|Mister World winner Francisco Escobar of Colombia and first runner up Andrew Wolff of the Philippines. Photo from the Facebook page of Mister World
MANILA, Philippines -- Having been merely "selected" to represent the Philippines in the pageant, Mister World 2012 first runner-up Andrew Wolff said he felt expectations were low for his stint in the international competition.
"It feels great. I really want to dedicate this to all the Filipinos. No one expected anything of me," Wolff told ABS-CBN News on Thursday, when the Philippine rugby team player arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Kent, England.
"I just wanted to do the role justice, embrace the opportunity, and take it to the next level," he added.
Although no public competition was held to determine the Philippines' representative to this year's Mister World, Cory Quirino, owner of the pageant's local franchise, said "private judging" was done to narrow down to Wolff's participation from over 25 local candidates.
Wolff, who is of Filipino and British descent, placed runner-up to Francisco Escobar of Colombia, who was hailed Mister World 2012 at the coronation night held Sunday. Second-runner up was Leo Delaney of Ireland.
"Tough talaga kasi mga kalaban ko mga athletes, actors, models, everything. They were really, really talented guys. These guys, they were performers," Wolff said, referring to his fellow candidates.
Referring to Escobar's one-point lead at the end of the competition, Wolff said, "Columbia really deserved to win, and I'm happy, he's a friend of mine."
Mister World is the official male counterpart of the more popular Miss World beauty pageant.
Since it first held its inaugural competition in 1996, it has had six pageants, including the 2012 edition, held every two to three years.