BELIZE – Kadejah Tunn. She makes a better impression in photographs than on video. She sounded rather raw in her interview.
BERMUDA – Jana Lynn Outerbridge. I’m so not into her looks, but perhaps her round face made some of the judges recall South Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek that they bestowed her a Top 36 standing in Beach Beauty. Well, at least it’s nice to welcome this country back after a looong 16-year absence. Watching her video, her interesting accent made me think it sounded borderline Valley Girl mixed with a Caribbean British accent.
BOLIVIA – Yohana Vaca. When the pageant started she was the surprise leader by the betting agencies. She does have the smolderingly sexy dark Latina looks that had brought forth victories over the years. She made a major splash figuring in the Top 20 of both Beach Beauty and Top Model and Top 24 in Sports. She earned a distinction in the Sports event as she and Miss Guatemala were the closest to the target in the Highland Toss. Looks like she has an inside track into the finals, but I wonder about her judges interview–I found her background a little hard to believe but I wonder if it’s a bad translation as the translator said she dropped out of school at 15 then went to college and graduated with a “commercial engineering” degree (I bet it’s the equivalent of industrial engineering; and I think she meant she graduated high school at 15 and went for a five-year engineering course in college from 16-21) and while in college at 18 she started a business that didn’t prosper. If that is true, then she seems to have a bit of entrepreneurial drive.
BONAIRE – Benazir Charles. Many pageant fans and pundits love her and rated her as among the likeliest to make the final cut. Though she made the Sports fast-track, pageant fans and pundits were slightly baffled that she missed the crucial Beach Beauty and Top Model shortlists. Some might justify a bottom-heavy figure for the Beach Beauty snub. Her interview was underwhelming (though she garnered a few chuckles when she mentioned she has a huge extended family and doesn’t know all of them), but she got shortlisted for Beauty with a Purpose. Could she garner enough points to make the final cut?
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA – Snežana Kuzmanović. The youngest contestant at age 16, she exudes a winningly sweet ingenue charm–you can’t help but like her. Her features are not actually conventionally pretty, but they are perfect for a modeling career. Would her charm help her garner points to offset the fact that she failed to figure in any of the fast-tracks?
BOTSWANA – Karabo Sampson. If we base it on looks, though she’s exotically attractive she is unlikely to fare as well as her predecessor, 1st runner-up Emma Wareus. She at least made an impression making the shortlist for both Sports and Beauty with a Purpose. She’s a great and articulate interview, with great charm as she relayed how her name came to be and that she loves music but couldn’t sing.
BRAZIL – Juceila Bueno. There might be some detractors who would say they have seen more babelicious Brazilians than this lady, but she still has excellent qualities that would help her garner serious inroads into the finals. Her Top 20 showing in Beach Beauty is well justified, as she is good looking and has a sexy figure. And I like her interview, where she spoke swiftly and breezily about her background from a broken home and having to work beginning at age 14, then her background presenting in TV shows about cars and football and her ambition to be a TV personality.
BULGARIA – Vania Peneva. She has those sharp Slavic angular features that don’t register well in photos and in the pageant arena. She has interesting things to say in her interview about her hometown of Kazanluk, that it’s known as the valley of roses and a producer of expensive rose oil for perfumes, and how she demonstrates the similarities between Scottish and Bulgarian folk dances, but I’m just not that charmed by how she speaks.
CANADA – Riza Raquel Santos. Her strategy is to stress all her achievements, if you view her interview and profile videos. Though she’s one of the prettier representatives in this batch and ever fielded by this country, she scored so far in the “homely” fast-track events of Sports and Talent.
CAYMAN ISLANDS – Lindsay Japal. Her most distinctive feature are her thick eyebrows. She also made the Top 20 Talent shortlist with her steel drum performance.
CHILE – Gabriela Pulgar. Here is another favorite amongst pageant fans and pundits who couldn’t seem to catch a break except for placing in the “homely” fast-tracks of Sports and Talent. At least in the Talent fast-track she has an edge by being part of the Top 11 privileged to sing at the annual Charity Gala and Family Party. She gave a solid interview based on the video we see, taking the effort to speak in English.
CHINA, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF – Liu Chen. There are angles where her very Oriental looks are flattering, but sometimes you get distracted by her eyebags. Some pageant fans and pundits assumed that since during the Beach Beauty and Top Model rounds the sashes still follow the format that we saw in Sanya, with Chinese characters to boot, she may have the upper hand of garnering the Continental Queen of Beauty title for Asia. I think it may not be a guarantee as there are two other Asians who seem to have the edge so far. She made the shortlist in Top Model and is part of the Top 11 in Talent. Like Miss Chile, she’s a singer. She spoke about the discipline it takes to be an artist in her interview.
COLOMBIA – Monica Restrepo. For the past two years this country has fielded ladies who do not make any kind of impression with pageant fans and pundits, and also doesn’t make it to the shortlist of any fast-track event, yet they would make the final cut (to the consternation of said pageant fans and pundits). This lady is more attractive than those two successful predecessors, in my reckoning. She likewise didn’t figure in any fast-track event. So does this mean she will sustain the streak? She does make a good case for herself in her interview, being well-spoken and with a good facility in English.
COSTA RICA – Paola Chaverri. There are pictures of her posing with the Top Three of Miss World 2010, so one wonders if she might have curried the favor of some key Miss World insiders. She did not figure in any of the fast-tracks, but would she garner enough points to still make the final cut nevertheless? She is otherwise a worthwhile contender in my reckoning.
COTE D’IVOIRE – Kohiman Kouadio. She doesn’t register very well in photographs, but looks surprisingly well on her video interview. The blue gown she sported during the Top Model fast-track is such a gaudy vision, isn’t it?
All images courtesy of Miss World, Ltd. unless otherwise indicated.
COMING UP: CROATIA to GHANA