A new face surfaced during the contract signing for the holding of the 65th Miss Universe pageant in Manila Wednesday night at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
Richelle Louise Singson-Michael, daughter of former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis ‘’Chavit’’ Singson, was introduced as “chairman of host committee,” the highest position among those involved in the preparations, trumping that of her own father’s. In this capacity, Michael will be busy for the next 72 days ensuring that everything is in order for the country’s third hosting of the Miss Universe pageant. The first two were held on 1974 and 1994.
“Without a doubt, with our passion for beauty pageants, we are the best location in Asia to host the pageant. Doing so will not only bring pride for the Philippines but also revenues from the tourism sector, which is one of the countries key economic drivers,” she said in her speech.
An architect by profession, Michael has her own firm, R.S. Michael Architecture.
Besides the Singsons, also present at the contract signing were the pageant’s vice president for business development and marketing Shawn McClain and representatives from Okada Manila, Solar Entertainment Corporation and SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc.
Singson admitted that the deal was almost cancelled.
“But I told them no because we were fully paid, and that would be breach of contract,” he said. Singson and his partners had turned over $12.9 million.
“The organization wanted to bring the pageant here but the rich owners didn’t,” he explained. Apparently, the owners said they would pay the damages, so I eventually told them in a letter that we wouldn’t file charges even if we are fully paid. But I also asked them to hold the announcement of cancellation and to reconsider their decision,” he added.
The Miss Universe organization was once owned by US President-elect Donald Trump. Trump sold it to WME-IMG in 2015. Its current co-CEOs are Hollywood “super agents” Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell.
The Miss Universe pageant will be held on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena.