them were saying. Once they started going slightly bombastic in their wordings, I got pretty lost! Hahaha.
Regardless, it’s not always what you say that matters but how you say it. Words can be powerful things but even simple words projected well can still impact people. Hence, I based my scores for the Q&A portion based on how well they projected their words.
Having experience in pageantry, I felt quite at home throughout the event. One thing was different from my experience was that during my time at The Next Miss Universe Malaysia 2013, we did not have a “talent” portion because of the reality TV series portion, which was a whole different sort of challenge on it’s own.
The “talent” portion of the pageant was certainly entertaining in more ways than one. There were a handful of contestants that definitely impressed me. But if I were to be extremely honest, a couple of contestants were not only not impressive, but almost painful to watch. I just thought that whatever “talent” you decide to showcase, you should be nothing less than spectacular at it. However, it was clear that a couple of performances weren’t at all a showcase of talent.
Having said that, it is no easy task to be able to showcase your talents all in less than 5 minutes. Also, it takes a whole lot of guts and presumably a substantial amount of hard work and preparation to stand in front of an audience to perform… I would know how much hard work it takes just for 5 minutes of showcasing. And the more outstanding you want your performance to be, you’ll be surprised at the amount of time required to acquire the skill, knowledge and practice for perfection! So kudos to every single one of the contestants on their talent portion of the competition. A for effort!
It truly was a refreshing experience being on the other side of the spectrum in pageantry. I completely empathise the contestants! I know exactly how they feel. It undoubtedly is a challenge to have hundreds of eyes on you silently judging you and to have to impress a panel of individuals outwardly judging you. No easy feat.
So I had to prepare several questions to ask the contestant to test their speech and wits. Here is the list of questions I prepared ALL IN 中文:
If we were to meet each other for the first time, what would you say or do to make me remember you?
The contestant, Eunice Yong, answered my question by building upon one of my comments of how impressed I was of another contestants talent performance of belly dancing. She said she was belly dance in front of me if we were to meet each other for the first time… well, I would certainly remember that! No question about it 😉
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Cathy Toong answered something about wanting to continue in the industry to continue fuelling her dreams and passion… I think? It was something along the lines. Unless I totally misunderstood it, which is totally possible. Anyhow, I thought it was a confident albeit safe answer.
What characteristic of yourself are you most proud of?
This question was directed to Annie Kok, whose hair I absolutely adore. She had the bounciest, silkiest shoulder length locks and I couldn’t take my eyes off it! As for answering my question… well, it clearly didn’t make enough of an impact for me to remember it.
Pretty proud of myself for being able to question them all in Chinese! It also helped having an awesome host, May June, giving me encouragement and saying the right things to not make me look like a goofball.
I got the honor of presenting the 2nd runner up placing with her cash prize of RM1,000; congratulations on the 2nd runner up title, Poly Pang!
The 1st runner up title went to Shuyng Wong!
And a big congratulations to the winner of the Jasmine Girl Search…
The lovely Daphne Chuah! Who also won the Miss Photogenic title!
She did an amazing job overall and definitely deserved the title of being the Jasmine Cover Girl for 2014!
All in all, the event was truly an insightful experience for me. It felt good to be able to put my freshly learnt language to practice and I hope for more of these opportunities to come by in the future 🙂 We can only keep getting better!