Laura Lehmann tells fans to give Miss World a chance
MANILA, Philippines – Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann has called on pageant fans to give the Miss World Organization a chance after last year's results. (Rappler Talk Entertainment: Laura Lehmann)
Pageant watchers and fans believed that Catriona Gray, the country's representative in the 2016 pageant should have won the competition. She ended up being part of the Top 5, with Puerto Rico's Stephanie del Valle winning the crown. (READ: Miss World 2016 Stephanie del Valle on dealing with criticism after her win)
At the send-off on Wednesday, October 18 for her and Winwyn Marquez, who will represent the country in Reina Hispanoamericana, Laura said that she will do her best to represent the country, adding the pageant has integrity. (READ:Laura Lehmann on winning Miss World Philippines 2017)
"I feel so lucky not just to be a Miss World candidate but to be a Miss World Philippines candidate, to be Filipino because, you know, [what other country] would [give] a send-off [and] this kind of support? Filipinos love pageantry and I feel like I have a big family here. All of you are my family, you’re all coming with me and I have so much support.
"And I want you to know that as soon as I land in China, [I am more than just] Laura, I’m [the] Philippines, and that’s why I have this sash across my body. I am [embodying the Philippines], I know that I’m representing our country because I love the country so much. I was born here, I was raised here, this is my home. And because of that, I’ll do my best to represent the best way I can because I want to show the world how great we are," she said.
"That’s why I want to take time to let you guys know that I know [that] there are a lot of pageant fans that didn't accept [the results of] that [particular] Miss World [competition]…I just want you to know that Miss World has integrity. They will choose a winner who is deserving, whoever that girl is. They are going to choose a girl who is sincere, who is right for the position, who is there to give back to people."
After the send-off, reporters asked Laura why she decided to speak up on the issue.
"I just want to tell people that this is the time for the Philippines to have a fresh start. If we're negative and we bring the negativity, it will follow us. We just have to be positive. What's important is that we believe in the pageant, that we believe in [its] integrity – it's the longest running pageant, so it has to be doing something right."
Dances of the World
After the press conference, reporters got a chance to talk to Laura about her last minute preparations for the pageant. She said that she has been doing a lot of makeup and styling sessions since she will be traveling by herself.
It was also confirmed that the Dances of the World, a segment which gives the candidates a chance to perform a cultural dance from their respective countries will return for this year's pageant. Bessie Besana, Miss World Philippines manager and fashion designer, will do Laura's costume for the segment.
It's rumored that Laura's dance will be a mixture of traditional and modern. "It's a bit dalagang Filipina so kind of something like that," Laura discloses. "But I won't say anything more. I'll wait for you guys to watch."
When asked what type of Miss World titleholder she wants to be known for, she said: "I want to be known as someone who did her best in everything, always positive and passionate, because I think that’s all important – when you do what you love, it will never feel like work."
Laura left on Friday, October 20 for the competition, which will be on November 18 in Sanya, China.