Will We Have a Home Court Advantage for Miss Universe 2016?

grand homecoming parade of Miss Universe 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach at Ayala Avenue 10

Social media went ablaze after it was announced that the 2016 Miss Universe pageant will be held in the Philippines. After Pia Wurtzbach’s historic win as the third Filipina to win the title, it is a great honor to host what could possibly be the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant. The 2016 edition (which will be held in 2017, due to the 2014 run being held in 2015) will be held in various locations around the country, including Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu. As the gravity of the news is sinking in, we wonder: could we have a home-court advantage?

It is a legitimate question. The Miss Universe pageant crowned seven winners on their home turf. The same number of girls have been crowned on their home turf for Miss World, two have been crowned on their home turf for Miss Earth (both Filipinas, by the way), and one has won on her turf for Miss International.

But what is the possibility that Maxine Medina, our representative for the pageant, will win?

First, we have to define what home advantage is and how it works. Home advantage is mostly used in sports to define a benefit a home team has over a visiting team. The home team is said to have an edge because they are familiar with the venue, they have complete support within reach, and they have the psychological support of home fans. Home fans also play a significant role because they are in the area, and may act as if they are “home.”

On the other hand, the visiting team is at a disadvantage because they have to familiarize themselves with the venue and their accommodations, they are away from their families, and they have significantly less fans than the home team. Another disadvantage is the time zone, which can affect their performance.

Will We Have a Home Court Advantage for Miss Universe 2016

Yes, these are things that can also affect events like beauty pageants. If you think sashaying down a stage is easy work, imagine having to deal with competitive contestants backstage (Miss Earth 2016 Philippines Imelda Bautista Schweighart claimed she was bullied on coronation night), the pressures of walking in high heels and elaborate national costumes, and the dreaded Q&A, where you have 30 seconds to answer a seemingly-simple question… in front of millions of people around the world.

Will We Have a Home Court Advantage for Miss Universe 2016 2

So back to our original question: does Maxine Medina have a chance of winning?

Yes, she does. The same chance as the other 100+ girls that join.

A home court advantage is a psychological thing that can be controlled by the mind. And while it has shown a pattern in sporting events like basketball, it does not seem to show a significant pattern in pageants. Yes, the Miss Universe and Miss World have produced seven winners each on their home country, but consider that the Miss Universe has had 63 winners and the Miss World has had 64. Miss International, despite it being a Japan-based organization, has only produced one Japanese winner since it started in 1960.

My theory is that girls sometimes win on their home country because they are confident and are more at ease, while “visiting contestants” have to deal with getting used to the venue, the hotel, the weather, the time zone, and in Manila’s case, the traffic.

Medina is a beautiful girl, and she has double the pressure because she has to maintain the country’s winning streak. Apart from Wurtzbach winning the title last year, she has to contend with the fact that the country has placed in the top 10 since 2005. Medina is an odd choice because recent winners (and our representatives) have Latina features, and Medina has a distinct Filipina glow, but she is an excellent choice to represent the Philippines.

To win, Medina must be beautiful, confident, and intelligent. And as we saw in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, she has those traits in major, major doses. But I do hope that we have a home-court advantage. This time, I hope it’s real.

Do you think Medina will win? Share your thoughts below!

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