Once again a frontrunner in a pageant has presented an answer that some believe may have cost her the crown. In Monday evening’s Miss Universe 2010 Pageant, Miss Philippines 2010 Maria Venus Raj, who seemed to be a crowd favorite, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, answered a question from actor/judge William Baldwin that didn’t seem to really be an answer. Although it wasn’t controversial, Miss Philippines 2010 left many wondering about her answer, her 22 years of mistake-less existence, and why she kept thanking everybody.
The interview segment of the Miss Universe pageant can be a points killer, as Carrie Prejean and Morgan Elizabeth Woolard can attest. But with William Baldwin’s question, it seemed as if Miss Philippines 2010 was going to coast through and perhaps secure the Miss Universe crown. The crowd loved her and she was the talk of the Internet going into the final round of competition Monday. But what seems like a simple question can sometimes trip a person up.
“What is one big mistake you made in your life,” Baldwin asked, “and what did you do to make it right?”
The beauty queen would thank the judge for his question, then say “Good evening” to the Las Vegas crowd.
She attempted to answer the question. “You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence, I can say there is nothing major, major — I mean, problems — that I have done in my life, because I am very confident with my family with the love that they are given to me. So… Thank you so much that I am here! Thank you, thank so much!”
One thing was clear: Miss Philippines 2010 Maria Venus Raj was thankful to be in Las Vegas.
William Baldwin, in a camera shot near the end of Miss Philippines’ answer, had a smirk on his face, as if he knew that Raj’s answer was just short of convoluted and meaningless.
Did Miss Philippines get stage fright? Did she just not have a good answer for the question? Was she just being honest? Maria Venus Raj grew up in a wood hut without electricity in the Philippines. She put herself through college and graduated with honors. A problem with her birth certificate cost her the Miss Philippines crown for awhile and she even had trouble getting a visa. Her profuse thanks may have been delivered by a very happy and grateful young woman, one that, in her excitement may not have been able to conjure up a “major, major” mistake in her 22 years of existence.
Still, the answer, no matter how heartfelt and inexplicably confusing to most, probably cost her a higher position in the Miss Universe 2010 ranking. She finished fourth runner-up.
Miss Mexico 2010 Jimena Navarrete was the Miss Universe 2010 winner.
Her question? What were her thoughts on children being supervised on the Internet. Her answer (via interpreter): The Internet was a great and all but “We must be sure to teach them the values that we learned as a family.”
Miss Philippines 2010 answer follows.
“Miss Universe 2010 Pageant,” NBC Television