Elaine Daly is no stranger in local showbiz. Not only is she an actress, TV host and model, the stunning 43-year-old also holds an important position as the national director for the Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (MUMO) – since 2016.
In conjunction with Miss Universe Malaysia 2020, Elaine sat down with us to talk about the crowning event which will be held rather differently this time around considering the Covid-19 outbreak and shares important advice for participant pageants.
Check out the interview here:
1. How do you think Miss Universe has evolved throughout the years since you won the crown back in 2003?
It’s certainly evolved, especially with the emergence of social media and the internet. Back in the day, we didn’t have Instagram to promote ourselves to that extent. The pageant itself has already evolved because ever since it changed hands from Donald Trump to IMG, it’s more wholesome in the sense that they consider the girls’ back stories as something which is more important. So it’s just not about looking like a supermodel walking down the runway.
2. We also believe there are less elimination rounds now. Has that actually helped the whole procedure and is it a much easier process?
I think the process is still very much the same. We have auditions and we have girls from all walks of life from all over the country coming in to interview with us in the hope of becoming the next Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 winner.
3. Coming back to the Miss Universe Malaysia 2020, we believe despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, you have decided to proceed with the e-Gala. How do you think this will affect this year’s pageant with the fact that there will be no live audience?
I think knowing that there would be a number of more audiences watching the e-Gala from their homes, would be a lot bigger than having a physical event with live audience. So, I don’t think it will affect that much and I think it’s gonna be even bigger and better because we can have a lot more people who are going to be able to watch the gala from the comforts of their own home.
4. Can you entice the people out there on why they need to watch the gala online this year?
It’s going to be a very exciting show. I mean, you don’t have to dress to the nines to come to the actual gala. You can watch this from wherever you are. Additionally, this is the first time we’re introducing such a concept but I think it’s just gonna be only this year. Next year, we hope to go back to the physical gala itself.
Another interesting point is that we’re going to have performances from the girls in front of the cameras and the judges. The public can also vote for the Best Evening Gown, Best Swimsuit categories and also the final winner.
Editor’s note: Public vote will amount to 20% of the result.
5. With the Covid-19 impact, do you think it has affected the morale of the girls?
I think the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the morale of everybody. I think all of us are affected some way or another. Whether it’s our spirits or our business side of anything. But with the girls, we had to keep them going. We were constantly in touch with them. We make sure that they were kept busy by having them post something on social media. I would occasionally speak to them to ensure that they’re still on the ball and know that they’re still in a competition.
6. What do you think is the biggest misconception of beauty queens?
It’s not just about world peace, it’s actually more than that. Yes, the aforementioned is predominantly important. But every time when you talk about beauty queens, that’s the first thing that pops into someone’s mind.
I find the pageant very impairing because I think that it’s so much more than just a competition. We improve the lives of these girls, make a difference in their lives and the girl who goes on eventually wins a scholarship. We’ve had our previous winners who have now come out with a degree by scholarships given to the them by HELP University. We changed their lives.
That’s what we wanna do. As cliche as it sounds, that’s my personal motto – to make a difference in people’s life. However big, however small. If this platform gives us the opportunity to do that, then why not?
7. In your career itself, what was the best and worst advice that you’ve received?
Wow! (laughs) I’ve got lots of good ones. I’ve been blessed to have good mentors and good people inspiring me. But the one advice that’s always be given to me, and even by my parents as well, is to always stay humble and to always be down to earth. To me, humility is the most important thing.
On the other hand, I can’t think of any worst advice at the moment actually.
8. What does success mean to you?
Success to me has evolved over the years. When I just started modelling, success was making sure that I was on every cover of a magazine. And when I started my acting career, my goal was to win a Best Actress Award.
I think success is achieving what you want to achieve within that particular time frame or that particular goal. Success to me now, I find that I may not be a billionaire but I have a great family, I have two little girls now.
9. Would you actually encourage your kids to join the pageant? And what about your husband? Would he lend his support to the girls in following your footsteps?
It’s completely up to them. But I better not be running it anymore. As for my husband, he is my biggest support. He has always been there to guide me and to lift me up every time if things are not going great.
I don’t know! I think we’ve got many more years to decide before our daughters are at the age on whether they can join the pageant or not. But it’s really up to them. I think what we have to inculcate in them is education first, it’s the most important thing. And by then, they can decide what they want to do.
10. What is your advice to the Miss Universe Malaysia participants this year?
My advice for them is to be the best version of themselves. It’s not just to the girls but to everyone else out there as well, to make sure that you strive for excellence. There will be days where you will feel like you’re not good enough. But you should always know that you’re good enough and you should make sure that the best version of yourself comes out and you’re lifted with that.
11. Last but not least, what is women empowerment to you?
Women empowerment is basically lifting each other up. As women, we put other women on pedestals. We make sure that they are highly spoken of. It’s not about being a feminist or it’s not about “the males being better than the females” or anything like that. But it’s more of a balance and making sure that we are proud of our own gender and that we carry it with great pride.
Watch the full Elaine Daly interview here:
Update (Wednesday, 19th August):
Finally, the Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (MUMO) has finally revealed the ticketing details for the Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 eGala next month!
For those interested, early bird tickets are priced at RM15 for purchases made from 17th to 31st August 2020. While tickets purchased from 1st to 5th September 2020 (the finale) are available at RM20. Interestingly, 20% of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Lighthouse Children Welfare Home Association in KL and Selangor.
Tickets are now available on sale exclusively at MUMO’s official page. All you have to do is register for an account before making your purchase.