Penang girls are shy
By Noorsila Abd Majid
Penang girls are a shy lot -- that's what Andrea Fonseka and her team of judges, comprising actor/director/producer Hans Isaac, FlyFm DJ Phat Fabes and former Russian beauty queen Julia Dolmatova discovered when they held an open casting call for Miss Universe Malaysia 2010 at the Cititel Hotel Penang over the weekend.
Despite a good promotional effort in broadcasting the event, which saw Andrea - the national director of the pageant handing out leaflets in strategic locations on the island, including Gurney Drive, only four girls took up the challenge.
Yes, it was slim pickings for the judges.
The former Miss Universe Malaysia and her able assistants, Eugenie Chan as well as Mae Leong even visited Slippery Senoritas, a happening club located on Upper Penang Road as part of their promotional activities.
"But we had quite a number of potential beauty queens turning up during our first audition in PJ last week," said an optimistic Hans. "We're expecting more during our final casting call in KL next week."
As the newly revamped pageant is themed hip, urban, relevant and real, the suave actor says his ideal Miss Universe Malaysia will have to be someone with the complete package.
"Being beautiful is just part of it," Hans opined. "But being real is what I'm looking for. I want my beauty queen to be casual but elegant. She must also possess a beautiful mind."
"It's not so much about her academic achievement. But she must know a lot about the world and have her own opinions about things."
Under the new format, the Miss Universe Malaysia hopefuls will have to go through a reality show-like audition. Aside from doing the usual catwalk, the contestants are also required to answer questions set by the judges intelligently. And everything they say will be aired.
Among the fab four Penangnites who made heads turn was 17-year-old Laureen Quah. The former student of St George Girls' School came for the Miss Universe Malaysia audition right after clinching her Masquerade Queen title in a local pageantry.
"I hope I can start a career in TV by taking part in this prestigious beauty pageant," enthused Laureen. "I like the kind of questions the judges asked me 'coz it made learn more about myself, and learn to be myself."
Girls, if you have missed out on the casting call in Penang, head down to the Royale Chulan Hotel in KL on March 27 for the final leg.
Photos by Chin Cheng Yeang
Published March 22, 2010