Okay, I’ll admit that when I first heard of the Miss Expo competition over at the Porterhouse in Shanghai Expo’s Zone C, I kind of went “yuck.” As it turns out, I was invited by friends to actually check it out, and it ended up being quite a lot of fun.
The beauty/talent contest is divided into seven heats and a grand finale on September 20th. In each of the heats, roughly eight girls compete in a 15 minute talking portion (where they’re asked the requisite questions of “Why are you at Expo?” and “What is your dream?”) and a talent competition. A panel of judges and us, the voters, then throw in our ballots to determine who should win. Or at least that’s what the poster says.
The night I went, Heat 2, was missing two girls. Up on stage were Miss California USA (USA has several ladies representing), Miss Jiangsu Province (same with China), Miss Nepal, Miss French Polynesia, Miss Spain and Miss Laos. I’m not sure what happened to Miss Ukraine and Miss Tibet – they didn’t really explain. I guess what girls get up there is subject to change at last minute.
Most of the girls’ talents related to dancing – Spain did the flamenco, Jiangsu enacted a fan dance, Nepal spun around in her traditional outfit. The exception was USA California, who played Vivaldi on violin. Through every set, fans in the audience (most of them fellow employees from the various pavilions) hooted and cheered – Spain had the biggest turn out, and showed their support by waving flags and spinning clappers. It gave the whole thing a kind of football viewing atmosphere, which was a lot less stuffy and more fun than I was expecting.
All of the interviews were done in English. You’d think this would give girls from countries with less opportunities to speak it a disadvantage, but the winner ended up being the one with the most stilted speech – Miss French Polynesia. Go figure!
So how about my initial question – when will it be the girl’s turn to oggle? Rumor is that we can look forward to a Mister Expo competition before October ends.
Anyway, if you’re at Expo tonight, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, you can still catch some of the heats. The grand finale is on September 20th. Each competition begins at 8pm, though doors open at 7pm. Tickets are 50RMB and include a drink and entrance to drink deals and food deals at the second floor of the Porterhouse (website). More details about roughly who’ll be appearing when in the pic below: