POLAND – Angelika Ogryzek. She has a childlike ingenue face with the curly Pre-Raphaelite tresses. Like several contestants she registers much better on video than in photographs. She seems to also be a strong interview. Will she be able to overcome the disadvantage of not making it in any of the fast-tracks?
PORTUGAL – Barbara Franco. She’s stronger than your typical contestant from this country. She was part of the winning Group 3 team in the Sports fast-track.
PUERTO RICO – Amanda Vilanova. She is on track to make the final cut, figuring in four fast-tracks with a Top 20 finish in Beach Beauty, Top 24 in Sports, Top 30 in Beauty with a Purpose, and Top 11 in Talent (with a bi-gender drag act). She is also a charming and extremely articulate interview, with an upbeat take while discussing her parents’ divorce.
ROMANIA – Alexandra Stanescu. She’s more intelligent than your average Romanian contestant, reportedly being a published author in her country already. She’s also prettier than the typical Romanian contestant, though it’s unlikely she’ll duplicate the 1st runner-up feat of Ioana Boitor back in 2006.
RUSSIA – Natalia Gantimurova. Most of the time, she delivers on the prettiness. Her Top 20 placement in Beach Beauty is justified. But then came Top Model and she looked like a creepy zombie with the way she’s made up–she would’ve been better off wearing the same number and be styled the same way as she did when she competed at Miss Universe. Yes, I know it would likely be marred by a lousy catwalk…
SAINT BARTHELEMY – Johanna Sansano. She makes an unforgettable impression with her mass of blonde curls. She was rewarded with a Top 20 placement in Beach Beauty and a Top 11 showing in Talent. It’s the first time for this French territory to compete in a Grand Slam pageant, and it’s likey semininals slot is in the works for her.
SCOTLAND – Jennifer Reoch. Though she is generally attractive, Scotland had fielded prettier babes than her. She was among the first 10 announced for the shortlist in Beauty with a Purpose and Top 24 in the Sports fast-track.
SERBIA – Milica Tepavac. Her main feature is her mass of blonde curls, plus her Top 20 shortlist in Beach Beauty.
SIERRA LEONE – Swadu Natasha Beckley. She reminds me of actress CCH Pounder, albeit younger and prettier version of her.
SINGAPORE – May Hsu. Nothing about her is polished, except her educational credentials and the fact she made the Top 24 in the Sport fast-track.
SLOVAKIA – Michaela Ňurciková. She exudes the vibe of superstar country artist Taylor Swift. To distinguish her from Miss Slovenia, just say she’s the one with the more unruly curls.
SLOVENIA – Lana Mahnič Jekoš. This blonde exudes the vibe of “Veronica Mars” actress Kristen Bell. She’s a well-traveled overachiever judging from her interview.
SOUTH AFRICA – Bokang Montjane. This lady is the second lady to achieve the distinction of competing in all four Grand Slam pageants, after Zambia’s Cynthia Kanema. And she already has a leg up over Cynthia, as she made the Top 16 at Miss Earth 2007. She is likely to make the cut in this pageant, too, having figured in the Top 36 in Beach Beauty, Top 20 in Talent, and the first of the 10 announced for Beauty with the Purpose. Her ace is her top-notch communication skills, overachieving background, and of course commitment to her causes.
SPAIN – Carla Garcia. There are pageant fans and pundits who would regard her as a front-runner for the crown. Though she is good looking (she reminds me of actress Jami Gertz), her actual ace is her sympathetic and helpful personality, as reported by journalists on the field. Perhaps that’s the quality why she’s among the first 10 announced for Beauty with a Purpose. She’s also in the Top 20 for Beach Beauty.
SRI LANKA – Pushpika de Silva. In real-world terms, she’ll be deemed attractive, but she’s not truly in serious contention in pageant terms. She has the consolation of being part of the Top 30 in Beauty with a Purpose.
All images courtesy of Miss World, Ltd. unless otherwise indicated.
COMING UP: SWEDEN to ZIMBABWE and the “Fearful” Forecast