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Judging the Mister & Miss USC-SBE (University of San Carlos-School of Business & Economics) 2014 Search was both easy and fun. But hearing the results as the winners were proclaimed got me a bit perplexed—because the most stunning “Miss” of the night failed to make the final cut only because of her mediocre performance during the Question & Answer portion, while the most charming “Mister” placed second runner-up simply because someone else answered his question most fluently. I just consoled myself by saying that it’s a school beauty contest and the winner was expected to be as articulate as a dean’s lister in his or her Speech class. However, I should also say that something was amiss with how the criteria for judging were prepared. As always, I find the inclusion of “audience impact” in a pageant’s judging criteria to be too tacky and irrelevant. The organizers should’ve scrapped such crap and replaced it with “poise & bearing” or “personal style & elegance.” (Thanks to Dexter Alazas of Alazas Atelier and Admodels Stylefirm for recommending me to join the panel of judges.)

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