It has been a year since Hethwen Vertaus (heth) started Metaverse Pageantry’s first attempt at a “fair and fun” event and little has changed. As the competition once again opens its doors with a new promise to a new year, I write once again to warn those interested in the faux crown. There were indicators from the last that had I brushed aside as something no one would dare think about but looking back, I wished I had seen them sooner. The changes that were supposedly made this year came from “learning through trial and error” after the critical outcry from its former contestants, as posted in The Truth Hurts Metaverse Pageantry.
The first and biggest change since the previous year is the removal of posting scores and judges comments publicly. As of January 12th, 2014, the controversial scores from the previous year was eventually taken down from the Metaverse Pageantry website. Those scores were never officially completed or posted as promised. Another change is the lack of the relatively clean-slate requirement for contestants. Due to last year’s relaxed rules in the middle of the pageant after Heth sent out a nude picture of his avatar in the pageant group, this one seems to have been thrown out altogether. There has also been no mention of liaisons for this year to assist and/or hinder contestants.
Last but not least, has there been any mention of prizes? None, you say? No surprise there after last year’s debate on where all of the prize linden and estates really went to. No accountability equals no way of knowing where the gracious sponsors’ donations disappeared. The page describing each winner’s prize was taken down so no one would be able to tally it all up and see the flaws.
And now a look at this year’s pageant information. This is a mix of old and new indicators that I wish I had seen sooner and now look for anytime I see a contest advertisement. No matter how good looking the prize may be, it is the price you pay that determines if it is worth fighting for. Keep this in mind always.
“Anyone may compete provided that they are in good standing with the pageant system and did not win previously.”
Also meaning anyone who has yet to challenge any of the judges, pageant owners, or friends and ‘family’ of theirs.
“Candidates will be assigned a specific day to compete in preliminary competition. All preliminary dates are either on Tuesday or Thursday at 1:00pm SLT. Failure to make your schedule preliminary competition date will result in automatic disqualification.”
This sounds more like the candidates will have no say on their assigned date/time meaning candidates will have no choice but to accept or face instant disqualification. No weekend dates also means less time available for those who have a weekday job and live in a conflicting time zone.
“The first category of preliminary competition is – Interview. Contestants will come into a secret location and sit with the judges for an interview. Candidates will discuss a variety of topics with the judges. To gain top scores in this category you MUST show us who you are. We want to know the REAL person behind the avatar… how you think… what you feel… what is important to you… etc.. Style your attire as you would for any professional job interview. Interviews will be conducted on Skype ONLY and you will be required to use Skype and have a Skype account set up prior to start so that we may add you to the call for your interview. It is not required to voice. You may type your answers but voice is preferred. If you do not speak English you may arrange your own translator (person of your choice) to accompany you to your interview who will translate your answers into English.”
Good on their part for allowing those who do not want to voice in Skype but to force everyone into Skype and not have the option use the in-world voice or chat shows insecurity from the pageant itself. As for expressing the ‘real you’ to someone who you do not know and will never really know, that can overstep many people’s personal boundaries for a simple contest. I remember quite clearly being asked by Heth, who knew beforehand that I was military, what my stance was on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy being revoked. He apparently did not seem to like my answer that I did not care about it since I see everyone equally anyways and therefor it had no direct impact on myself or coworkers. Maybe I am more fortunate than most to have had friends of all sexual standings and not seen any problems with and/or about them but that is a whole different story from this one.
“Following each date of the preliminary competitions, the candidates who advance to the finals will NOT be announced. The Finalists who will compete in the finals will be announced LIVE at the finals on the final day of competition.”
This has so many redundant ‘finals’ in it that it can be confusing but basically it means that on the final day of the preliminaries, they will then announce those that made it to the Finals. That only gives those who will attend the last preliminary date less than 3 days to prepare for the Finals date.
“If you make it into the finals you will receive a teleport into the venue. The venue will be closed to the public that day and no one is permitted to be on the sim except judges and finalists. This will ensure that the finalists have the maximum ability to move and have a fair chance to complete.”
This will also ensure that only a select few will be able to see how well each contestant did in comparison to themselves. Also note that there is no definitive number of how many contestants will make it to the Finals. This is mostly in part for the pageant owners not knowing how many or how few contestants they will receive.
“Following the Theme Categories of the finals we will call those who made it into the Top Five positions. All other finalists will be require to exit the sim. The Top Five Finalists will then be asked one last question on stage and provide an answer. This answer will be the sole determination of who earns the positions of Mr. and Miss Metaverse 2014.”
Again, limiting the amount of people who see how well a contestant does to determine the winner. This only compounds the probability of a rigged pageant.
“*** You MUST Join the Metaverse Pageantry SL group. Copy/Paste the link below into your local chat and then simply click to join the group.
You MUST be in this group to participate. Winners and top 5 MUST agree to remain in the group for the entire year. If for any reason the winner(s) cannot fulfill their responsibilities to Metaverse Pageantry, they will agree to step down and allow the first runner up to assume the responsibilities.”
Oh boy, here we go again. The previous year required every single contestant to stay in the group to retain their title. Will this mean that the many contestants who were stripped of their titles due to leaving the group last year would have them back again, ‘officially’?
“Finalists for the Mr and Miss Metaverse Pageant are required to compete in a private (closed) rehearsal (Contestant Appearance) anytime within the 3 days prior to the final show. This will enable us to cover where each finalist will stand and move on stage for the finals. The categories listed below are judged categories. Point deductions may occur for finalists missing scheduled appointments or not following the guidelines they are given.”
So is this a sneaky round added in that is not an official round but still counts? How awkward and vague of them.
“If for any reason the winner cannot fulfill their obligations, the first runner-up will become Mr or Miss Metaverse. By entering this contest and submitting your application you agree to all of the above. You also agree to grant full permissions to Hethwen, Cacilia (Cassie) McMaster and to Metaverse Pageanrty to use all materials that you present on all levels to use on all future dates including; Pictures, biographies, statements, etc.. When you submit a picture to MVP you must have FULL rights to allow us to use them on all future dates in any form we wish. If you do not own it, do not use it.”
THIS is by far the worst part of them all. By granting them full permission to use any pictures, statements, biographies (really?) and whatnot just by going to the auditions and through the course of the pageant, you are giving them everything. Literally everything! Your pictures and any snapshots they take of you, even without you knowing, will be used for anything they want in the future and for as long as they want. If you have left the contest, they will still try to use them. However, you can still file DMCA reports to have those pictures taken down from Flickr, Facebook and any other websites they use them on.
“We reserve the right to change this notice at any time.”
Oh and you cannot forget this itty bitty line at the very bottom of their notices. Last year the rules and expectations changed time and time again… And this allows them to do it and get away with it. Who knows what will be changed after this posting, for better or for worse.
So, would you really want to enter any contest with those stipulations? The prize is still not worth the cost in both time and money; especially when there is no prize to be found.
It is also worth noting that while Heth had his hands in the BLVD agency and the Miss Virtual World pageant and academy, those were merely side projects in comparison to his main interests.
“Metaverse Modeling Academy, Metaverse Magazine, Haute Monde Agency, and Metaverse Pageantry are divisons of METAVERSE & Co. We are not affiliated with any other organization, school or pageant. We reserve the right to change this notice at any time. We reserve the right to exclude anyone we deem inappropriate for our services. All general inquiries and questions should be sent to Hethwen Resident.
METAVERSE is the foundation of the Metaverse conglomeration. METAVERSE owns The Haute Monde Modeling Agency, Metaverse Modeling Academy, Metaverse Pageantry (the Mr & Miss Metavserse Pageants), Metaverse Magazine, Modeling It Forward, and the SL Academy of Fashion Arts and Sciences [SAFAS]”