Analysis: Possible reasons why Rabiya Mateo failed to advance to Miss Universe 2020 final round

Earl D.C. Bracamonte - Philstar.com
Analysis: Possible reasons why Rabiya Mateo failed to advance to Miss Universe 2020 final round
Rabiya Mateo, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 on stage in fashion by Sherri Hill with hosts Mario Lopez and Olivia Culpo during the 69th Miss Universe Competition on May 16, 2021 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida airing LIVE on FYI and Telemundo. Contestants from around the globe have spent the last few weeks touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown.
MUO / Tracy

MANILA, Philippines — It's difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for an outcome, if the variables and factors involved are not equally clear. Such is the case with Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo's not-so-favorable placement at the recently concluded 69th Miss Universe competition.

We ruminated, hard and long, and came up with five possible and plausible explanations to Rabiya's final placement in her journey to the crown.

Not jurors' type of girl

You can have the prettiest visage, have the most curvaceous and well proportioned physique or you could be the tallest and most statuesque, and even be the most eloquent speaker or have the most charismatic persona to boot — but sadly, you're not the judges' cup of tea. It would seem that all your winning qualities have eluded their attention, while the rest of the world are going gaga over you.

Strange, but true. It has happened many times in the past, there's no reason why it wouldn't happen again.

History does repeat itself, more often than not.

Related: Rabiya Mateo at swimsuit competition, fails to enter Miss Universe Top 10. Here's the full list:

Not reflective of brand

There was this post on Facebook of a concerned fan imploring the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) to inform countries choosing their delegates on the prototypes they need for a particular year.

Makes sense to me. But even if the criteria for any selection have been set, the organization can always change their mind at the 11th hour. And the reasons can be as numerous as the stars.

I've heard of unconfirmed claims that MUO favors a certain candidate because the organization wants to work with her in the future, and so allegedly paves the way for her to simply shine. Or despite written guidelines being ironed out, there's a chance somebody outside the parameters would fit the bill as a better spokesperson.

Causes, concerns, crusades and advocates constantly change over time. So if one comes at the most opportune moment, what could prevent one from winning?


An entrant may have a solid advocacy, and would in fact work with it, with all her heart and soul. But, if her platform is not within the top rungs of the causes that an organization espouses, she could be trivialized.

Pageants are some of the trickiest platforms one can get into. While at the surface all looks polished and glamorous, beneath are much mud-slinging and political maneuvering.

Pageant experience

Between a veteran pageant entrant and a greenhorn, it is the former who usually calls the aces in any game; especially in a pageant setting. While there may be instances of beginner's luck, the same is an exception rather than the rule.

An experienced candidate brings with her not only an acumen gained from previous pageant endeavors but also an inner knack of quickly reading the "pulse" of the moment, wherein she already knows right there and then the chances of coming out victorious or not.

But the most endearing qualities of an experienced delegate is her elegant restraint and poise under extreme pressure - that equanimity that radiates from a calm mental space that's not bothered by anything and everything. It's that fortitude that takes her unscathed through the most trying scenarios where greenhorns easily buckle and unravel, to the point of "self-destruction" -— only realizing, too late, that harm has already done, even if unintended.

The adage, "experience is the best teacher," rings its truest in this instance.


And of course, if fate does not smile on you, the outcome won't be in your favor. The stars need to align for instances such as this. Winners are predestined, it's written in their stars.

That's why blessings are important. They need to be given by the right people and, most specially, from Heaven above.

I hope the organizers learn from their lapses and oversights when they field the country's next representative to the 70th Miss Universe in December. The rumor mill says it might be in Costa Rica.

RELATED: In photos: Andrea Meza's first photo shoot as Miss Universe 2020


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