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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Venus Raj’s “Major, Major”: An Attempt to Analyze

by Jill Christianae on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 8:19pm

"What is one big mistake that you've made in your life and what did you do to make it right?"

Understanding the desired response to this question determined how Venus Raj or any Ms. Universe candidate, would answer it.

If we dissect this question, we will see that it has two parts. The first part seeks to know the “major mistake” and the second part, the “way to make it right”.

Venus Raj's answer was: "In my 22 years of existence, I can say that there is nothing major, major problem that I have done in my life because I am very confident with my family and with the love that they are giving to me so thank you so much that I am here. Thank you. Thank you so much."

Considering that Venus started off by mentioning her age, we could say that she considers herself old enough to be capable of making major mistakes. But then she went on to say that she has not done any. For what reason? Her family and their love for her.

We ask: Did she opt for a safer answer such as that instead of a gross story of a mistake done in the past, simply because of nervousness?

In an interview with Jessica Soho, she was asked the same question and she said she was nervous but wouldn’t have answered any other way. In another talk show with GMA 7, she added that she is really a positive person whose mistakes are being allowed by a sovereign God. Judging the sincerity of her response from these interviews, we could say that though it was a compulsive answer (because of nervousness), it was an honest one. Looking closely, however, on its implications, we could see that it sent both positive and negative signals to the judges and the audience.

To us Filipinos, it is easier to understand the message she was trying to convey: positivism and relying on family's love, in dealing with mistakes. These are good Filipino traits. She was simply being honest and being Filipino. Her candid Filipino spirit was even more validated by her use of repeated words to emphasize a point (major2x, thank you2x). But would the message of positivism and close family ties please judges like William Baldwin?

If we go back to his question, we will see that the second part (What did you to make it right?) which sought to assess a candidate's capacity to "correct a mistake," was not answered at all. This part of the question could have been crucial to the judges’ decision making. We, therefore ask, had Venus answered it, would she have won the crown?

Perhaps, what was left in the judges' mind was Venus' positivism, but they were left with no idea how she resolves mistakes. To them, this was a major mistake. But to Venus, who said she does not regret how she responded, her answer was not a mistake, neither was her coming home without the crown. Being fourth runner up is enough. So positive. So Filipino.

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