Mister Sri Lanka 2013 and Best Female Model: A Judge’s Experience & Viewpoint
A few months back, I graciously accepted the honor of being chosen as a judge of Mister Sri Lanka 2013 and Best Female Model for Supermodel International 2013. I had no idea how the pageant system in the "Pearl of Indian Ocean" works and my 1-week assignment has taken the wind out of my sails. The unexpected glamour of this event organized by some of the top people in Sri Lanka’s fashion and entertainment industry, namely Brian Kerkoven and Mallik Ratwatte made me realize that pageantry in Sri Lanka is very high standard and professionally done.
With three decade civil war coming to an end in 2009, Sri Lanka's tourism and entertainment industry is witnessing a boom. I heard a lot about several national beauty contests that caught the imagination of the public but being there and seeing it personally was really a special experience – and it also gave me a glimpse of a mighty culture.
Mister Sri Lanka 2013 and Best Female Model Sri Lanka isn’t just a beauty pageant where they’re looking for the most facially or physically attractive, intelligence is also given weight. The grand finale was held at Hilton, Colombo on the 31st of July. The setting will soak you up in grandeur and artistic atmosphere. What I liked most about the pageant is how each contestant is regally wrapped by very talented local designers.
The competition brought together some of the most impressive & interesting Sri Lankan men & women from many backgrounds. A day before the finale, we, the judges have already evaluated each contestant in a grueling closed-door preliminary personality interview, swimsuit and formal wear competition.
The Mister Sri Lanka group is promptly ushered in and you can tell right from the get-go that this is one rather very competitive batch. I already knew what each contestant could bring to the table from the get-go. The eventual top 3 winners were my actual picks.
The charismatic 1st runner-up Amila Perera boasts very high-fashion looks with piercing sexy stare & undeniable swag. 2nd runner-up Anjelo Barnes is such a darling. Your typical boy-next-door, he’s soooo natural and is very easy on the eyes. He was advised to make a comeback next year!
Mister Sri Lanka 2013 2nd runner-up Angelo Barnes
Mister Sri Lanka 2013 1st runner-up Amila Perera
Now onto the winner – Mister Sri Lanka 2013, Brayan Livera is the judges’ unanimous pick to win. He is a complete package and is also very handsome beyond words. There’s a certain collectedness & great confidence about him that make him even more attractive. His stage presence is smooth and rightfully so, because he's got an amazing body and he knows it. He impressed members of the judging table and spectators with his intelligence and outstanding performance skills. I have covered male pageants in the past and I can safely say that Brayan will be a cut above the rest in Indonesia this coming November and would make for an absolutely incredible Mister International. So watch out!
Bryan Livera - Mister Sri Lanka for Mister International 2013
Choosing the rightful Best Female Model of Sri Lanka is easy for me as I’ve covered and also sat as a preliminary judge in last year’s Super Model International. I’m quite familiar with what the organization is looking for. Leanne Driesprong, the eventual winner seemed to outshine all the contestants on the stage. I asked the opinion of other judges and photographers and we all agreed that she’s “the one.” Leanne has an interesting story – she was adopted by Dutch parents and grew up in the Netherlands. I’m surprised to know that she’s just a newbie in the modeling world and everything is a “first” to her in this field of endeavor. Her self-study, habit of practicing in front of the mirror and watching ANTM on cable TV definitely paid off. I love her for not knowing how gorgeous and good she really is. 1st runner-up Kalpanee Gunawardane also got my attention. She was remarkable onstage. She was very fierce and fashion forward! 2nd runner-up Noreen Fernando is a real jewel. She edged out all experienced models through her innate elegance and charm.
Leanne Driesprong - Sri Lanka's Best Female Model for Supermodel International 2013
As I see it, the pageant industry in Sri Lanka is booming. Before long, don’t be surprised if their delegates would bring their country on the pageant map as several key figures aim to revitalize the potential that they have. As a whole, Sri Lanka and its people have the most amazing energy emanating all around and being able to cover so many aspects of their pageant culture has brought an unquantifiable meaning and I take full pride in imparting my wonderful journey in “Refreshingly Sri Lanka - the Wonder of Asia.”
• Read my Pre-judging Judge's Perspective & Report on Mister Sri Lanka 2013 & Supermodel Sri Lanka:
• PHOTO GALLERY: Judging Mister Sri Lanka 2013 & Supermodel Int'l Sri Lanka 2013 (190 photos)