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Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova Reviews 65th Miss Universe Show

Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova of Canada shared her thoughts on the recently concluded 65th Miss Universe. Natalie together with her husband and daughter attended the pageant's finale in MOA Arena, Manila, Philippines.

Read her reviews :

The Philippines was a wonderful host country, with their friendly and welcoming people, it was perfect to have MU there. I’m so happy I got to be there to witness it and experience that amazing hospitality of the Filipino people - Mabuhay!

The good:
1. Message of women empowerment and promoting women’s issues such as body confidence, bullying, diversity, and equal opportunities. This is the way forward, and I myself am very passionate about empowering women!

2. Ashley Grahm was phenomenal - truly confidently beautiful, and a fabulous host. I enjoyed watching and listening to her the whole time.

Ashley Graham with Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere/ photo by Miss Universe
3. Bringing Boys II Men to perform for the final look made it the most glamorous and fairytale like than ever. It was my favorite part of the show!

4. Music for swimsuit and evening gown was spot on

5. The ethnic diversity of the top 6 was a great thing to see

Now the bad:
1. I did not care of Flo Rida and his music. I felt it took away from the elegance and class what MU is known for. Plus the songs were few years old and not current. Either stick with classic like Boys II Men or something fresh.
Flo Rida with Miss Universe 2016/ photo by Miss Universe
2. Steve Harvey was a tourture to tolerate as a host, and I can’t wait for his contract to expire. I did not get his humor and the whole making a “mistake” again comment over and over again got old super fast.
Steve Harvey and Miss Philippines Maxine Medina

3. No opening number dance or introductions was a sad exclusion.

4. Lack of Filipino cultural significance. There were hardly any elements to showcase the rich and beautiful culture. When I was competing in Thailand they had so many Thai elements from music to stage, and having things like the tuk tuk, elephant, dancers, costumes and showing off all that Thailand has to offer. I think it’s a shame they didn’t showcase Philippines as a host country :(

5. The show kinda has a reality TV feel, and lacks that elegance and glamour that it used to be before.

Top 13
Overall it was a diverse and mostly deserving group of incredible women.
Some exclusions were shocking to say the least - Venezuela, Dom Rep, Argentina, Curacao, Nicaragua to name a few.

But this is a new format, so what used to count doesn’t anymore. Now it’s about sensationalizing and appealing to the masses in order to get trending on social media and in the press.
Now, contestants need to work harder on their stories than on their walks, bodies and wardrobes in order to advance. It’s all about sensationalism and being marketable, not about physical beauty and intellect alone.

It’s a new era and the organization felt they needed to make those changes in order to stay current. They are looking for a woman of substance, not just someone who looks good, and I abosultely welcome that change, however, I believe that most, if not all of the contestants are women of substance, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it that far. But unfortunately their stories were not heard, although I’m sure each one has a unique story that someone can relate to.

Those stories have always been there but they didn’t place a significance on it before. I have a great story of being an immigrant at an early age, starting from scratch with my family, adjusting to new culture, struggling to get accepted, feeling isolated and different, and finally overcoming insecurities, and being the first immigrant to ever win Miss Universe Canada contest. But not many people really knew it. So, while I think it’s great that the world gets to learn more about us beauty queens, it should be a small part, and not the reason why someone gets into the semifinals. This new format does leave a lot of great potential in the dust, while advancing others who are obviously not on the same playing field.

Top 9
I was absolutely floored when Brazil, Panama and Indonesia didn’t make the cut after swimsuit - that was a crime - and felt like it was planned on purpose. Brazil would have been perfect for Miss Universe - she had it all - body, confidence, and I saw her later in her stunning white gown and it hurt so bad that she didn’t get to strut her stuff in it for EG.

Again, several shocking surprises, but in order to get their new message across, they needed to include them. Canada and Kenya, for instance, were there to get this message delivered, with their own body image issues. Any other year, and they probably wouldn’t have made it after swimsuit, but this year the new image worked in their favor.

Side note:
I honestly think Canada could have won the crown, had she worked on her body and looked the way she did last year. I was Siera’s biggest fan when she won Miss Canada and even before that, and always felt she had huge potential to be the 3rd Miss Universe from Canada. In the end, as we see, it takes more to win, and I think Siera missed her chance. While her message of body confidence is a very important one to young women, what I think is even more important to tell the younger generation is that if you settle for what you have and don’t work to improve yourself, it can only get you so far, but with a bit more perseverance and determination, you can go all the way to the top! The new generation is at a risk of feeling entitled and spoiled by getting ribbons for participation and trophies for coming in last, so if we don’t teach them that it takes hard work, sacrifice, discipline, setting goals, and never settling for less, we stand to have very unsatisfied and unfulfilled generation of young people, who never truly get to live their dream.

Top 6
Was so sad to see Mexico go and not advance further, she was so exotic and beautiful! The rest of the top 6 were deserving for sure, no doubt about that.
I was rooting for Thailand all the way and was so smitten by her from the start, she is so beautiful it makes you want to cry! However she failed to appear confident in her answer and sadly didn’t advance. How amazing it would have been though, to have her as a winner for Thai people after losing their beloved King this past year! Chalita was perfect for MU but I guess it was not meant to be. I hope I get a chance to meet her very soon.
I liked Maxine, Miss Philippines a lot too, and wished she could’ve also advanced. Her answer was not the best and she didn’t sound confident as well. She is gorgeous when I saw her in person at the hotel (too bad I didn't get a chance to take a photo with her).

Top 3
After Thailand and Philippines were eliminated, I felt that it was France’s night. Of course any of the three would’ve been a fine choice, and both Haiti and Colombia were stunning and well spoken, but something about Iris had me convinced it would be her night. She was just so sweet and charming, you can’t help but love her!

And by the way, France is a perfect example of how to win MU! Be prepared! She was spot on in every element - her body was toned, her dress was perfectly chosen (I heard it took 5 months to make!) She was ready and it showed! Bam! - this is what it takes to be a Miss Universe, and I’m very happy to see that in the end the judges made the right choice.

And finally...
I enjoyed being there to see it in person, as it brought back many good memories. Sharing the experience with Dean and Maya made it extra special!
To all of you pageant fans out there who are sad that your favorite didn’t make it further, please know that everything happens for a reason, and it just wasn’t meant to be. The pageant has changed and so we must accept that. I do miss the older years and how it used to be back in the day.
Please don’t get angry or resenful of others, and please don’t fight with each other or leave nasty comments. Let’s all be respectful and accept what we don’t have control over. At least we always have next year!

Photos of Natalie (captioned by her)  during Miss Universe 2016 in the Philippines:

With Eton Concepcion - the biggest and most devoted pageant fan in the world! Love his ties that he makes for all the beauty queens 

With Venus Raj - Miss Philippines 2010 on the red carpet the night before the final

3 generations of Miss Universes - Lupita Jones MU1991, Margarita Moran MU1973, and myself (MU2005)

With the Panamanian crew, including National Director - Cesar Anel Rodriguez, Miss Panama - Keity Drennan, Maya Kelly Glebova (half Panamanian) and Dean Kelly Jr.

 With Aurora Santos, one of the sweetest fans who i've been in touch with for for many years, and finally got a chance to meet in person
Dean, Maya and I with the legendary Osmel Sousa, National director of Venezuela

With Boys II Men, one of my favorite groups from the 90's!

Maya and Dean at the show looking sharp


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