Sunday, July 17, 2011

Try not to arouse the audience

Last year's winner, Ms Anusha Rajasejaran. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

In a bid to inject some much-needed respectability into a beauty pageant with a sullied reputation, its new organiser is considering throwing out a pageant staple: the swimwear segment.

'We'll either cut it out or reduce it to a quick walk-through,' said Mr Raymund Ooi, 46, who was appointed by the Miss World title owners in January to run the local franchise.

The drastic move is among a slew of others that Mr Ooi, a businessman, has introduced since he took over. Among them: a greater focus on community work and showcasing the contestants' intellectual abilities.

At a press conference in Sentosa's Wave House to unveil this year's 20 finalists yesterday, he said the judges would evaluate their physiques at a separate beach event instead of at the final show, to be held at Suntec City in September.

'We are going to try not to arouse the audience during the finale,' he said jokingly.

Earlier this year, Miss World CEO Julia Morley had slammed the local pageant as 'having a showgirl club image' and chose Mr Ooi to revamp it.

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