Is a winner chosen before pageant night? Rolene Strauss and Werner Wessels debunk pageant myths

Rolene Strauss (Photo: Gallo Images)
Rolene Strauss (Photo: Gallo Images)

Johannesburg – In her latest YouTube video, former Miss South Africa and Miss World Rolene Strauss is debunking some pageant myths.  

The beauty queen is joined by Miss SA pageant coach Werner Wessels as they answer some of the questions sent in by fans regarding the pageant industry.  

Here are four pageant myths debunked:  

1. You have to be a certain weight to enter

For many years it was thought that contestants had to be a certain weight and height to compete in pageants, but that has slowly started to change with shows becoming more and more inclusive, as evidenced by the 2019 Miss SA top 16.  

"Perhaps in the past it was like that, but I for one know, Miss South Africa, especially, and Miss World are more focused on being healthy. It's not about being a certain weight, it's about being healthy and portraying that positive image," Rolene says. 


2. You have a hair and makeup team on call at all times  

While the ladies are privy to a glam squad on pageant night, Rolene and Werner agree that most of the time contestants are expected to do their own hair and makeup. Not only that, throughout her reign, Miss SA also has to be able to function as a one-woman glam team.  

When it comes to coaching the ladies, Werner adds that he teaches them to be as self-sufficient as possible. 

3. There are a lot of catfights behind-the-scenes 

According to the answers here, it seems like it could swing both ways.

While Rolene says that she did not pick up on any cattiness during her time in the Miss SA pageant, she admits that sometimes "everyone does not get along."

Werner has a no-nonsense policy when it comes to nasty behaviour.  

"Ever since I started working with Miss South Africa, I don't allow it at all. I've explained to the girls numerous times if I just see you rolling your eyes at another woman you won't win, just because that's not the type of woman that we're looking for."  

4. The winner is chosen before the final night 

According to Werner, this is true. 

"Yes. That's my answer," he says, adding: "The only reason why I say this is – you have closed-door interviews in every pageant, whether it's Miss South Africa, whether it's Miss World or Miss Universe, every pageant has three/four weeks leading up to the finale where you get to know people. As we have all learned, first impressions count. If you do not have a great closed-door interview in front of the panel, I think you lose. I don't think you can come back from that." 

Rolene, however, disagrees. She believes "anything can happen" on the night of the pageant, which could change the judges' minds. 


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