Miss U queens beat musclemen in fun event

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Pia Wurtzbach, Iris Mittenaere and Demi Leigh Nel-Peters dazzle at Front Row’s ‘Grit and Glam’

It was truly a night of grit and glamour as the world’s strongest men and the universe’s most beautiful women enjoyed a fun face off on the runway at Okada’s Cove Manila on Tuesday night.

Miss Universe queens Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Demi Leigh Nel-Peters (2017) and Iris Mittenaere(2016) are declared winners of the ‘Grit and Glam’ double challenge against the Strongest Men in the World PHOTOS BY RUSSELL PALMA

Organized by noted stage and movie actor Raymond “RS” Francisco’s FrontRow Philippines—the same team, which staged a coup in December last year when it brought together Miss Universe queens Demi Leigh Nel-Peters (2017), Iris Mittenaere (2016) and Pia Wurtzbach (2015) in a charity fashion show—pageant aficionados were thrilled to see this trio all over again at the much talked about “Grit and Glam” event.

Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray (leftmost) makes a good fourth member of the strongly bonded ‘gang’ of three consecutive Miss Universe winners

Sharing the spotlight with the beauty title holders were World’s Strongest Man 2018 winner Icelandic Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (also known as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in the hit HBO series “Game Of Thrones”), along with finalists Martins Licis and Robert Oberst, who finished fourth and ninth respectively at a contest held on May 6 at Rizal Park.


Event sponsor Blue Water Day Spa came in full force headed by sisters Mary Go-Simisim and Nancy Go (left- and rightmost) with their brand ambassadors ‘The Manila Times’ COO Blanca Mercado and actor Benjamin Alves

The beauties and the musclemen competed as teams in two challenges—“The Grit” where they ran carrying dumbbells in relay, “The Glam” where they had to strut their stuff on the runway.

During the trial round for Grit, the beauty queens ran with their heels on, which of course were no help in the game, so much so that they won the race without them in the end.

Bigmen, beautiful women—Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, Martins Licis, Robert Oberst, Nel-Peters, Wurtzbach and Mittenaere

They also bagged the Glam competition as expected, looking stunning as they expertly sashayed the runway, but had to give it to the muscle men for bringing on the laughs when they took their turn—very awkwardly albeit gamely—in modelling.

Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather, who was expected to sit as judge of the two games, was a no-show, however, as FrontRow explained he was still in Palawan enjoying the country’s top tourist destination.

Nevertheless, Grit and Glam saw a star-studded evening with Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray mingling with the three queens, drumming up anticipation that she could be the fourth member of the strongly bonded “gang” of Wurtzbach. Mittenaere and Nel-Peters.

Strongest Man of the World Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (known as Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane in the hit TV series ‘Game Of Thrones’) and the Philippines’ very own Pia Wurtzbach

Top models also walked the ramp during the grand finale along with Mister International 2014 Neil Perez, “Build, Build, Build” Binibining Pilipinas 2018 candidate Sandra Lemonon, Miss World Philippines 2012 Queenie Rehman, Mister International Philippines 2015 Reiniel Villareal and Bb. Pilipinas-World 2009 Marie Ann Umali among others.

Event sponsor Blue Water Day Spa was also aptly represented with brand ambassadors actor Benjamin Alves, model Fabio Ide, and The Manila Times COO Blanca Mercado at one of the VIP tables. According to the successful wellness chain’s owner Mary Go-Simisim and COO Nancy Go, Blue Water enjoys a close relationship with Wurtzbach who had been their endorser even before her first try at Binibining Pilipinas.

“We’ve supported her since then and throughout her Miss Universe duties and activities in the country, and will keep doing so,” the gracious sisters told The Manila Times.

The following day, Nel-Peters posted her photo queued up at the check-in counter of Philippine Airlines, showing off a white t-shirt with the words “I Heart (Love) MNL Philippines,” and carrying a Jollibee paper bag,

She captioned it, “Happiness [Heart] PH Thank you Philippines. I [Heart] You so much #Philippines.”

If the Miss Universe pageant happens again in the country later this month, this beautiful lady is sure to fall in love with the Philippines even more.

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