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Miss Universe 2020: How Miss India can win

It’s been twenty years since India has captured the Miss Universe title in 2000, and previously in 1994. After Miss India 2019, placed in the top 20 at Miss Universe 2019, fans are wondering, “What happened to the pageant powerhouse?” Last year’s Miss India, Vartika Singh, stirred fans and renewed their excitement. Now they want to know, “what can Miss India 2020 do to capture the most coveted crown in pageantry?”

Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta Miss Universe crowning
Sushmita Sen, Miss Universe 1994 (Left) Lara Dutta, Miss Universe 2000 (Right)

India’s recent placements

After Lara Dutta’s win, Miss India has only placed in the top 5 one other time. They placed in semi-finals several times, but went unplaced for consecutive years. After watching and evaluating the 2020 Miss Diva competition, I realized that India has no shortage of beauty and brains. Yet, the country has not achieved a top 5 placement in nearly twenty years.

Vartika Singh Miss Universe evening gown
Vartika Singh, Miss India 2019 competes on stage in her evening gown during the MISS UNIVERSE® Preliminary Competition at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta on Friday, December 6, 2019. The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in Atlanta. Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, December 8, 2019 live from Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. HO/The Miss Universe Organization

3 Keys to the crown

Adline Castelino brings new hope to fans for the 2020 edition of Miss Universe. She is both beautiful and well spoken, but it takes more than that to capture the Miss Universe crown. As a pageant coach, and former Miss USA contestant, I believe that India has fallen behind the curve for Miss Universe prep in three areas: styling, wardrobe, and stage presence.

Adline Castelino Miss Universe India 2020

Adline Castelino, Miss India 2020

1.) Styling

Adline has all the natural qualities of a Miss Universe front-runner, but she needs a strong team to provide necessary resources to make her Miss Universe dreams a reality. As we’ve seen in recent years, the Miss Philippines and South Africa teams, send delegates that are stage AND appearance ready. The hair and makeup choices, for recent Miss Universe winners, are expertly assembled. In order to stand out in the group, Adeline should increase the amount of photoshoots she takes part in, leading up to the 2020 competition. The benefit of these shoots is to help Adline hone in her personal style and learn how to change up her Miss Universe appearance looks.

2. Wardrobe

Aside from hair and makeup, she’ll need a Miss Universe worthy wardrobe too. Not just for evening gown, but for all events leading up to the competition. Both Zozibini and Catriona stood out from the crowd in well styled looks through out the competition. Although many Miss India’s are beautiful, I believe their evening gown styling lacked je n’as sais quoi in recent decades. In order for India to crack the top 5 this year, Adline needs an outstanding gown, coupled with solid styling.

3. Stage Presence

The final missing piece of a winning Miss Universe strategy for India is stage presence. When I think back to recent Miss India performances, there was nothing especially wrong with them. That happens from time-to-time in pageants. Sometimes a contestants doesn’t advance, not because she did something wrong, but because she didn’t do anything outstanding. I’ve seen this happen when I judged pageants. Catriona is the perfect example of a contestant who stood out because of dedication to her walk. This is exactly where the Miss India organization should emphasize their focus for Adline. With these adjustments, I can easily see Adline advancing into the top 5 at Miss Universe 2020.

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Salena Pham

Salena Pham, Miss Northern Utah USA 2021

"Dani completely changed how I interview, in the best way possible. She was clear, concise, and constructive in her feedback and always made sure I understood how to apply what she taught me. Not only is she extremely knowledge, but is also kind and encouraging. I truly cannot thank her enough for her help and guidance."

Kristen Brooks, NAM Miss New York 2019

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Kaitlyn Matherne, NAM Louisiana Teen 2017

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