SHAH ALAM - It takes a lot of mental and physical strength to be a beauty queen and the Miss Universe Malaysia 2014's finalists have confessed that some of their greatest fears include disappointing their family and friends, and falling down.
One of them, Kuching lass Kausalya Ida, 25, said she was afraid she would not be able to "come out of my shell" during their intensive training programme, which would be filmed as a reality show.
"I fear not performing the best I can," the law student told reporters at Duta Villa yesterday, where the top 19 finalists vying for next year's sash and crown were introduced.
Elaine Wong, 22, from Sibu, admitted she feared tripping over her five-inch high heels during the runway walks.
"Going through the beauty camp is great but I have a very deep fear that I will disappoint my family and friends," said the business and commerce student.
Lalitha Monisha, 21, a law graduate from Sabah, said her biggest fear was how she would be portrayed to the television audience during the Miss Universe Malaysia reality show.
"My greatest fear is being caught on camera when I'm not in my best light," she said.
Sabrina Beneett, 23, who is also Miss India Malaysia 2013 second runner-up, said she had worked very hard to be a Miss Universe Malaysia finalist.
"It has taken me so long to join this. It would crush me if I didn't give 200 per cent at all times," she said.
Penang lass Kim Goh, 23, an accounting student, expressed fear that she would not be able to come out of her comfort zone while psychology student Lyn Lim, 24, said she would need to overcome her fear of public speaking.
The other finalists are Cheryll Ho, Cynthia Chan, Denise Th'ng, Foong Tsin, Hema Gayathiry, Jean Lim, Karina Grewal, Livonia Ricky, Nicole Aldeth, Patricia Lee, Ramona Kanapathy, Shangkharee Nadarajan and Vivian Chew.
Miss Universe Malaysia pageant adviser and mentor Elaine Daly said 21 finalists had been selected but two chose to drop out after they were told what to expect during the training programme.
"My greatest fear is not being able to help these girls realise their full potential.
"I'm putting them through very hard challenges because I want them to be able to endure the international arena," said the former beauty queen, who took the title in 2003.
Selected from over 3,000 applicants nationwide, they will go through a gruelling three-week programme which will be filmed and aired over five episodes on 8TV at 9.30pm every Thursday, starting from Nov 14 until Dec 12.
The winner, to be selected on the gala night on Dec 19, will go on to represent Malaysia in next year's Miss Universe competition.
Miss Malaysia Universe 2013 Carey Ng is set to fly to Moscow on Oct 20 for the 62nd Miss Universe pageant.