|Mister World Philippines 2014 John Spainhour|
In what may well be the shortest beauty contest in the history of the Philippines, 26-year-old Filipino-American model John Spainhour was judged on May 29 at the Glorietta 5 Atrium in Makati City to become the country’s representative to Mister World. He flew the following day to Torbay, England, to compete against about 50 other contestants at the international male beauty pageant, the finals of which will be held on June 15.
Spainhour’s selection lasted about 30 minutes, competing against 24 year-old Iranian-Filipino model Sam Adjani, who was declared Philippine representative in the next Mister World contest in a surprise revelation by Cory Quirino, chief executive officer of CQ Global Quest, the national franchise holder of Mister World in the Philippines.
Witnessed by an audience composed mostly of reporters, the affair presented the two “finalists,” who were then asked questions by the judges, as well as members of the audience. They were also asked to take their shirts off, showing off impressive abs. Judges included Quirino and Rowena Tomeldan, vice president and head of operations of the Commercial Business Group of the Ayala Malls, one of the major sponsors of the Philippine search.
Born in South Carolina, United States, Spainhour was a former Marine Corp Scout sniper and went to work as model in the Philippines after finishing his service. He competed in the 2012 Century Tuna Superbods Challenge, emerging as champion, while competitor June Macasaet, who would later become the Manhunt International 2012 winner, was first runner-up. Spainhour has appeared in many television commercials, campaigns and on runways, particularly the Bench underwear shows. He is also becoming notable in Japan, appearing in sexy video commercials. Spainhour is said to be outdoorsy with inclinations for camping, snowboarding, hiking and scuba diving.
His military and athletic background, said Quirino, will be advantageous in the competition.
“This is not just an ordinary ramp modeling kind of competition,” she said. “So we have to send a candidate who has preferably an athletic background, someone who can actually undergo all the rigors of Mister World.”
“My prior job required a lot of discipline, a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication,” the six-foot-and-one-inch tall Spainhour said during the onstage interview. “Of course, if you apply that to anything in life, it’s going to benefit you greatly.”
While waiting to compete and in preparation, Adjani will train with the Philippine Army for a year.
There are five challenge events in Mister World: Sports, Multimedia, Talent, Extreme and Fashion and Style.
“I didn’t know these until we sent Andrew Wolff,” Quirino recalled.
The Filipino-British rugby player and model was handpicked to represent the country in the pageant held in Kent, England, on Nov. 24, 2012. Wolff won in the Multimedia Challenge and was included in the top 15 in the Extreme Sports Challenge of the contest. In 2012, when the Multimedia Challenge was added, the contestants were brought to Canterbury with their cameras and mobile phones, and tasked to document Canterbury. Wolff won with his 15-minute film exploring the Church of England.
“We already got the right thing. We got already what Mister World wants,” Quirino said.
Her confidence was spurred by Wolff’s achievement, as well as Megan Young’s win in the 2013 Miss World. CQ Global Quest is also the franchise holder of Miss World, whose United Kingdom-based organizer is also the same as Mister World’s.
|Mister World Philippines 2015 Sam Adjani|
Established in 1996, Mister World is said to be “the search for the world’s most desirable man.” This is different from Mr. World, which is a bodybuilding competition in the United States. Mister World is one of the four biggest international male beauty contests. The others are Manhunt International, Mister International and Men Universe Model. Winners traditionally live in London during his reign, acting as “the symbol of today’s man” and help out in the causes of the Miss World Organization as well as promote understanding and goodwill.
The Philippines has always sent contenders to the contest. Past contestants include Christopher Celis (1996), Rico Lee Miguel (1998), Roderick Dilla Salvador (2000), Marco Antonio Tamayo (2003), Emmanuel Mago (2007) and Alvin de Joya (2010). CQ Global Quest got the franchise in 2012.
Beauty pageants have been all about women. Men being appraised more for their strength than their beauty, male beauty pageants are often perceived as a curiosity if not frivolity, failing to garner the attention that women beauty pageants draw.
In the arena of international male beauty pageants, the Philippines has a considerable share of victories. Achievers include Aaron Small, Manhunt International 1993 third runner-up; Joseph Roble, Mr. International 1997 winner; Vincent Pinto, Manhunt International 1997 second runner-up; Alexander Aquino, Mr. International 2001 winner; June Macasaet, Msanhunt International 2012 winner; Alvin de Joya, Mr. Asia 2013 second runner-up; Gil Wagas, Mister International 2013 fourth runner-up; and Wilfred Placencia, Mister Global 2014 fourth runner-up.
|From left: Event host Divine Lee; John Spainhour; Cory Quirino, chief executive officer of CQ Global Quest; Sam Adjani; and host Tim Yap during the final screening at Glorietta 5|