The 2013 Miss World was held at Bali, Indonesia. Amid protests by the hardline Muslim groups, the event proceeded as scheduled. A record 126 candidates from around the world participated in the pageant, but one of them would make history for the archipelago of over 1,700 islands.
Heading into the contest, the Philippines‘ Megan Young was considered one of the top contenders for the title, and she proved worthy of the crown by winning the Top Model challenge and finishing in the top five of the Beach Fashion and Multimedia Award contests. Those placings, along with the online votes she received heading into the tournament, helped her become the first Filipino to win the coveted Miss World crown. Second place in the pageant went to France’s Marine Lorphelin, while Ghana‘s Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter earned third place honors.
Young’s victory was validated by this confident answer to the question ‘Why should you be crowned Miss World?’. She then replied, ‘I treasure a core value of humanity and that guides people why they act the way they do. I will use this to show other people how they can understand each other… as one, we can help society.’
The journey of Megan Young to the Miss World crown was enthusiastically followed by many fans through social media, and once her victory was validated, the Miss World contest and its related terms quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. Young also won the contest despite the British media’s attempt to support her disqualification by using her controversial Rogue magazine cover the previous year.
While Young’s victory quickly made the rounds of both social media and online news outlets, the main coveror GMA aired the contest not knowing that the winner had already been revealed. The Kapuso network started airing the Miss World pageant at around 10 p.m., several minutes after Young’s victory was made public. They would not air it live because it would affect their other programs. But with social media starting to become a force in the entertainment industry, GMA should have pre-empted their other programs just for this occasion. Instead they carried on with their other programs for fear of losing the ratings battle with ABS-CBN.
Nevertheless, it was an ultimate victory for the Philippines. Megan Young’s victory was the country’s first for a major beauty pageant since Precious Lara Quigaman‘s 2005 Miss International victory. And along with Mutya Datul’s victory at the Miss Supranational, it only gave the Philippines some added motivation and hope heading into the Miss Universe pageant, with Ariella Arida as its standard-bearer.