Mr World 2010 Wraps Up 16-Day Contest
By Lee Hyo-won
INCHEON ― Ireland's Kamal Ibrahim was named Mr World 2010 at the contest's finale at Sondo ConvensiA, Saturday.
The Czech Republic's Josef Karas was runner-up and Nigeria's Kenneth Okolie was second runner-up.
The competition was designed to find ``the world's most desirable man'' ― someone not only tall and good-looking, but also intelligent and amiable. During the 16-day journey in Korea, the three winners had stood out from the others for their sense of leadership and camaraderie toward their fellow contestants.
The grand finale opened with a graceful Korean traditional fan dance and energetic taekwondo performances. The 74 national representations were introduced, and the three presenters for the evening ― actors Lee Da-hae and Julien Kang, and British pop star Alesha Dixon ― took the stage.
Dixon hyped up the crowd of some 1,500 singing her smash hit ``The Boy Does Nothing,'' and the first part of the event culminated with the announcement of the 15 semifinalists.
The show continued with Girls' Generation. The top K-pop group, dressed in white and orange as cheerful cheerleaders, sang their hit dance songs ``Oh'' and ``Gee'' to an excited audience, which included many vocal young fans. The numerous VIP guests from near and far, including Angola's charge d'affaires to Korea, Alfredo Dombe, looked on with smiles.
Tenor Paul Potts also stole the show with breathtaking renditions of classics, including ``Nessun Dorma'' from the opera ``Turandot.'' Applause erupted as the audience ― including the judges who seemed to take a break from keeping tabs on the contestants ― reacted with a standing ovation.
The air in the hall was tense, however, as the semifinalist group was narrowed down to five. Many in the audience were disappointed with the elimination of Korea's Yoo Ji-kwang, who had earned the fast-track to the top 15 by winning the talent show. The contestants from India, Greece, Germany and Guadeloupe, among others, expressed regret when Dixon announced the top five.
The top five included, in addition to the winning representatives of Ireland, Czech Republic and Nigeria, the Netherlands' Honza Filipi and Lebanon's Abdul Rahman El Balaa.
The evening came to a close as Julia Morley, chairperson of the Miss World Organization, co-organizer of the event with The Hankook Ilbo-Korea Times Media Group, announced the winners starting with third place.
After Nigeria and the Czech Republic were announced as runners-up, Ireland's Ibrahim held his fellow contestants, tightly and then broke into a smile when he heard ``Ireland.''
``I feel a bit numb right now at the moment, it really hasn't sunk in yet,'' the 24-year-old told the press after receiving his trophy.
``I came hoping to make the top 15, that was my goal,'' he continued. ``I think pride is the strongest feeling right now; I keep thinking of my country, my family, my girlfriend.''
The Czech, Karas congratulated the new Mr World, saying he possessed everything required of the title ― physical strength and stamina, intelligence and character. Showing a photo of his late mother, Karas said he wanted to share the glory with her.
The winner is entitled to a cash prize of $50,000 and various engagements with the Miss World Organization.