MISTER SUPRANATIONAL 2016: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

ROMANIA – Catalin Brinza.  Too bad we won’t be able to see his Mask routine again as it seems this pageant eliminated the talent segment in its itinerary of activities.  He’s a solid, buffed contender, but I don’t think his grim facial expressions charmed the ladies enough to make inroads into the Top 20.

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SLOVAKIA – Karol Kotlar.  If we talk about merit, I would’ve put this guy in the bottom of the pack, especially with that scrawny body of his (this is how Philippines looked in 2015).  But he has an ace that can ensure there is a slot for him in the Top 20–his country hosted some activities for this pageant (though it involves a grueling 11-hour bus ride each way between his country and Poland).  Don’t discount politics and gratitude for co-hosting ties, even if you have misgivings about him.  This country is capable of fielding hunky contenders like what we see in Mister International and Manhunt International over the years, why did they field this pipsqueak?

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SPAIN – Jose de Haro.  Here is another scruffy handsome guy with a man-bun.  Between him and Peru, I’m more bullish on his prospects of advancing to the Top 20 (and possibly Top 10).  But then I heard some insider stories of clashes involving him and some key pageant personnel so I don’t know if that will hurt his chances.

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SRI LANKA – Shan Fernando.  He’s not as charismatic as India, but he does have a buff bod and swarthy sex appeal going for him.  I bet Asha Bhatt‘s presence in the judging panel would also boost his prospects.

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SURINAME – Roche Kioe-A-Sen.  Now, here’s a guy who is out of his league in this group.  While his female counterpart just delivered this country its best finish in any major international pageant, for most pageant fans and pundits (including myself) he brings in the rear.  Sure some might see a resemblance to Filipino-Canadian singer/comedian Mikey Bustos (with hair) and to his credit he has a buffed bod, but his exotic features are clearly a very acquired taste.

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Mikey Bustos (courtesy of his own Twitter account)
Mikey Bustos (courtesy of his own Twitter account)

SWEDEN – Ali Ghafori.  He’s good-looking and memorable for his pompadour.  But his key disadvantage is that he is one of the shorter guys in this competition (though if you see the James Bond / Charlie’s Angel challenge photo, at least his pompadour helped him keep up with the tall ladies).

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SWITZERLAND – Fabio Emanuel.  See MALTA.

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THAILAND – “Rome” Phanuphong Wanthamat.  I find him very appealing, but like the Philippines, the question is–does he have fit European, Latin American, and Indian tastes?  I’m actually a bit more bullish on his prospects over our own AR dela Cerna, but it’s still a 50-50 prospect.

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TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – AJ (Adam Josef).  Here is another guy who I suspect is handpicked by the organizers to represent a country of his heritage–if you watch his profile video on the website, he noted he was born in the US and moved to Poland when he was five.  I think he got Trinidad & Tobago because of his ancestry/heritage.  The things going for him are his great communication skills and his beefy buffed physique.  But he doesn’t have facial appeal for me.  Still, I will not be surprised if he makes the final cut–though pageant fans and pundits all over will then scratch their heads.

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UNITED KINGDOM – Rex Newmark.  He resembles to me like an odd fusion of action star Jason Statham and former Communards/Bronski Beat singer Jimmy Somerville.  If you aware of who those two people are, their personas are such polar opposites–but then again, remember that Jason Statham appeared as a skimpily clad dancer in early-1990s club videos for The Shamen and Erasureso he may not be as distant to Jimmy Somerville as he may now project).  He seems to have a bright spark about him and his beefy bod is enviable, but I don’t know if he has enough appeal to make the final cut.

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Jason Statham (image courtesy of Universal Pictures)
Jimmy Somerville, circa 1980s (image courtesy of polarimagazine.com)

UNITED STATES – Walker Barnes.  He’s undeniably a wavy-haired boyish cutie, and that could be enough for him to make the Top 20.  Will his brother join him there?

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VENEZUELA – Gustavo Acevedo.  When I look at his eyes, I was bugged as it looked like he piled on eye makeup on them.  But more pictures reveal they are natural and it dawned on me it’s similar to Zac Efron‘s eyes.  Well, Zac is now regarded as one of the world’s hottest hunks, and that can help bolster his cause, and he looks a serious Top Five possibility.

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Zac Efron (image courtesy of eonline.com)

All images courtesy of Leonardo Rodrigues for Mister Supranational unless otherwise indicated.

Now that all 37 contestants are accounted for, here’s how the leaderboard looks like:

TOP CONTENDERS:  BELARUS, BRAZIL, INDIA, POLAND, VENEZUELA

SHOO-INS:  CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, PUERTO RICO

LIKELIEST:  ANGOLA, ETHIOPIA, FRANCE, JAPAN, MEXICO, PANAMA, PHILIPPINES, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, THAILAND, UNITED STATES

HOST COUNTRY FACTOR:  SLOVAKIA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

ALTERNA-CUTENESS FACTOR: HAWAII

EXCELLENT: ARGENTINA, BELGIUM, CANADA, NETHERLANDS, ROMANIA, SWEDEN

VERY STRONG:  CHINA, EGYPT, MALTA, SWITZERLAND, UNITED KINGDOM

STRONG:  PARAGUAY

VERY GOOD:  FINLAND

GOOD:  SURINAME

So here’s my “Fearful” forecast:

TOP FIVE:  BELARUS, BRAZIL, INDIA, POLAND, VENEZUELA

TOP TEN:  CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, MEXICO, PUERTO RICO, SPAIN

TOP 20:  ANGOLA, ETHIOPIA, FRANCE, HAWAII, JAPAN, PANAMA, SLOVAKIA, SRI LANKA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, UNITED STATES

BUBBLING UNDER:  PHILIPPINES, THAILAND

STRIKING DISTANCE:  ARGENTINA, BELGIUM, CANADA, NETHERLANDS, ROMANIA, SWEDEN

i’m so rooting for this pageant to succeed.  I hope that insider stories I hear are growing pains that the organization can address and resolve for future editions.  Best of luck to all the guys.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

 

 

MISTER SUPRANATIONAL 2016: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 2)

HAWAII – Fletcher Barnes.  He was a last-minute entrant, and if you see his name, you may find the reason why–I think he is the US representative’s brother, who proabably accompanied him to look after him, and then was persuaded by the Mister Supranational organizers to compete as “Mr. Hawaii” as they find him cute enough to go head-to-head with the guys here.  Well, he’s obviously raw and is perhaps the shortest contestant in this pageant.  He might end up the “little-alterna-cutie-that-could”.

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INDIA – Jitesh Naresh Thakur.  His female counterpart just won Miss Supranational (a second win for India).  This guy ticks all the boxes and has oodles of desirability and charisma to win it all–but I have a feeling he may have a key obstacle with the presence of Belarus and there is a possibility of Sri Lanka stealing some of his thunder–but then with the presence of Miss Supranational 2014 Asha Bhatt in the judging panel, I have this feeling he might sustain the Indian male pageant domination that began with Rohit Khandelwal’s victory in Mister World.

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JAPAN – Ricky Wakabayashi.  For the East/Southeast Asian contingent, this guy seems to be generating the strongest buzz and will likely follow his female counterpart into the Top 20.

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MALTA – Neil Scerri.  He is a good-looking scruffy dude, but there are so many of them that simply being good-looking may not be enough–it’s easy to dismiss him as “just-another-pretty-face”.  Others have ramped up in the charisma department, just like…

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MEXICO – Diego Garcy.  He has made a major splash in the early proceedings, but it seems there is a threat to his prospects as I’ve heard of insider reports of clashes between him and some key personnel of the pageant, which may result with him being toppled from his front-runner status.  Such a shame if that talk is true.

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NETHERLANDS – Rico Mallee.  He reportedly is enjoying his experience immensely in this pageant.  That might help him advance to the Top 20.  Another thing I’ll remember most about him is his derring-do to wear the skimpiest Speedo amongst these guys.

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PANAMA – Michael Piggott.  Though we have contenders from Africa, the darkest skinned representative is this guy.  He epitomizes the concept of “Dark Chocolate”, and I can imagine girls being drawn to him and recall how dark chocolate…has antioxidants and can lower blood pressure.  I think he’s a shoo-in for the Top 20 with prospects of making the Top 10 and beyond.

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PARAGUAY – Alexandre Kuhnen.  While Brazil resembles a more slender version of WIlliam Levy with dark hair, this guy is like a scrawny, awkward relative.

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William Levy (image sourced from malecelebnews.com)

PERU – Alejandro Paz-Lopez.  At least he doesn’t look like Professor Snape like the way he did in his Manhunt International stint, as he grew back his beard and held his long hair in a man-bun.  It did improve his appeal, but I’m not certain if it is enough to improve on his standing in this pageant.  I visited the voting page and noticed he seemed to have the most votes until his picture was taken down (was there automated fraud involved?).  I’ll rate him a worthwhile contender.  UPDATE:  It seems he withdrew from the pageant–wonder what was the cause?

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PHILIPPINES – AR de la Cerna.  I have to commend him for improving himself from his stint on Misters 2015: The Pageant, where he was initally a Top Ten semifinalist (and then promoted to first runner-up after the organization split).  But even with improvements, one would still wonder–does he have the qualities that appeal to European, Latin American, and Indian females?  I know if it’s held in the Philippines or anywhere in Southeast Asia I’ll be optimistic of his chances but here, I feel it’s 50-50.

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POLAND – Rafal Jonkisz.  Well, this cutie is obviously shining on his home turf as he’s in a comfortable milieu and he’s already a celebrity.  He’s clearly going to get his best showing here–the question is, with the presence of stars like Belarus, Brazil, India, and Mexico, will a hometown win be acceptable?

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PUERTO RICO – Christian Trenche.  Now, he decided to buck the scruffy trend and stuck to classic Latino clean-cut handsomeness, and I think it’s working very well for him and it made him a standout.  I picture him making the Top Ten.

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All images courtesy of Leonardo Rodrigues for Mister Supranational unless otherwise indicated.

COMING UP:  ROMANIA to VENEZUELA plus the “FEARFUL” FORECAST

MISTER SUPRANATIONAL 2016: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 1)

When I heard news that the World Beauty Association (the organizers of Miss Supranational) are going to host an inaugural male equivalent, I was excited as it can easily position itself like a Manhunt International with a European sensibility.  It turns out that actually they are also fusing this with elements of Mister World as they also introduced some challenge events (albeit not really that crucial in the selection of the finalists unlike in Mister World).  They include a cooking challenge and a swimming challenge, but of course the best parts are the modeling aspects, and one favorite shoot is them channelling James Bond while the reigning Miss Supranational Stephania Stegman, Miss Supranational 2014 Asha Bhatt and Miss Supranational 2015 Top Ten finalist from Australia (and commentator for these proceedings) Chris Fischer posed like Charlie’s Angels.  It was initially indicated they would be selecting a Top 25 like in Miss Supranational this year, but it’s a good thing because there are only half the roster in this contest compared to its distaff counterpart, a Top 20 is more sensible.

Interestingly one thing I observed about fledgling / up-and-coming pageants is that during their inception there is the dubious practice of the international pageant organizer handpicking locally-based expatriates to represent countries to shore up the roster.  I don’t like this practice, but I’ll give this pageant a pass as long as by the third or fourth year they eliminate this practice altogether.  I mention this because I noticed two possible representatives who might have been chosen through such practice.  Nevertheless, I still believe this is a credible pageant and there is a pretty strong quality of contenders out there.  Without further ado, let’s proceed to review them starting with…

ANGOLA – Osvaldo Chavez.  He looks generally solid, but I think attention is going towards another African or a dark-skinned Latino.

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ARGENTINA – Matt Ferrario.  Many guys sported scruffy stubbles as it’s very much an in look these days.  Thiis guy is no exception and he has a handsome face and buffed physique to boot.  But he has one key drawback–he’s one of the shorter guys in this competition, with Asha, Stephania, and Chris towering over him in the James Bond / Charlie’s Angels photo challenge.

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BELARUS – Sergey Bindalov.  He reminds me of a young Sean Bean and he exudes movie-star charisma that many are dubbing him as a favorite to win.  It does make sense as Miss Supranational tend in its early days to crown as winners countries that used to be part of the Polish Empire, and this one fits the bill.  No one is likely to object to his possible win as his charisma is too undeniable.

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Sean Bean in Caravaggio (1986)

BELGIUM – Johnny Gaspart.  Imagine Mexican telenovela star Gabriel Soto (who also happened to have been 1st runner-up in the inaugural edition of Mister World in 1996) with a dark-haired, slightly frumpier younger brother and you get this guy.  He’s great looking with a beefy physique, but a Top 20 placement is not really a sure thing, though it’s still highly possible.

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Gabriel Soto (image sourced from alchetron.com)

BRAZIL – Bruno Vanin.  Speaking of telenovela actors, imagine William Levy having a lankier-framed brother with dark hair and you get this guy.  Unlike Belgium, he oozes charisma from his pores that a Top Five placement is all but assured for him.

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William Levy (image sourced from markiza.sk)

CANADA – Matt Materiale.  He’s handsome, but perhaps just a tad too brooding.  But then girls might dig that.

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CHINA – Ximin Gao.  If this were Manhunt or Mister International, this guy will have an inside track in the finals.  But I noticed the judging panel doesn’t seem to feature anyone from East or Southeast Asia so he is facing an uphill battle making an impression.  I actually find him appealing, but I doubt he doesn’t tickle the tastes of Europeans, Latin Americans, or Indians.

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CZECH REPUBLIC – Jan Pultar.  He’s like a clean-shaven version of Mister International 2015 4th runner-up Jakub Kraus.  I just notice that it seems he and Jakub might have the same modeling coach as I notice for formal wear they exhibit the same cuff pose.  He looks poised to be a shoo-in for the Top 20 and possibly beyond.

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Jakub Kraus at Mister International 2015 (image courtesy of Joy Arguil)

DENMARK – Marcus Rosenberg.  His boyish handsomeness is undeniable, but also bolstering his appeal is his pedigree–his mom is Pia Rosenberg Larsen, who happened to have finished 1st runner-up in both Miss World and Miss International 30 years ago (yes, for the former, she beat Halle Berry).  He looks like a shoo-in to the Top Ten, but beyond that, there are formidable contenders out there, but it is still conceivable he can equal or exceed his mother’s lofty placements.

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EGYPT – Mohamed Medhat.  I hope he doesn’t get offended that I compare him to Israeli actor Oded Fehr, since despite the 1977 peace treaty Egyptians and Israelis don’t seem to get along well lately.  He has Oded’s swarthy appeal prior to his arrival and sported a full beard, but it seems he made a misstep by reducing his luscious beard into a wispy stubble and his charisma fizzled significantly since then.  He’s undeniably good looking and his mane is very enviable but it’s just frustrating he doesn’t sparkle as he could have.

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Oded Fehr in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999)

ETHIOPIA – Yohannes Asfaw.  I’m not certain about his charisma–it seems the Poles like him, but he registers as flat in my eye.  Also, he made a major misstep in the formal wear preliminaries as he wore a casual red outfit.  For me his chance of making the Top 20 is 50-50.

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FINLAND – Joonas Laajanen.  He stands out because he has a shaven head.  Though I don’t know if projecting a skinhead look is a good thing in this milieu.  Also, even if he has a cute boyish face and a tall stature, a key disadvantage is that his physique is not that toned (and his pale complexion doesn’t help matters).

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FRANCE – Bryan Weber.  He’s a veteran who was 4th runner-up at Mister Global 2015 and a well-regarded also-ran in Mister International 2015*.  He looks like he’ll make up for his shut-out in Mister International as the level of competition in this pageant, as high as it is, is not as heady.  Looks like a Top 20 shoo-in.

*The standard of that pageant was so stratified that even a gorgeous guy like him would struggle to make the cut–he had to live vicariously through the victory of his roommate, Switzerland’s Pedro Mendes.  He was the first to run towards Pedro when he was announced the winner and mass jubilation among the contestants ensued.

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All images courtesy of Leonardo Rodrigues for Mister Supranational unless otherwise indicated.

COMING UP:  HAWAII to PUERTO RICO