It was a really close fight between first runner-up Arrian North and winner Rathi Menon at the Miss Universe Singapore pageant finals on Friday.
North — a 20-year-old model of Arabian-English descent — was a top favourite among the 12 contestants during the competition. Having won three other subsidiary titles — Miss City of Dreams, Miss Body Beautiful and Miss Catwalk – the 1.68-metre porcelain-skinned beauty seemed to be a hit with the judges.
23-year-old pharmacy technician and eventual winner Menon was another favorite, impressing with her poise and elegance on the catwalk throughout the competition. She too won subsidiary titles – Miss Brilliance and Miss Personality.
But during the earlier Question and Answer flub, it was clear who performed better.
During the dreaded live segment, North was asked “Is increasing Singapore’s population to 7 million a good move?”
In her reply, North said, “I don’t see why we can’t have more reclaimed land and bring more people in”.
Meanwhile, for her question, Menon was asked to give a “worst case scenario” if the world becomes “deprived of the Internet”.
The human resource management undergraduate explained how being “disconnected” from loved ones living far away would be the worst thing to happen.
“It is these services that enables us to connect with loved ones near or far. Not knowing where they are or if they are in danger, I think that would be the worst scenario.”
The two of them, along with 10 other contestants, took part in other segments such as swimwear and evening wear during the two-hour pageant finale at Shangri-La hotel.
Overall, they were scored on elegance, poise, body figure, catwalk presence and their Q&A performance by a panel of 10 judges, which included local fashion guru Daniel Boey and supermodel Junita Simon.
The winner will represent Singapore in the Miss Universe international pageant set to take place in December. The actual date and hosting country have yet to be announced.