TFC News

Miss Universe Organization president talks pageant changes, 'for sale' report

Don Tagala | TFC News New York

Posted at Sep 16 2022 08:30 PM | Updated as of Sep 16 2022 09:12 PM

Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart and ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo
Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart (R) speaks with ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo (L)

Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart gave ABS-CBN News a few more details about the upcoming 71st Miss Universe coronation night that is now set in January 2023 instead of the usual December pageant night.

The main reason, she said, is to give way to the World Cup in December.
 
"I'm ecstatic this year. I feel, finally, after all of these years, we are in a venue which will have plenty of seating. We will be able to accommodate everyone and I feel that this is our first step back so I'm thrilled," Shugart said.

While the host city is still top secret, Shugart gave some hints about the venue.

"What I am happy to say is I know it's a location that people will have fun. I've never talked to anyone that didn't want to go to this particular place so it's built for tourism and culture and food and fun."

She added, "I was really hoping we would announce the location this week but we'll probably announce it next week."

In another big news on the evolution of the pageant, married and even divorced women, as well as mothers, can now join the competition. However, contestants must still be between the ages of 18 and 28.
 
Only single women who had no children were previously allowed to compete.
 
"We did not want to be in a position where we felt that we were precluding someone from competing if they felt they could handle that job," Shugart noted. "So if you know what the job description is, which we are really going to make sure everyone is aware of, they need to be able to handle that job as a Miss Universe whether they have a family or not."
 
Shugart also said Miss Universe has always been a reflection of society.

"We, when we started, were an outlet for women really to start to have a voice. And now women are able to have families. They're able to have a job. They're able to be a spokesperson. We should not be the ones to say, 'no you can't do this.'"
 
Meanwhile, Shugart responded to a recent New York Post article alleging that Miss Universe is struggling and has been for sale for $20 million.

"The only thing I can say is, I think what, I've been here 20 years. I don't think there's been a year that I've been here that I haven't heard that we were for sale. There were a lot of things in the article that were not exactly [right] and they said the show was going to be in December so they were definitely wrong," she pointed out..

88 women from different countries, including the Philippines, are set to compete in the January pageant.