It is now been five days since the Mr Gay World 2019 Finale in Cape Town where the 41-year-old Janjep Carlos stole the show and took home the Philippines second Mr Gay World title in three years.
After a week of intensive challenges, questioning by judges and exhausting rehearsals, Janjep Carlos was crowned Mr Gay World ahead of Francisco Alvarado from Spain and Hungary’s Oliver Pusztai at the end of an epic finale in the Cape Town City Hall, famous for being the place Nelson Mandella first appeared and spoke to a nation after he was released from prison.
In those first few moments after the announcement, Carlos was congratulated by delegates, officials and many many Philippino supporters, more than thirty who travelled and attended the competition in Cape Town.
Following the congratulations and a few final photographs, Gay Nation managed to grab the winner for his first English speaking interview and we started by asking how he was feeling after the victory
“I’m alright now, it’s still not getting into my head,” an excited but drained Carlos explained to Gay Nation.
“I’m so happy that all these people in the country [Philippines] supports me and fly with me all the way here, I feel very happy.”
Throughout the week, it was clear the competition was extremely close and no one went into the finale knowing exactly who was going to win, not the least Carlos although in an interview with Gay Nation weeks before the competition, Carlos claimed that failure was not an option.
“Having competitions with these guys is very hard because they are all amazing, brilliant, and all good looking, it was a tough battle.
“I was concerned up on the top 10, because all of the questions were very hard so when my name was called to be included in the top 5 I was very happy.”
Mr Gay World consists of challenges throughout the week, some of which Mr Gay Philippines won, Written Test and National Costume and others that are a lot more challenging.
“My favourite challenge of the week was the cooking because imagine I don’t know how to cook,” Carlos laughed.
“I have never cooked for my whole life, that is the first time and the result when I tasted it, it tastes good. I was second place.
“The Sports challenge was tough because I don’t run, I usually don’t do cardio, I’m more into weights.”
Spending a whole week in the pockets of 21 other gay men can sometimes be a challenge in itself but not for our winner who praised all of his fellow delegates.
“The friendship we built together because you cannot see, in everyday life, the friendship that we built, people from all over the world, and its so amazing to be with this group.
“The closest from this group to me is Thailand [Chayodhom Samibat]. We always go together, whenever we go out, it’s like we were the best friends amongst this group.”
As the titleholder, Carlos arrived back home to a hero’s welcome at the airport, his mother Loida, his partner Richard, Kagabdahang Flores trainer Rodgil Flores, and friends from the LGBT community were all in attendance, but for our winner, he is prepared to get back to work and start using his title for change.
“Back to business but since I have a new title like this Ill be having a lot of programs and we are having programs with my advocacy, plans to share the words more in social media.”
2019 Mr Gay World Top 5
Mr Gay World: Janjep Carlos, Philippines
1st runner-up: Francisco Alvarado, Spain
2nd runner-up: Oliver Pusztai, Hungary
3rd runner-up: Chayodhom Samibat, Thailand
4th runner-up: Nick Van Vooren, Belgium