Not Miss World, but Queen of Satire?

A month after Miss World 2011, Malta's representative Claire Marie Busuttil resurfaces as a satirical meme.

Claire Marie Busuttil, 22, represented Malta at Miss World 2011, held on 6 November at Earls Court, London.
Claire Marie Busuttil, 22, represented Malta at Miss World 2011, held on 6 November at Earls Court, London.

Even a month after she participated in Miss World 2011 - held at  Earls Court, London on 6 November - Malta's representative in the long-running international beauty contest remains committed to the - it seems - ambassadorial weight attached to the role, which has come into focus once again thanks to online videos of her interview with the pageant's judges, which have gained popularity online... and not always for entirely positive reasons.

"It was unforgettable. It took a lot of hard work, but it was all worth it," Claire Marie Busuttil, 22, said.

While the final award went to Venezuelan Ivian Sarcos, Busuttil is grateful for having had the opportunity to participate in the competiton.

"It was a huge honour - and not many girls can say that they've been through the same experience, so I'm proud of that, it's a great honour. It's also a great responsibility, because I am still Malta's representative for Miss World 2011, and I need to show that..."

Busuttil's interview with the judges - in which participants are asked to open up about what makes them tick as people - has been attracting attention online ever since it was posted on YouTube, with a few local 'satire outlets' like Satiristan and Bis-Serjeta mocking the model's earnest, sometimes garbled monologue.

Singling out 'determination' and 'motivation' as adjectives that adequately describe her, Busuttil then goes on to speak about her "passion for Asian culture" (informed by her day job as a sushi chef), expressing a desire to help the tsunami victims somehow, while also rhapsodising on her love of birds.

The reaction to the video was reminiscent of the global internet furore sparked off by a particularly incoherent monologue by Miss Teen USA contestant Caitlin Upton in 2007 (albeit on a - so far - much smaller scale).

But while Busuttil's less than perfect diction, and somewhat strange tangents, have opened her up for (often cruel) nitpicking, she claims that it all comes from a genuine place, partly because it appears that the contest itself appeared to be making an effort to get rid of certain pageant clichés.

"None of it was rehearsed. The judges told us they didn't want to hear about us going on about world peace, they just wanted to know about us, as people. They told us to not be shy and do our best to be sociable, and to speak from our hearts..."

And it would appear that this earnestness has not gone unnoticed. Writing for the BBC's Point of View weekly feature, Mary Beard - Professor of Classics at Cambridge - was pleasantly surprised by this year's edition of the pageant, which she protested against with glee during its early years, when it was little more than "a human cattle market".

"This year, the organisers assured us, roughly three-quarters of the hundred-and-something young women taking part were university graduates or studying for degrees, and the ambitions they spoke of were nothing like the old beauty contest cliché of 'my ambition is to travel and start a family'."

And sure enough, Busuttil listed many ambitions - from the artistic (musical theatre) to the academic and professional (a medical-cum-science degree) and even linguistic: her infatuation with Asian culture extends to a desire to learn Japanese - but she doesn't seem to be in too much a hurry to start a family or settle down with a beau. 


Such experiences need one to be well prepared. It is evident in this short clip that the Maltese participant did not have anyone to coach her for this interview and that she did not rehearse her short speech before. In short, she was being a true Maltese, that is, an amateur and extremely unprofessional.
Well, the Maltese one is not blond but the queen of DITZ would suit her better. Whilst Miss Carlina should be fed to the tigresses in Africa. God knows how Africa got into the equation anyway...Both are pretty but idiotic.
What is all the fuss and mockery going on about here? Admittedly, Miss Busuttil was not outstanding in her interview but, in the circumstances, she did quite well, taking into consideration that giving interviews to the foreign media is something she does not do on a regular basis. Besides, although for us Maltese, English is our second language, it is still not our natural language. We, the majority of us at least, who speak English fluently still do not speak the language all day long. We have a tendency to reason things out in Maltese before transmitting the words in English and therefore, for most, this is a language barrier. But still, it is important that before we insult we get our facts right. Seated in front of interviewing foreign panel with the Video cameras blaring is no easy feat even for the experienced. So come on people, don’t try to be smarter than smart and in the process ending to be puerile and offensive
Joseph Pace
I'm sorry to have suffered through a minute of this interview... it's pathetic