26-year-old Piotr Żyjewski is a well-educated musician, marathon runner and model, who at the end of last year was the first Pole in the history who advance to the semi-final of the Manhunt International pageant. In an interview given to Imperium Miss he talks about her impressions from Thailand, the course of the grouping and plans for the future.
Kamil Gużewski (K.G): At the beginning I would like to congratulate You on the great success of Your historic promotion to the Manhunt International TOP 16. How do you feel in the role of the first Pole with this distinction?
Piotr Żyjewski (P.Ż): Thank you very much. Of course, I am very happy and proud. It is a great honor for me, that for the first time in history, the Pole was promoted to the TOP 16 of this international beauty contest. It’s a great feeling. I am glad that the jury appreciated me in such an important competition. It is a great honor.
(K.G): Your achievement has been noticed by the most popular media in Poland, such as Radio Zet or Radio Eska. How did you react to such interest?
(P.Ż): Yes. It’s very nice. And here, above all, a big thank you to my colleague Marek Teler, who decided to inform all media about my success. I am glad that some of them wrote an article about me. This is proof that my achievement has aroused some interest in Poland.
(K.G): You are athletic, in 2016 you won the crown of Polish marathons. What do you think should characterize a good marathon runner?
(P.Ż): First of all, proper physical preparation, so that the body can withstand such effort while running. I’ve been doing the crown for almost two years, so during this time I had to keep on maintaining my high form to be ready for the next marathon. The second very important thing for me is the psyche and strong will. I have had crises on the road many times and then a strong psyche is essential. Without it, I could not finish The marathon in Wroclaw, which took place in extremely high temperatures and the body really refused to obey, so then I could only count on my head.
(K.G): I understand that as a marathon runner you have all these qualities? Did they come in handy during the reign as Manhunt Poland? What did your year look like with the title?
(P.Ż): Probably yes, even though I treated it only for recreation, I was able to prepare properly and physically and mentally. It is important to have the goal you want to achieve. And were they useful during my year as Manhunt? I do not know. Maybe yes. For sure thanks to this I was already a bit physically prepared which is very important. Mentally, it could also help me to deal with such an important role. Although these are two other industries, they have something in common.
(K.G): In November You went to Thailand where the Manhunt International pageant took place. So you had about half a year to prepare. What consumed the most time and attention?
(P.Ż): Even a little more than half a year, because I knew that I was Manhunt a little earlier than it was announced. In fact, we did not know just where and when the competition will take place because this information was announced only in September, two months before the competition.
I think that the physical preparation took place most time. Even though I trained regularly, I had to start practicing systematically before the competition and also adhere to my diet. As for mental preparation, I was constantly in touch with Jarek, who informed me literally about all the details and formalities related to the competition. So from this side I did not have any fears.
(K.G): Ladies who fly out to a grouping of international beauty contests are usually equipped with a dozen or so suitcases. What is the luggage of the candidate for Mister? What, above all, must be found in it?
(P.Ż): That’s true. I did not need so many suitcases. I had one large suitcase and hand luggage. Fortunately, in Thailand it is warm so all I needed was summer clothes, which did not take up much space in my suitcase. In fact, my national costume, which consisted of several parts, was really the most space and was really heavy. I also took with me, of course, the sportswaer, outfit and the necessary cosmetics.
(K.G): The popular saying says “every country has its own customs”. Did you notice significant differences between Thai and Polish customs during your week in Thailand?
(P.Ż): Unfortunately, only weekly. In fact, most of the time we spent in photo sessions or in a hotel at rehearsals, so we did not have so much contact with Thai culture, but what I noticed is their special way of greeting and saying goodbye. Nobody gives their hands there as in Poland, just folds hands and gently bows. So we, to respect for their culture, did the same.
(K.G): During the grouping, you had the chance to see the Golden Buddha and visit one of the local orphanages. What do you remember most about both experiences?
(P.Ż): These were two completely new experiences for me. I have never been in an orphanage or visited places of Eastern culture and religion. I will remember most of these smiling children from orphanage, which our visit made a great joy. I perfectly remember how they greeted us with dance and song, and then together we ate dinner and had fun. It was cute. On the one hand, it is a very joyful meeting, and on the other sad because I saw in what terrible conditions they live and They need a lot of help.
When it comes to the Buddha Temple, it was one of my dreams. I remember that when I walked in there I saw a great splendor and wealth. I did not know which way to look. Each temple, column or statue was refined to the smallest detail. The only drawback for me was the ban on drinking water. When we walked between the temples, it was really very hot and everyone felt thirsty. What else stuck in my mind is that you could only go barefoot to the main temple. So we had to take off our shoes and socks and we could only enter the temple grounds. We really could feel how sacred this place is for Asians.
(K.G): And how would you rate the Hotel Miramar, in which most of the grouping took place?
(P.Ż): The hotel was not the most modern, but it was nice and neat. The organizers have procured. I missed only the pool (heheh), but the hotel was in a very nice location, near China Town, in which I was three times and each time it caused different emotions in me.
(K.G): You ran your own catering company, so I will ask you for a culinary impression. How would you rate Thai cuisine? What specialties prevailed in the candidates menu?
(P.Ż): I have never been a fan of Asian cuisine and probably it will remain so, but luckily I could choose something dishes for my. For example, I really enjoyed Thai noodles with lemon grass and chicken, soup with various vegetables and coconut milk. There were of course also fish, seafood and a few completely unknown to me dishes and flavors, which I can not even name or describe, because I have no idea what products were made. Of course, there were extremely sharp dishes that Asians ate without much problem, and I could not swallow it (hehe), but I think that I can say that in many aspects Thai cuisine has surprised me very much.
(K.G): Almost forty contenders for this prestigious title participated in the Manhunt International competition. How did you find yourself in such a diverse group? Did you make any friendships?
(P.Ż): I got acclimated there very quickly. I think it is also the merit of those people who were there, because from the very beginning everyone was friendly. During the grouping we all had great contact with each other, we helped each other, we went to the gym together. I have contact with many people today. I am glad that in such a short time I could meet so many cool people and I hope that I will be able to see some of them in the future.
(K.G): What was thing with the antipathy? You could see competition, lack of confidence among competitors?
(P.Ż): Despite many legends circulating on the subject of beauty contests, I did not feel any antipathy or competition between us. Either these legends are sucked out of the finger, or this competition was unique. Like I said before. Each of us was friendly towards each other. Of course, each of us wanted the best result, but nobody did it at the expense of other people. On trips or trials we felt as if we had known each other for a very long time.
(K.G): Your predecessor said that during the grouping of Manhunt International 2016 in Shenzhen, participants had very little time to learn choreography, which was spontaneously worked out during rehearsals. What was it like in 2017?
(P.Ż): In that case in this year it was the opposite. Even sometimes we got a little angry at the organizers that we spend too much time on rehearsals and that’s why we have little free time for ourselves. Each of us wanted to take some rest, or leave the hotel and get some sightseeing or exercise at the gym.
(K.G): And is it true that you almost knock a hole in the ceiling during one of the rehearsal? How did this happen?
(P.Ż): Yes, it’s true (hehehe). And I actually broke that hole in the ceiling. They should leave her there as a souvenir after the competition. It happened quite by accident. On one of the last attempts before the final gala, I played the role of the winner, because we practiced setting up while the results were being read. In a gesture of triumph I lifted the trophy above my head, just as athletes do, but I did not predict that the ceiling was too low and I drove the trophy to the ceiling. Fortunately, I did not damage it, but the whole situation was very funny.
(K.G): During the pre-elimination, you performed in a national costume referring to the clothes of Jan III Sobieski King. How would you rate your costume?
(P.Ż): I liked my costume very much, even though it was terribly hot in it. It is difficult to decide what costume to choose, but I knew that against the background of Asian costumes, all others fall out pale, so I did not want to leave them too much. That’s why we were looking for the most elegant costume for me. When I saw this, I knew immediately that I had to perform in it. To my surprise, costume very much liked Asians. Maybe because they are used to a completely different aesthetics and when their costumes were somewhat similar to each other, it was mine that stood out completely and that’s what we wanted. Although I suffered a bit in it during a few-hour session in the hot air, it was worth it.
(K.G): You gained the stage experience thanks to musical performances not only in Poland, but also abroad, including in Denmark or USA. Has the experience helped for your performance during the Manhunt International final?
(P.Ż): I think yes, although it is a completely different industry, but I really like the stage, I like performing in front of the audience and I did not have any fears about going to the catwalk during the final gala. I did not feel any stress, even though I knew that it was recorded, broadcast on the Internet all over the world, that my relatives watched that I had the pressure of the role I play there. I felt only great excitement and with each subsequent time when I presented myself on stage, I had even more pleasure from it. It really is an amazing feeling.
Piotr Żyjewski Manhunt Poland 2017 i jego saksofon#manhuntpoland #manhuntinternational #mister #piotrzyjewski #poland #polishmodel #zarchiwummiss
Opublikowany przez Manhunt Poland Niedziela, 15 października 2017
(K.G): Let’s stay a moment with music. You are a graduate of music schools, you play the saxophone, now you record material for the first album. Did you have a chance to present your musical talent during the grouping?
(P.Ż): Unfortunately, no. As I said before, most of the time we spent either outside the hotel on photo shoots, or already in a hotel at rehearsals and there was not much opportunity for it. I also do not belong to people who want to brag about something, so just as there was no opportunity, I did not lean out.
(K.G): For the first time in the history of Manhunt International, Poland was read as a country advancing to TOP 16. How did you react to this verdict?
(P.Ż): The first thing I felt was relief. It can be seen even on one of the videos as I raised my head and breathed a sigh. Seriously, the stone fell from my heart. I really wanted to be promoted to TOP16. I knew how many people believe in me and see my chances. I also knew how everyone is waiting for Poland’s first success and silently counting on maybe this time it will succeed. I wanted to do it for them. I am happy that I succeeded and that I was appreciated by the jury.
(K.G): It seems that the organizers of Manhunt International like to shock theirs verdicts. 2016 – win by Patrik Sjöö, and 2017 – by the only Asians in TOP 5. What was said about the verdict in the lobby?
(P.Ż): After the final gala, we discussed a little with each other. We were surprised by the verdict. I had completely different types on TOP5 and almost everyone had the same as me, so the jury actually surprised us. Of course, I do not want to downplay the success of my colleagues because I think they deserved it too, but nobody expected such a result.
(K.G): And what would You rate Truong Ngoc Tinh – the winner of the Manhunt International 2017 evaluate?
(P.Ż): I remember it well during this whole week. He met all the criteria to be able to win. And although his victory was also a big surprise for many people and for me, I think that he fully deserves this title. I follow his actions and I see that he perfectly fulfills himself in this role. Also big congratulations for him.
(K.G): Finally, the question about further plans: what can we expect from Piotr Żyjewski in the near future?
(P.Ż): I do not know myself till the end (hehe). I have many plans and I hope that I can achieve them. In the near future should appear one of my songs, which has already been recorded, and then anothers. Currently, I’m still working on the material for the album and preparing for future concerts.
(K.G): Thank you very much for the interview and good luck!
(P.Ż): I also thank you very much.
PHOTOS. Manhunt Poland (5), Michał Ignar (2), Missosology (1)