FINLAND – Niina-Maria Lavonen. She’s one of the two late-comers. This blonde seems to be an attractive, worthwhile contender.
FRANCE – Laura Maurey. There are angles where she looks pretty, and there are angles where she looks unpolished. I want to rate her in serious contention for the finals, but I’m still on the fence with her at this point.
GEORGIA – Ellen Sikorskaia. Like Miss Finland, she’s a latecomer to the proceedings. She seems prettier than her pre-arrival pictures may suggest, but I wonder why is she wearing a regular satin evening gown when she’s supposed to be in her national costume?
GERMANY – Sandra Kaczmarczyk. Like two years ago, this blonde’s makeup (with constantly light frosted eye shadow contrasted with heavy mascara) is something that is of an acquired taste. Personally, I believe this sort of look is not favored to do well in this pageant.
GUADELOUPE – Daena Hatilip. She has a nice, round, and pretty face–almost resembling Janet Jackson. But I don’t think she would make serious inroads into the finals.
GUAM – Katarina Martinez. Earlier photos of her I was very impressed and thought she’s a looker. But she seems to fizzle a bit as the days wore on. Still, she’s one of the best representatives ever sent by this country to this pageant.
GUATEMALA – Karen Remón. She’s a pretty girl who with the right opportunity could be in contention for the semifinals if only her figure is not too voluptuous. With Miss Cuba, she’s a front-runner for the BB Sweepstakes for this pageant.
HAWAII – Shanna Nakamura. She’s attractive and petite. It will be an uphill battle for her to make serious inroads into the semifinals.
HONDURAS – Esthefany Pineda. She’s attractive enough, but her best prospects in this pageant is a creditable performance.
HONG KONG – Whitney Hui. We usually relegate contestants from this country to the cellar, but this year, we have a true contender with this lovely lady. If there is room for a lot of Asians (there typically is), she could make the cut.
HUNGARY – Nora Viragh. This country’s appearance in this pageant has been erratic. At least this year, they fielded this comely contender who could be within striking distance of bringing forth a breakthrough–if justice were to prevail.
INDIA – Ankita Shorey. There are angles where she looked pretty, but there are also angles where she doesn’t exude any charisma at all. She could make it if she’s at the top of her game onstage on the night of November 6.
INDONESIA – Reisa Kartikasari. This country made a big splash when it returned to compete at Miss International after a 30-year absence with a semifinal finish back in 2007 with Rahma Landy. Now they fielded this gorgeous, comely contender who could repeat Rahma’s feat. Her features have an interesting blend of East and West. Her only drawback, in my reckoning, is that her swimsuit figure looks too wispy and slight for comfort.
ITALY – Anthea Lucà. Her pre-arrival photo made several pageant fans and pundits snicker as she looked androgynous and made them wonder “are they serious?” Well, she turns to be exactly like her pre-arrival photo, with a punky short hairdo. It’s a bit refreshing to have an iconoclast in the group, perhaps, but definitely she’s not in serious contention for the finals. Her best prospects is to enjoy her stay in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. An aside–her haircut makes me recall the famous Belgian comic book character Tintin, as her hair is often combed with an uplick like that intrepid boy reporter. It seems rather apt as either later this month or in December a 3-D animated film featuring Tintin will hit cinemas.
JAPAN – Nagomi Murayama. Yes, she’s tall, she’s fit, and she has good stage presence. But her face is something that I’m simply not into. But we all know that a slot for this country is almost always guaranteed for the sake of “East Asian Goodwill”. It’s intriguing how in her national costume she chose to sport a stereotypical pageboy wig.
KOREA – Kim Hye-Sun. I’ve seen better-looking Korean girls than her, but again regardless of merit, a slot for her in the semifinals is almost guaranteed because of “East Asian Goodwill”.
KYRGYZSTAN – Asel Samakova. Here is a lady who garnered major compliments that she is treated as a possible contender for the semifinals. It’s a cutthroat battle since it’s almost certain that China, Japan, and Korea are reserved slots and then there are comely powerhouse contenders from Philippines and Vietnam (in a fierce battle for online popular votes) and lovely contestants from Hong Kong, Indonesia and Mongolia, among a bevy of other contenders within striking distance.
(Coming up: LATVIA to PUERTO RICO)