In those few seconds that I was waiting for the name of Miss Universe 2012 to be announced, I couldn't help but think back to seven months ago when Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips shared the stage waiting for America's choice as to who was the better singer between the two.
Jessica was actually eliminated in the earlier rounds but was "saved" by the judges, keeping her hopes of winning the American Idol crown.
In the weeks leading to the finale, Jessica was described many times--not by the judges, but by writers and netizens as well--as the best singer in the competition.
But alas, Phillip won and naturally, there would be sides saying that Jessica was the better singer and that the WGWG (white guy with guitar) from Georgia had the home court advantage.
And as both Janine Tugonon and Olivia Culpa held each other's hands on stage, I couldn't help but feel that Janine will experience the same thing that happened to her fellow Bataan-mate Jessica. Which is why I wasn't surprised that the Boston University student Olivia was crowned the new Miss Universe.
In that regard, I wasn't sad that Janine is the first runner-up. In fact, as soon as it was announced that Miss Australia is the third runner-up, I knew that Janine would be top two because out of the three remaining, Miss Venezuela couldn't be top two. She had an interpreter interpret the question but she chose to answer in English, which I honestly didn't understand.
I thought, ah, Janine as runner-up is fine. Would the audience in attendance boo if she had won? I don't think so. But based on the question and answer portion, I believe that Janine should have won this.
Her answer made me do the slow clap, complete with the head turning, and the lip biting. When asked by judge Nigel Barker, a many time visitor to the Philippines (I think), if as an international ambassador English should be a prerequisite, Janine said that it's not knowing how to speak a certain language but how one can influence and inspire other people.
I couldn't help but think that if perhaps Janine added "to do good" in there, it could have helped.
She continued by saying "as long as your heart is deserving and you have a strong mind... you can be Miss Universe."
That right there, should have sealed the win for her. As compared to Miss USA's answer if there's anything she regrets to which she answered, picking on her siblings, but that she doesn't regret it.
Where's the take away in that? Between the two, I think that it's obvious Janine's answer embodies what Miss Universe is all about.
It's true that competitions such as these almost always depends on the question and answer portion because after all, everybody wants a winner to be someone that has both looks and the intellect. I'm not saying that Olivia doesn't have it because she really is smart if you do decide to look her up. I actually find her very attractive and she, along with Miss South Africa Melinda Bam, were my picks to make it to the top 3 together with Janine.
But in this instance where there were two intellectuals fighting for the crown, Janine had the edge in terms of the question she received and the answer she gave.
Ultimately, it's a win for the Philippines as it inches closer and closer to the elusive title.
Philippines rejoices as Janine Tugonon is Miss Universe runner-up
The many looks of Janine Tugonon