Miss Universe Pakistan pageant to be turned into reality show

Production for the event, which will send the country's first representative to the global competition, is set to begin in June

Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel reacts after being crowned Miss Universe during the 71st Miss Universe pageant in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 14, 2023. Reuters
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Organisers of Miss Universe Pakistan have unveiled details of the coming pageant, saying it will be a reality-show-style competition split into several episodes and broadcast online.

Dubai company Yugen Group announced this month it had acquired the rights to Miss Universe Pakistan, and that it will be responsible for sending the first Pakistani representative to Miss Universe, one of the longest-running and most-watched beauty competitions in the world.

Production for Miss Universe Pakistan is set to begin in June, with the first episode to be broadcast in August. In the show, candidates will be given tasks and challenges such as personality and public speaking tests, interviews and philanthropy work.

The winner will then be groomed for this year's Miss Universe competition, which will take place in El Salvador. The Miss Universe 2022 titleholder R'Bonney Gabriel from the US will crown her successor.

Scroll through the gallery below for more pictures from the Miss Universe 2022 pageant

Applications for Miss Universe Pakistan opened on March 4 to all Pakistani women aged 18 to 28. A historic rule change at Miss Universe has also come into effect that no longer limits the contest to single women. For the first time in its 71-year history, applicants can be single, married, divorced or mothers. There is also no height requirement.

“We want to localise our approach without changing the dynamics of the Miss Universe brand," said Josh Yugen, national director of Miss Universe Pakistan and the founder of Yugen Group. "We are still going to show women from Pakistan who are beautifully confident and who are the epitome of stories of dreams turning into realities.

"One of the main reasons why I accepted this challenge is to bridge the gap between pageantry and private sectors and brands. I want them to realise that pageantry is more than just about the pretty face and modelling; it is all about standing for a cause, using the global Miss Universe platform to do CSR initiatives and be an icon of hope to the community that they are representing."

Yugen told The National his company has already received "hundreds" of applications for Miss Universe Pakistan. The Yugen Group already owns the Miss Universe Bahrain pageant and has successfully sent two contestants to Miss Universe.

The decision to adopt the reality-show format for Miss Universe Pakistan was to give pageant fans the chance "to be part of our discussion", he said.

"We want to feed them with content that is heart-warming, soul-fulfilling and aesthetic at the same time. This platform will be perfect for brands and organisations who promote gender equality, women empowerment, education, climate change, peaceful dialogue, mental health awareness and so many more issues in the society.”

The deadline to apply for the Miss Universe Pakistan pageant has been extended until April 30. More information is available at www.houseofyugen.com

Updated: March 30, 2023, 8:47 AM