Miss International Andrea Rubio tells pageant fans to have ‘voice of honor’
TOKYO, Japan—Newly crowned Miss International Andrea Rubio appealed to beauty contest afficionados from all over the world to make the global pageant community a lot less toxic and a little more uplifting, in light of the proliferation of hateful words against contestants, winners and even organizations.
She called on all pageant lovers all over the world “to always have that voice of honor, to honor our countries, to be good for our candidates, to make them feel the greatest,” the Venezuelan content creator told INQUIRER.net at the Yoyogi Gymnasium in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward after her coronation on Oct. 26.
Rubio said that this will boost the delegates’ morale onstage. “They’re full of energy because their countries are there for each one of them. So just love each other. That’s the most important thing, so that your candidates can also shine,” she explained.
She bested 69 other aspirants from all over the world, including the Philippines’ Nicole Borromeo who finished as third runner-up, to inherit the Miss International title from 2022 winner Jasmin Selberg, and become the ninth Venezuelan woman to capture the crown.
“I feel so honored. I’m happy to be part of this legacy that Miss International has given [Venezuela] for 61 years,” Rubio said, adding that the Venezuelan queens created a WhatsApp group to cheer for her. “So that’s massive. That’s a huge goal and achievement. So I’m just happy,” she continued.
For the longest time, Venezuela has been on top of the Miss International scoreboard in terms of most winners crowned. Whenever a country inches its way closer, Venezuelan queens snag more crowns to distance itself even farther from the other nations.
Rubio attributed this record feat to the Venezuelans’ passion. “We’re so passionate about pageants in our country. It’s part of our culture. We have teachers for all of the areas to develop skills to come here—speaking, runway, doing our own makeup and hairstyle—so, I think we’re very prepared for the role. And we’re a very optimistic people, so I think that’s what makes us different,” she explained.
She succeeds the most well-traveled Miss International titleholder in history, who has done a great job of promoting the pageant in the global community. And Rubio said she is up for the challenge of sustaining what Selberg has built on for the brand.
“I’m ready to travel. I’m ready to learn in each and every point of where I’m going to be based in, and to spread also the messages that I’m going to learn in those places. That is our mission as Miss international,” she declared.
Rubio’s competition heralded a new era in the Miss International pageant. Other than finding a new venue for this year’s contest and starting the show in the evening instead of in the afternoon, organizer International Cultural Association implemented even more significant changes in the 61st edition of the global tilt.
Instead of doing it onstage, the ladies introduced themselves in pre-taped videos during the opening segment, where they also shared their brief personal backgrounds. They then appeared in their national costumes, gleefully dancing to an upbeat live musical performance.
And while they did not parade in swimsuits onstage, the ladies appeared in another pre-taped segment in their swimwear. The “Best in Swimsuit” award was also renamed to “Miss Fitness” to put more emphasis on the health aspect of the segment.
But perhaps the biggest, and most impactful change in this year’s competition, was the scrapping of the speech segment. Instead of delivering speeches prepared in advance, the seven finalists underwent a question-and-answer round, something that the Miss International pageant has never done for decades.
Rubio, along with Borromeo and the rest of the runners-up, will stay in Japan for a few more days after their coronation for a series of official appearances.