So about two weeks ago I attended the Miss Switzerland beauty pageant, as I was invited as a VIP guest by one of the key sponsors of the event. Woohoo, how fun!!
My partner and I drove to the Zurich Hallenstadion where the event was taking place, which is basically a giant stadium that is mostly used for large concerts, events, sports games, and such. At first there was a cocktail reception where I had planned to spend my time oggling Switzerland's not-so-world-famous celebrities (it's a small country, ok?), but instead I was running back and forth for a Press pass which was supposed to be laid out for me at the welcome desk but wasn't. It's so much fun running around in heels, hah! Anyway, I decided to forget about the Press pass (which I realised later on I didn't need anyway) so that I could enjoy the elegant VIP dinner before the actual event began, to which a select group of people had been invited. It was mainly important sponsors, Swiss celebrities, and major media types.
I sat at a table with the people from Procter & Gamble, which is one of the main sponsors behind the Miss Switzerland pageant, and a few other Swiss fashion bloggers whom I had just met. We were served a gorgeous and elegant 3-course dinner, with copious amounts of wine and champagne. *hiccup* I kid, I kid, I don't get drunk on the job! One glass of wine was enough for me. Nonetheless, the food was very tasty and beautifully presented.
Yes, this is the standard Blogger camera repertoire: iPhone (for Instagram and tweeting), a small point & shoot camera for vlogging, and a large DSLR for actual good quality pictures. (Plus a pair of cute flats in your purse when wearing your heels becomes torture.) Always be prepared!! If you're wondering, my dress is by French Connection UK, the accessories by H&M and Hallhuber, shoes by Even&Odd.
After the dinner, we were prepped by the evening's hosts on TV etiquette, since the entire pageant was broadcast live. That meant only being able to get up and move around, or go to the bathroom, on commercial breaks, and generally clapping like a lunatic whenever prompted. My hands hurt by the end of the evening! The stadium began to fill up with people, so those people who had purchased tickets to the show, and also the supporters of the pageant candidates.
Finally, the show began. Ooooh, pretty lights!
Now I'm sorry but I have very few pictures from the actual show, because I don't have a telephoto lens so the pictures weren't going to be very spectacular anyway from that far back, but I do have a good shot of all the girls right after the swimsuit round. This was the opening number, and it was quite high-energy, dancey, sexy, with costumes and accessories strongly reminiscent of a Victoria's Secret show.
The rest of the show consisted of several rounds where the girls had to show different runway walks in a variety of outfits and dresses, and each round more were eliminated. At the end, there was an interview portion where the top three girls were asked some personal questions so that the audience might know their personalities a bit better. The show was interspersed with backstage interviews and musical performances, one even by Lindsey Stirling! Yeaaahhhh Youtube power! She played a violin piece during the evening dress portion of the pageant.
I admit by the end of the show I was getting a bit of a glazed look, and my hands were numb from clapping. It was just quite a long pageant, and I honestly felt like it dragged on a bit. Nonetheless, I was very happy for the winner when she was finally crowned. Our new Miss Switzerland 2013 is Dominique Rinderknecht! She was the clear audience favorite, including mine, because she's just such a fresh and modern face in a sea of beauty pageant girls. They were all very beautiful, of course, but she is just unique. Finally a girl with short hair, and a very modern haircut at that, wins such a pageant!
After the event, the stage was stormed by all the media and press photographers, vying for top spots to get a good picture and the first interview with Miss Switzerland. I waited patiently because a few select bloggers had been invited to have a private backstage meet & greet and picture period with the winners, which was very cool. I also met Sara Nuru backstage, who is a German celebrity and was co-judging the pageant.
Then we had our picture taken with Miss Switzerland, Dominique Rinderknecht, and Miss Oral B Best Friend (who was selected by the pageant contestants themselves as the most friendly girl) Snezana Stajodinovi. And yes, I somehow managed to out-tall all the contestants! How is that even possible??
Pictured above with Anja from SchuSchu doing our best pageant impression! The photographer insisted we try on the pageant sashes. Haha :)
After the photo session, I thanked my host for inviting me to the event, then went to party with my fellow bloggers. We danced the night away and observed some very drunk men dressed in stiff evening business suits making a spectacle of themselves, pretending to unbutton their trousers, at which point I knew it was time to go home. I still had a long drive home ahead of me from Zurich.
I had a wonderful evening and was able to garner a lot of new experiences! Thank you so much to Procter & Gamble for everything, it was a night I won't forget.