From the South Is­land to South Africa

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - RICKY DEVINE WHITE

As you are read­ing this, I will be fly­ing to South Africa to com­pete for the ti­tle of Mr Gay World 2018. Ac­tu­ally say­ing that aloud brings up feel­ings of ex­cite­ment and nerves com­bined.

Since be­ing crowned Mr Gay NZ in Fe­bru­ary, it feels as if I am reach­ing a mile­stone when it comes to ad­vo­cacy for the New Zealand LGBTQI+ com­mu­nity.

As I was say­ing the fi­nal farewells to friends and fam­ily, the ma­jor­ity of the ad­vice was to go and en­joy it. How­ever, I con­sider my com­pet­i­tive­ness much like a silent as­sas­sin; qui­etly am­bi­tious but ex­tremely deadly.

I will def­i­nitely en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence, but I am also go­ing with the mind­set of be­ing open to learn­ing, shar­ing what a won­der­ful coun­try New Zealand is and then, of course, com­ing home with the win would be amaz­ing, too.

There are many ways that you can come on the jour­ney with me, ei­ther through check­ing out my Face­book page, or by sub­scrib­ing to the Mr Gay World YouTube chan­nel which will have videos posted daily of what the con­tes­tants are do­ing as well as in­ter­views with the delegates.

Here is a deeper ex­pla­na­tion of what the ex­pec­ta­tions are with re­gards to the judg­ing cri­te­ria:

Sports Chal­lenge (10 per cent):

Th­ese could be ob­sta­cle cour­ses, sports or games. Scor­ing will be based on how well you ad­dress the in­di­vid­ual or group tasks.

Pho­to­genic (5 per cent):

Con­tes­tants will take part in a photo shoot with a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher to prove their pho­to­genic side. This will in­clude swimwear and ca­sual beach wear.

Writ­ten Test (15 per cent):

This in­volves ques­tions re­gard­ing the lan­guage and his­tory of LGBTQI+ in South Africa as well as knowl­edge of world LGBTQI+ his­tor­i­cal events.

Per­sonal In­ter­view (15 per cent):

Con­sider this the op­por­tu­nity to speak with the judges in per­son. The in­ter­view is a chance to show ‘‘in­ner beauty’’ and char­ac­ter. This should be con­sid­ered like a job in­ter­view.

So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity Cam­paign (5 per cent):

Pre­pare and ex­e­cute a cam­paign for the ben­e­fit of the LGBTQI+ com­mu­nity (lo­cal, na­tional or global im­pact). The jury will judge the ben­e­fit for the com­mu­nity, the use of the me­dia and the global spread of the cam­paign.

So­cial Me­dia Task (10 per cent):

Con­tes­tants will be scored on how ac­tively they pro­mote them­selves and the Mr Gay World brand.

On­line Vote (5 per cent):

Each con­tes­tant has sub­mit­ted a video mes­sage view­able by all. The jury will judge it for im­pact and qual­ity. Points will be scored on the num­ber of times your video has been liked and shared.

Qual­ity and Con­tent of the Video (5 per cent):

The video will be eval­u­ated as to the in­for­ma­tion re­layed to the viewer.

Swimwear (10 per cent):

This will be dis­played in pho­to­shoots and on the run­way.

For­mal Wear (5 per cent):

This will be dis­played in pho­to­shoots and at the grand fi­nale.

Na­tional Cos­tume (5 per cent):

To be worn in the grand fi­nale on Satur­day. It should be a cos­tume that rep­re­sents some­thing about your coun­try and where you are from. It should evoke na­tion­al­ism and the cul­ture and/or iden­tity of your coun­try that you want to por­tray.

If you make the top 10 or top 5, there will be a fi­nal ques­tion round with a very large audi- ence. This is con­sid­ered the pub­lic speak­ing as­sess­ment por­tion of the judg­ing.

Need­less to say, I have been pre­par­ing for all of the above to the best of my abil­ity. It has meant that this past week has been crazy and I haven’t had much time to spend with peo­ple that I care about the most.

To ev­ery­one that has sup­ported me this far; friends, fam­ily, lo­cals, the wider New Zealand com­mu­nity, the me­dia, End­ing HIV NZ, Thomas’s Marl­bor­ough, World, 2EROS, Crane Brothers, Eikon Mag and many more ... Thank you.

The vot­ing closes on May 26, so keep click­ing. See you when I get home, with an even big­ger smile.

PHOTO: ADENA TEKA

Ricky Devine White has said his good­byes to fam­ily and friends. Next Satur­day, he will be at the Mr Gay World grand fi­nale in South Africa.

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