COLOMBIA – Andrea DeVivo. We have to hand it that this outgoing lady is well-prepared, polished, attractive, well-spoken, and has a competitive drive. These are qualities that would help anyone gain serious inroads into the finals. Definitely another Latina to watch out for.
CRIMEA – Nina Astrakhantseva. Several pageant fans and pundits salivated at first sight of her that they regarded her as a front-runner for the crown. This was because of her extraordinarily pretty face. Buzz about her subdued somewhat when they saw her figure during the press presentation, as it was less-than-ideal than they have expected. Still, never count this lady out as she could still be in contention for a semifinalist slot.
CURACAO – Miluska Willems. She has an attractive face (with features that could pass for Filipino), but she is not making a major impression that it would be an uphill battle for her to make the semifinals.
CZECH REPUBLIC – Šárka Cojocarová. In person, when I watched her during the Press Presentation, I was not that impressed with her face, but she’s a strong communicator, and her figure is to die for. Yes, her win in Best in Swimsuit was well-deserved (though I was more fixated on Bosnia & Herzegovina and Hungary at the time). But looking at photographs, she has that sparkle that I understand how she’s now being hyped as a possible front-runner for the crown and perhaps earn an element. She photographs wonderfully, as I perused through several pictures taken of her in various activities.
DENMARK – Cecilia Iftikhar. Her Arabic features are an acquired taste, but she could still qualify in the “attractive” department. Her best prospects, though, is a credible showing.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Sarah Feliz. Her features remind me of So You Think You Can Dance season 5 champion Jeanine Mason crossed with Miss Universe 2003 Amelia Vega. She is highly attractive, though not making as much of a major splash that it will be an uphill battle for her to make the final cut.
ECUADOR – Olga Alva. Amongst a formidable bevy of Latinas this year, this is one who seems to have a leg up over the rest. She has the smoldering exotic beauty like the recently crowned Miss World Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela (to the point she wore a blue version of that final night gown), with the sexiest figure to boot. She seems to be in contention to gain an element, at the very least.
EL SALVADOR – Anita Puertas. Amongst all the ladies fielded from this country in the Grand Slam pageants this year, this one is the best of them all. She has those cheekbones that make her look adorably cute. She’s a sleeper possibility for the finals in my book.
ENGLAND – Roxanne Smith. With the right styling and as long as she smiles, her face can look very pretty. Sometimes, though, I find her more candid shots underwhelming. I don’t really see her in serious contention for the semifinals, but she’s a worthwhile contender.
ESTONIA – Xenia Likhacheva. She’s an attractive brunette who simply gets drowned out by her peers. Her best prospect is a credible showing.
FRANCE – Mathilde Florin. She is a pretty, fresh-scrubbed blonde who makes a strong impression amongst some pageant fans and pundits. She could be a sleeper possibility for the semifinals.
GERMANY – Manou Volkmer. This slim, statuesque brunette is attractive, though it would be an uphill battle for her to make the final cut. But she was memorable featured in Miss Italy’s series of YouTube videos, especially the one where she introduced her “friend”, a stuffed lion named Footse.
GHANA – Patricia Anti. She’s one of the late-comers, and her most distinctive feature is her stature (particularly her lack of it–she’s 1.56 m or 5′ 1.5″). Her weave makes me have visions of an African version of Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi–all she needs is to tease her hair a bit more and the comparisons would be even more apparent. So far, she seems more dignified than that reality show star.
GUADELOUPE – Mitchelle Maleziou. On other girls, her distinctively short ringlet hairdo would be a horrendous disaster, but this lady pulled it off with style and flair. A worthwhile contender in my opinion.
Evening gown images courtesy of Carousel Productions, Press Presentation images courtesy of Boyet Blas/Noli Berioso of Mabuhay Beauties, and National Costume images courtesy of Bruce Casanova for OPMB Worldwide.
COMING UP: GUAM to LATVIA