The Philippines is a second home to former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres. She first visited the country in 1994 to pass on her title to India’s Sushmita Sen. She then decided to stay and pursue a showbiz career.
Dayanara, or Yari to her friends, visited the Philippines again in 2017 to judge the Miss Universe pageant. In this throwback video from Tonight with Boy Abunda, the former beauty queen and actress talked more about her love for the Philippines and the behind-the-scenes of pageantry.
Dayanara who can still converse in Filipino, was asked which is more difficult between joining and judging a pageant. She said standing on stage as a candidate is more nerve-wracking. Representing one’s country comes with a lot of pressure.
She further explained that in choosing a winner, judges consider the delegates’ performances in the preliminary competition and not just during the grand coronation night because what happens behind the scene is so much more than what we see on TV.
“Sometimes people don’t understand the end result only because sometimes what you see on TV is not everything that has happened. We had the opportunity to talk to them and know them a little better,” she said.
Dayanara continued, “We see different things that maybe on that moment, you see for a second or two on TV that don’t tell you much.”
That’s why people shouldn’t base the possible results on mere online presence. “People were like shocked or maybe surprised with the result,” she said of the Miss Universe 2016 pageant where Miss France Iris Mittenaere bagged the title while Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier finished as first runner-up.
She learned that pageant enthusiasts were merely basing on online rankings. “When I asked, ‘It’s because she was never a fan favorite. She wasn’t on the list.’ I’m like, ‘What list?’ Who’s making this list because we’re the one judging and meeting them? These are the people who are actually just seeing them physically.”
The Puerto Rican beauty shared tips to aspiring beauty queens in nailing the Q&A round. “Be centered. Be focused. You worked hard for this. You’ve been practicing and preparing yourself, so at that moment, be centered. Be calm. It’s difficult but you have to because that is your moment and it’s only one time.”
Dayanara went on to share that some people think she’s a Filipina. She smiled and said she’s a Filipina “at heart.”