MANILA - Half of the panel of judges of the 65th Miss Universe are former titleholders who are keen on finding a winner who has more to offer than just charming looks, good posture, and the cliche answer of 'world peace' to every question.
Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres said she wants the new Miss Universe to be "somebody who has personality."
"We need somebody who can bring some happiness. Whatever she says, people will listen so somebody who can handle that kind of job," Torres said.
Torres also hopes to crown a person who "is not just like a robot answering prepared questions."
"The preliminaries is the best part because you get to see them and get to talk to them one-by-one. You get to see a little more of their personality: What they are and how they act," she said.
Torres' successor, Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen, described her ideal Miss Universe as a "spectacular, 21st century woman."
"She has to be someone who is unapologetic about being beautiful; someone who can elevate her life and lead it by example; someone who can inspire change; someone who has a soul; and someone who you just look at and say, 'Ah! Miss Universe!'" Sen said.
Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes said she is "looking for a girl who is confident, beautiful and strong."
Lopes said she even browsed the Instagram accounts of candidates in search of "a girl who is going to inspire other women and young girls."
"I'm not going to look for a girl who looks like me or talks like me or has the same ideas as me. I'm going to look for the best," Lopes said
Though Miss Universe Organization chief Paula Shugart has been vocal in saying that the next winner will have "big shoes to fill" because of the performance and work ethic of the reigning Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach declined to give her successor tips on how to be a successful titleholder.
"Each reign is different. I don't want to try to dictate what she should do," Wurtzbach said.
"I dont want to have to teach her the ways because she'll learn it as she goes along, just like what I did," Wurtzbach added.
Meanwhile, Sen reminded candidates to calm their nerves and just enjoy the show.
"You've come this far, you've represented your country beautifully. When you stand on that stage, don't be sad. Applaud and celebrate your countries," Sen said.