What if Miss Hong Kong is not the people’s favorite?
Close vote in this year's TVB pageant sparks row over the show's panel system, with viewers denied a say in the outcome for the first time
If the success of a TV program can measured by how much people talk about it, one might conclude that the Miss Hong Kong pageant 2017, from Television Broadcasts (TVB) is a very successful program indeed. That would be to judge by the number of negative comments about it, granted.
Juliette Louie, a graduate of the University of Toronto, was crowned as Miss Hong Kong on Sunday and has since been subjected to the public wondering “is she, after all, the fairest of them all?”
The Canadian-born dancer and artist, who also carried off the Miss Photogenic trophy, gave a strong performance all night but was trailing by 3-4 against her rival, Regina Ho Yee-ting, until chief panel judge Carol Cheng, nicknamed Do Do, cast her two votes in Louie’s favor.
That did not sit well with netizens who objected to the show’s “one person, two votes” system, and a flood of criticism ensued.
Many were, in fact, unhappy that TVB, in a departure from previous years, had not allowed the public to vote this year. Small circle selection is not something Hong Kong people like very much, especially when the outcome does not match with their own preferences.
Small circle selection is not something Hong Kong people like very much, especially when the outcome does not match with their own preferences
Louie looks somewhat like Julia Roberts but has found herself being compared, unflatteringly, to Ronaldinho, a Brazilian footballer with famously protruding teeth. Some even compared her with Karen Mok in the famous Chinese movie God of Cookery, labelling her “Miss Inferior”.
Louie yesterday told reporters that she did not read Chinese well, and did not care that people had made malicious comments about her via Instagram.
“Who cares what they say? Life’s too short for you to worry about nonsense,” she said. “If some people are not happy with the result, shall I give up the crown? No! It is impossible to be liked by everyone, so it is important for me to live happy.”
Asked if she would consider getting braces for her teeth, she replied that she has a big smile. If people think she needs braces to work in Hong Kong, she said, then maybe she would go to Hollywood instead.
“I am scared of surgery,” she said. “I don’t think I am the prettiest but I do not want to change.”
The 23-year old winner, whose personality won the judges over, is the daughter of Henry Lui, a top designer who owns over a hundred million dollars in property. She said she hoped her dad would cook her a big meal to celebrate her triumph.
The panel system on the show clearly has its flaws. Out of the eight panel members, a total of three panel members are from the singing group Grasshoppers – and all three voted for Ho, the first runner-up.
It has been suggested that TVB tried to make the race tighter by asking the Grasshoppers to unanimously root for Ho, who had been trailing Louie. Ho said she was a bit disappointed but admitted the result was fair and reasonable.