What went on at Miss Bhutan 2022 preliminary competition


The 3rd edition of Miss Bhutan is underway and the Preliminary Round was held and broadcast live on BBS Channel 2 on 15th May 2022 from 5:30PM to 9PM.

23 beautiful and talented women competed in the preliminary round for the coveted Miss Bhutan 2022 crown, which is even more special this year as the winner gets to represent Bhutan in Miss Universe 2022. Top 10 contestants would be selected to go through to the next round to the Grand Finale on 4th June. 

After the Master of Ceremonies’ introduction of the event, the 23 Miss Bhutan 2022 candidates took to the stage first for the introduction round. They were given 30 seconds each to introduce themselves, and everyone attempted to impress the judges with their confidence and delivery. 

During the question and answer session, each had to pick an English and a Dzongkha judge from the eight judges' names from a raffle draw bowl and answer questions accordingly. Considering the importance of the English language when they are on a global platform and the significance of promotion and preservation of our own national language Dzongkha, the contestants were asked questions in both languages. 

Unlike the traditional pageant talent round, where the competitors perform a ‘talent’ onstage during the pageant, the Miss Bhutan 2022 Talent Round was pre-recorded instead and broadcast during the preliminary live show. The contestants were instructed to come up with their own 2-minute concept, and the team had shot it in accordance to their concept and direction. In this segment, the participants showcased their hidden talents ranging from monologues, acting, dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument and even weaving skills. 

Contestant number 20 played one of the musical instruments of Bhutan called ‘yangchen’ (hammered dulcimer), which she said that she had learnt for the talent round of the competition. Meanwhile, contestant number 9 raised awareness of the roots of weaving through her weaving skills. Their dedication paid off as it was well received by the online audience with praises pouring in when the snippets of their performance were seen on social media. 

Kinley Choden showcasing her weaving talent

After the talent round, the beauties put their best foot forward in gorgeous evening gowns. While the organizer had provided gowns for them, most chose to take the chance to design their own gown to extend a part of their personality through their cloth choices. 

‘The inspiration for this gown is drawn from the culture and livelihood of the nomadic people living in the eastern part of Bhutan, Merak and Sakten. It shows their way of life; in today’s world where everything is fast-paced, better and more efficient, we have entered a vicious cycle where every individual is on a run and living in-between screens. Disconnected from nature and oneself. But in the foothills of mountains, @cdk_gyencha found a dichotomy of her existence. Away from the dopamine smitten pleasures, where life is simpler, relaxed and more meaningful,’ wrote one of the contestants Ms Sonam Pelden on her Instagram page about her fiery red fishtail gown designed by CDK Gyencha.

Sonam Peldon in CDK Gyencha

Finally, the incredible divas strutted the ramp in national costumes. Vibrant coloured women silk kiras with extremely intricate patterns light the stage. Bhutan’s national dress for women is kira which is usually worn with an inner blouse called ‘Wonju’ and an outer blouse called ‘tego’. However, for the competition all contenders wore full kira with wonju sans tego and showcased other parts of the ensemble like kera and koma. 

Sabina Subba in traditional dress

The organizers reassured everyone that the quality of the dress won’t affect the judge’s mark and the focus is on how well the women carry what they wear and how good they look in it.

Something that sets Miss Bhutan from other beauty pageants around the world is the absence of swimsuit round. However, the winner of the Miss Bhutan 2022 like the previous winners, would be trained indoors by professionals for the swimsuit wear and prepared for no less than two months to be ready for international platforms. Also, titles such as Miss Photogenic, Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Beautiful Hair and Miss Beautiful Skin were removed on the ground that these were in born and doesn’t guarantee a level field to compete for.

The first Miss Bhutan was held in 2008, and the next in 2010. The third edition of Miss Bhutan 2022 is being organized after ten long years. 

‘Because of the pandemic, many young girls in the country and those who have returned to the country from abroad are mostly without job. I thought of engaging them in this beauty pageant. Since Miss Bhutan pageant had been one of the most watched reality shows in the past, I wanted to take this opportunity to not only engage the young girls in the pageant but also groom them so that after the completion of the pageant, they are transformed into knowledgeable, well-natured and responsible citizens. Miss Bhutan 2022 is even more special as Bhutan is finally accepted by the Miss Universe Organization after trying to get approval for over a decade. As an organizer of the Miss Bhutan pageant, I had to sit for several qualification interviews. The last was held on May 4. The interview lasted for an hour with the franchise director. And then finally, Bhutan got through. This means Miss Bhutan 2022 will get to compete in the Miss Universe international competition,’ said organizer, Mr Karma Tshering, excitedly. 

Thousands of Bhutanese at home tuned in to catch their favourite contestant impressing the judges and show their support. For those who could not catch the show live on BBS, the full preliminary show will be available on Shangreela on 29th May 2022. One can just sign up and watch all episodes on Shangreela either on their web or by downloading the app on Play Store and App Store.

As the pageant progresses to the next stage, the Grand Finale of Miss Bhutan 2022 will be held on 4th June. Subsidiary titles will be given, and the winner will be crowned. Stay tuned! 

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