HAWAII-USA – Rhonee Rojas. Technically, since there is no USA representative this year, he should bear the banner Mr. USA. Judging from his name he’s clearly of Filipino descent. Like several of this year’s contestants, his pre-arrival photo was way more flattering than the Korea photos. The Korea photos are way too unflattering that he started to look like actor Gedde Watanabe, the star of 1980s teen films like “Sixteen Candles” and “Revenge of the Nerds”.
HONG KONG – Wu Tian-chao. From the neck-up, he isn’t really much to look at–he looks like a common alley boy that you don’t want to mess with at night. But his physique is rippled to perfection. Filipino gays have a term for it: “hipon” (shrimp), as like the crustacean, we typically love eating the body and toss out the head. Can he parlay his buffed bod to a successful showing?
INDIA – Shashwat Seth. His pre-arrival modeling photos are striking, but like several early favorites, it seems his charisma dimmed significantly since he arrived in Korea. But he still looked dashing in his national costume, and his physique is buffed to perfection. I just wonder about his facial complexion as the swimsuit photo seemed to indicate roughness…
INDONESIA – Johan Januar Yes, this guy is not conventionally handsome, but he does exude a lot of heat in several of his photos when he won L-Men of the Year 2010 (I believe this is Indonesia’s most prestigious male pageant). A poster in a popular pageant messageboard noted his resemblance to Filipino basketball player James Yap (Kris Aquino’s ex-husband), and I do see that he’s practically his döppelgänger. There were some unflattering photos during his stay in Korea, but onstage he seems to be able to turn on the charisma when it counts, just like in his fierce national costume presentation. Could be a sleeper possibility for the Top Five.
IRAN – Soroush Aliasghari Namin. He’s attractive enough, but I don’t really foresee him making serious inroads into the finals.
IRELAND – Barry Holmes. He’s another attractive and beefily buffed bloke that doesn’t seem to have charisma or star quality.
JAPAN – Kenji Ogawa. His prospects for advancing would probably be better if the judging panel is entirely composed of J-Pop and K-Pop fangirls, as he’s styled like one of those idols, though with extra scruff. Otherwise, he’s more middle-of-the-road to lower-tier in my opinion.
KAZAKHSTAN – Andrei Gurin. With the right packaging and the right haircut, he could make a better impression. As he is, it seems it’s unlikely he’ll make the final cut.
KOREA – Lee Yong-Bum. He can easily fit in with a K-Pop boyband, as he has the stylish metrosexual looks down pat. He also has a rippled physique, almost like my favorite member in boyband Super Junior, Siwon. Besides, he is representing the host country, so it is highly likely a semifinalist slot is assured.
LATVIA – Oskars Lauva. He has those thick eyebrows that remind me of “Modern Family” star Ty Burrell, who plays comically semi-henpecked husband Phil Dunphy. He is appealing, and he could be a good semifinals possibility.
LEBANON – Marcelino Gebrayel. He actually shared a history with France’s Maxime Thomasset, having outranked him as 2nd runner-up in Mr. International 2009. But unlike Maxime, he seems to be able to preserve his charisma intact, even as he looks scruffier now than he did then. He is likely to sustain Lebanon’s streak in the semifinals, and perhaps even go as far as Top Five.
MACAU – Chen Yi-Peng. Like Hong Kong, he may not have handsome facial features, but his physique is impressively rippled.
MACEDONIA – Goce Mojsoski. He’s too mature and plain-looking to make serious inroads in this pageant, but he does have that beefy ripped physique. Still, if you want to choose a bodybuilder into the semfinals, Bulgaria would have the edge.
MALAYSIA – Hazwan Hilmi. In real-world terms, he could be considered reasonably attractive. But in pageant standards he’s below par.
MALTA – Clive Tanti. He makes a great impression in candid photos in Korea. He does scruffy right (but then again, so did Brazil and Lebanon). I can foresee him making the semifinals.
MEXICO – Miguel Valencia. He has a passing resemblance to Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, though only about 5% of his charisma. Still, do not count him out in a less competitive batch like this one.
All photos courtesy of Alex Liu and Manhunt International unless otherwise noted.
COMING UP: MONGOLIA to VIETNAM plus the “Fearful” Forecast.