Judging Miss Universe Canada
Well, what a weekend… I was very honoured that they asked me to be a part of this event. I guess that my experience as a Paralympic Athlete among the top in the world shared many similar qualities that one would look for in Miss Universe Canada. I know what it takes to be the best at what you do, and I am quite able to recognize personal motivation and drive when I see it. Also, I have been an ambassador for my country for many years now, traveling the world with a maple leaf emblazoned on my jacket. Everyone is an ambassador for their country, but when you have a title like “Canadian Paralympic Athlete”, or “Miss Universe Canada”, that many more eyes are watching you, and you have to remember the millions you represent.
I knew the weekend would be alot of fun, but I took the role of judging Miss Universe Canada very seriously. I did my homework and read up an all 61 contestants’ profiles and questionnaires. I was extremely impressed by the bios of many girls, coming from various backgrounds with unique and inspiring stories, finding many pursuing a top education, with lots of volunteer experience in their community and around the world. The first night of the event was so much fun, but definitely more stressful than I expected! So little time try and put a score of 7.00 to 9.99 on 61 beautiful, fit girls! Many of the girls scored very high for me on the first night in the swimsuit and evening gown competition. Judges returning from past years gave the impression that this year was a very good year, with lots of strong contestants.
The next day, one on one interviews were held with each of the judges getting 2 minutes with each contestant. Judges were free to ask whatever questions they wanted, then give them a score based on the quality of their answers,their presence, confidence, and speaking ability. I was looking forward to this part of the competition, and was looking to judge harshly. All of the girls were beautiful, and I wanted to make sure that the winner was driven, intelligent, and confident. I was hoping that this part of the competition would make it extremely easy to narrow down the list of top 15 finalists, but I was pleasantly surprised. Almost ALL of the girls carried themselves so well, spoke well, very personable, and very intelligent. I found myself a bit nervous at the start and under pressure trying to get a good perspective on each girl and who they were in 2 minutes! But it got much easier as they went, I asked each one some specific things based on their bios, and then kept a few similar questions to see how each handled them. There were a few that impressed me as well as the other judges, who stood out with their presence and positive energy atop everything else.
On the final pageant night, I found myself very proud of all the contestants. Every single one deserved to be up there. All of the girls came out and I couldnt help but smile at all of these beautiful, gorgeous girls on stage, who had worked so hard to be there, and were making a memory for the rest of their lives that they will be so proud of. Beyond that they were making a difference in other’s lives, some on a small scale, some on a large scale, each one a good role model. It was tough but I think that all of the judges were very pleased with who made it into the top 20. The finalists walked again in swimwear, and their evening gown, after each stage narrowing down the finalists to 10 and 5 respectively. At this point 5 questions were selected by the panel of judges to which each of the five finalists randomly chose one. I was marking on confidence, personality, fitness, final night.. Congratulations to all of the contestants for being there, a very tough decision in the end. (though it was tough all the way through!) Congratulations to Elena Semikina, winner of Miss Universe Canada 2010! Thank you to Andrew Lopez and Denis Davila, such an amazing event to be a part of! Vote for our Miss Canada at Miss Universe Canada at: http://missuniverse.com/members/profile/468685