After making the headlines in 2018 with some of its own pageant hopefuls winning in international beauty contests, The People’s Queen has debuted this April on Southeast Asia’s leading streaming platform, iflix.
The People’s Queen has been called a cross between Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and America’s Next Top Model. The show follows media celebrities Cecilio Asuncion and Voltaire Tayag as they challenge five of the top Filipino pageant hopefuls in their quests for international titles. In the show, Cecilio and Voltaire are not simply shaping the perfect beauty queen; they’re creating The People’s Queen.
The five pageant hopefuls in The People’s Queen are Nikita McElroy, a biracial beauty confronting her bullied past; Katrina Dimaranan, who spent years focusing on the needs of her immigrant family and may have missed her chance for an international crown; 15-year-old Jenny Levy, a pageant newbie who may be too rough around the edges; overly shy Michelle Thorlund who must break out of her shell if she hopes to compete at the Miss Philippines pageant; and Katarina Rodriguez, a runner-up on Asia’s Next Top Model and former Miss Intercontinental Philippines.
By the time the show aired on ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC) and Myx TV in October last year, Katrina has won 1st runner-up at the Miss Supranational 2018 in Poland and Katarina was crowned Miss World Philippines in Manila.
“The People’s Queen is a show that will resonate well with the Philippine audience, especially with the recent slew of Filipinas bringing home the crown. It has become a source of pride and ray of hope for our country. We are all curious to see what truly makes a beauty queen. Offering shows like this is part of iflix’s direction towards delivering localized content to each of our markets,” said Georgette Tengco, Head of Content and Marketing of iflix Philippines.
“Working on this deal has been an amazing journey for us at M&R Marketing. During our initial conversations with Thigh High Productions, the producer of the show, we knew we needed a partner with strong presence and influence in Southeast Asia. Upon reviewing a variety of strategies, we decided to focus all of our resources and energy on building a relationship with the most qualified candidate. iflix seemed to be the most qualified partner and their acquisition team did a great job in helping us understand how a deal with them would give us the most amount of exposure in the region. We hope this deal proves to the start of a long and productive relationship among the parties,” said Bobby Akbaroff of M&R Marketing.
“The pageant community is looking to redefine its role in an era of female empowerment and gender equality,” Asuncion explains. His history with the pageant system extends to before he was even born. His grandmother was Miss Manila. Today, Asuncion is the Director of Slay Model Management, the world’s first all-Transgender model agency and National Director of Miss Supranational USA. He judged the Miss Universe 2017 pageant in Las Vegas and hosted the 2018 Miss Teen USA pageant in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“In order to triumph, pageant contestants are required to dig deep within their souls, confront unresolved personal issues and overcome self-doubt,” says Tayag, another pageant veteran. He was a fashion designer before turning his passion and expertise into becoming a pageant journalist and trainer. A stickler for traditional training techniques, Tayag often butts heads with Asuncion and his less conventional training methods in the show.
“Pageant queens were never born, they’ve always been made,” Asuncion contends. “Where we used to build a queen with external make-overs, it’s internal transformations that win titles today. It’s simply not enough to be a beauty queen anymore. Pageant hopefuls must strive to be The People’s Queen.”
ABS-CBN Global COO Olivia De Jesus is executive producer for The People’s Queen along with ABS-CBN North and Latin America Managing Director Jun Del Rosario, John Lazatin and Glenn Meehan, whose previous executive producer credits include the long-running TLC reality series, Little People, Big World. The People’s Queen is ABS-CBN International’s first foray into a reality show in English with an all-Asian American cast beyond its Myx TV channel. ABS-CBN is the largest Filipino media and entertainment company in the world.
iflix is the leading entertainment service for Southeast Asia with the widest and most compelling selection of TV shows, movies, hyper local originals, premium live sports and up-to-the-minute news from around the world, to stream or download, on any internet connected device wherever, whenever. iflix now offers users two exceptional experiences through its iflixFREE and iflixVIP offerings. iflix is currently available to consumers in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Maldives, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Morocco.