7:13 p.m.

I’m clueless about this; I’ve never watched a Miss Venezuela before. I’m only doing this for research purposes. This was not my choice. I know this is one of the biggest TV shows of the year, an event for the whole family, but that’s it.

There’s an opening speech and las misses appear in shiny, half see-through dresses while a hostess talks.

Don’t they feel naked?

“Nuestras reinas lucen creaciones de Andartu diseños y accesorios Voyage.”

Voyage accessories? No wonder they’re wearing space outfits.

They all look the same: same height, same body, same pose. Super-advanced drones designed to look perfect and win Miss Universe titles.

“We have learned to never stop in the face of hardship, and that’s maybe the best demonstration we are giving today.”

Must be getting pretty hard to put on a show like this today, huh?

The guys who just sang lip synched turn out to be Sixto Rein and Juan Miguel. I have no idea who they are. They ask the audience to visit their YouTube channels, and talk about their musical projects. Self-promotion, really? I mean, this is el Miss Venezuela, all those space girls are back there waiting for the trials, you are supposed to introduce them. Not the other way around.

But what do I know? This is my first rodeo.

7:25 p.m.

Commercial break! The ads are all beauty-related: shoes, makeup, nail polish, breast implants. When the show resumes, the socially conscious part begins. The Misses are shown making food and giving it away. Pretty nice.

Pero ahora sí, LET THE TRIALS BEGIN!

First, the “interactive gala.” Apparently, there were surveys and the public could choose their favorite Miss for different categories.

But wait… these are more ads! They are not even being sneaky, they award the girls with random categories and then some company manager gives them a prize.

Poor Miss Apure. She won “Miss Personality” and everyone knows what that means.

7:42 p.m.

Commercials. Again. This whole thing is one big ad.

Is that the Zamora jingle? The government managed to sneak its ads en una noche tan linda como esta?

7:48 p.m.

This studio is crazy small. The audience sits close to the stage (really close), and the back is half-covered with white drapes, like a shitty quinceañera. I’m told this shindig used to be held in El Poliedro. I guess they use that larger venue for other pressing matters these days…

8:00 p.m.

The swimsuit competition. A trial at last.

The Misses walk and pose while the host reads out their measurements. All of them are very near to 90cm, 60cm ,90cm, except Miss Delta Amacuro, who is an exact 90-60-90.

This is so silly, they all look perfect. In their neon green capes.

After the first group finishes, the host makes sure to name the swimsuit designers, with their Instagram accounts displayed on screen. One big ad, I’m telling you.

8:30 p.m.

Someone should tell those Pantene guys that you can’t buy shampoo anymore.

I’m unable to pay attention. With so many brands and commercials, it’s all so repetitive. Pretty, but devoid of essence.

9:12 p.m.

Now it’s time for the traje de gala event, but Miss Venezuela 2016 parades first in a blue dress, with an ad in the background for feminine hygiene products. I’m told girls can’t find those in stores anymore. 

I cannot say that the dresses were espectaculares, so here’s what the host said:

“Radiant and sparkly fabrics surge and mix with bindings in French embroidery, the body is surrounded with stylized lines in relief and coordinates with the great hasp decorating the shoulders.”

Who writes this?

10:00 p.m.

There’s a lot of filler here.

10:26 p.m.

Finally, they narrow it down to ten models. I’m having a hard time giving a fuck.

11:00 p.m.

It has taken this long to reach the five finalists and now it’s time for the (in)famous questions round. Journalist Shirley Varnagy came up with five questions on why is it so stupid to participate in beauty pageants and the girls fumble with their answers. A bit humiliating, but Shirley should have done follow ups.

11:30 p.m.

This thing goes full-on Venevisión mode. It’s folkloric dances and pavo real dresses. There’s this old super important lady and my mom would scold me for not knowing who this “Mirla” person is [Editor’s note: ¡La primerísima Mirla Castellanos, por Dios! Fucking Millennials].

I don’t think the Miss Venezuela pageant was always this crappy. It wouldn’t have lasted 65 years.

Alright, the time to pick the winner is close. The stage turns yellow and the Pantene logo flashes huge in the background, but first we have more baranda time: commercials. I can’t watch another fun fact about the Miss Venezuela, or another makeup ad. In a section, they talk about the achievements of previous contestants: marrying famous men.

And the winner is…

Miss Delta Amacuro!

There’s crying, and the Venevisión song. Has this show always been like this? One of the older Caracas Chronicles collaborators, I won’t say his name (but it rhymes with “Abdul Folk”), said that Joaquín Riviera would have never allowed this train wreck to happen. I don’t know who Mr. Riviera was, but I just watched a cheap, devalued, version of something that I probably would have made fun of, but respected out of tradition.

Miss Venezuela is promoted as “the year’s most anticipated television event.” I can’t find the escapism through the crackhead production values.

After it was (thankfully) over, I was left with many questions. What are the ratings like? Are the ads the only way to keep this going? And once they declare a winner, does she become a promoter for products that have disappeared from the shelves?

And who the hell still uses Pantene?

29 COMMENTS

  1. This is, with distance, THE worst article I have ever seen published on CC. Why was this written, who cares about this miss Venezuela shit, wasn’t there something way more important and interesting to write about? To the editor I would suggest that if you haven’t got anything good to publish ….. DON’T FFS!!!!

  2. “I’m clueless about this; I’ve never watched a Miss Venezuela before. I’m only doing this for research purposes. This was not my choice.”

    Sure, Carlos. And I used to subscribe to Playboy Magazine because it had REALLY GOOD articles.

  3. I’d give a Miss Venezuela title to the women who stood up to tear gas in the streets, to the women who skip meals so their children can eat, to the nurses who labor without supplies. Seems like a boycott of this fanfare would be in line with the millions who spent days in the streets getting tear gassed.

    • Here are some nominees (obviously not a complete list, just what I have heard of)
      MCM (courage award) for her extremely courageous and intelligent leadership
      Emiliana Duarte for sharpness of perception award
      Gaby Miller for this https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2017/06/12/the-day-three-cops-assailed-me/
      Naky Soto for sharpest pencil in the box award
      Francisco Toro’s wife for endurance watching her husband get the crap beat out of him on his own website
      And in the Documented Bizarro category to keep things fair and balanced, the Mr. Venezuela nudity award to the guy who faced the GNB naked.

    • Oh, I forgot …
      Most Changed award (in absentia since she fled the country) to Luisa Ortega Diaz
      Humor award to FLAMA (Joanna and the mozzarella sticks)
      Lilian Tintori for Stand By Your Man award

      It’s a big contest, many excellent women aspiring to Miss Venezuela!

  4. I would be honestly surprised to know that anybody besides vendevisión and the chaveco prostitution net that’s behind MV would even care a bit about this.

    Still, this is another proof that national television in Venezuela has become a pile of garbage.

  5. Mirian Valiño and María Brizuela, who were arrested after their photo of two women giving birth in a waiting room in Venezuela went viral.

  6. To me, the Miss Universe pageant underscores the schitzophrenic or split personality bubbling below the surface is most everything that is Venezuelan – or for that matter, human. It’s the old argument per reality versus appearances, beliefs and dreams versus nuts and bolts, desires verses facts.

    I remember riding an autobus on Isla Margarita maybe twenty years ago and the driver had a placard dangling on the retrovisor. On one side of the placard was La Virgin del Valle, and on the other side, Playboy’s Miss June, fully nude.

    The extremes (opposites in Jungian terms) are there in every culture and every person, it’s just that in a crisis, they assert themselves even more visibly and the contrasts are jarring as fuck. Life itself is insane in this regards, it just looks moreso in Venezuela right now.

  7. I really enjoyed this article. It was funny, and demonstrated the deafening irony which is VZ under Chavismo.

    And…

    “Poor Miss Apure. She won “Miss Personality” and everyone knows what that means.”

    In most beauty pageants, all of the contestants vote on Miss Personality, so it’s not like she screwed the judges. However, knowing how honest all elections are in VZ, she probably lost by a wide margin and DID screw the judges.

  8. I think I watched a Miss Venezuela once in the 30 or so years I lived there. Once they started a “Miss Venezuela” academy, complete with Plastic Surgeons on call to remove a rib here and lift a teat there I stopped paying attention completely.

    I mean, so many good looking women that had no need to alter anything just walking around, why bother with it?

    Today it’s just more circus to distract.

    And Carlos:
    Joaquín Rivera was a Cuban dance choreographer who pretty much ruled that department in Venevisión for decades., rising to Gerente de Producción for the channel.A very talented individual, who along with another Cuban exile named Delia Fiallo pretty much shaped entertainment in Venezuela for a long time. Delia is pretty much the mother of the Telenovela as we know it. When his royal assholeness, Hgo Chávez won she left Venezuela never to return.

    Rivera produced the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1983 PanAm games and the 2007 Copa America, both held in Venezuela

  9. People when living in dreadful times hanker to take temporary refuge in some event that reminds them of the lost good old days , that reenacts something of what things where like in the gone days of normalcy …..the reanectment of a beauty contest is for some Venezuelans today , however twadry and silly the presentation of the contest , a consolation …….a distraction ………that takes them back to happy old days when Mirna was the celebrated songtress . Ive read that people in WWII Berlin went to classical music concerts all bundled up in the midst of winter while hearing from afar the approaching rumble from the guns of the soviet army !!

    I was never one for paying attention to beauty contests in the past , but I can understand the humanity of the people that still find a glimmer of faded joy in reliving a limp version of the beauty pageants of yesteryear…

  10. You know, I can understand not having watched a Miss Venezuela before. I mean, I watched a ton of them as a kid and a teenager, but well, that was in the 80s/90s so it was “Mom wants to watch it and there is only one TV”. That kind of stuff is something lost on newer generations – now everybody can just consume whatever media they want when they want it (and in Venezuela, when your ISP feels like working).

  11. I agree with Duncanvd (First comment above). The tone was dismissive and biased from the beginning of the article. I get this is an op-ed but still, way too biased. It wreaked of judgmental tone, before the author saw the ads and publicity that financed the show. I would have rather read a thoughtful piece that looks at both sides of the coin, and diminished the extremely judgmental and superior tone in the author’s article.

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