PUERTO RICO – Janelee Chaparro. Usually, a girl would look the most glamorous if her hair is styled freely in a ready-t0-be-windswept, wavy, and feathery hairstyle. But the opposite is true for this lady. I observed if she pulled her hair back by tying it up or at the back as in the case of the Designer Dress and Top Model events, she resembles a cross between movie stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and now-ex-Mrs.-Tom-Cruise Katie Holmes. But if she let her hair down, she reminded me of the controversial Real Housewives of New Jersey reality star Teresa Giudice–and it’s not meant to be a compliment. She’s more gorgeous than her phenomenally successful predecessor Miss World 2011 2nd runner-up Amanda Vilanova, but considering she only managed to figure in three challenge events (though it’s the highly regarded looks-oriented ones including Designer Dress), her best prospects is simply landing in the Top 15.
RUSSIA – Elizaveta Golovanona. It was assumed that her girlish ingenue vibe (with that extra long mass of hair) is perfect catnip for Miss World. Unfortunately, she surprisingly failed to figure in any of the challenge events. Even if she scored high in the panel interview, her standing would slip when the challenge events are going to be accounted for. Definitely a candidate for the “Holly Carpenter” award.
SCOTLAND – Nicole Treacy. We typically expect the best contestant from the British Isles would come from this country. It’s ironic that it seems in this year’s group, this lady is the weakest link. Still, she made a major splash in the only challenge event she was shortlisted in, the Sportswoman event. She was part of the winning team in the shuttle run and she placed first in the 100 meter dash.
SERBIA – Bojana Lecic. I think her dark, sultry Slavic features are better appreciated in Miss Universe than in this pageant, that is why she was unfortunately not shortlisted in any of the challenge events.
SEYCHELLES – Sherlyn Niella Furneau. During the early days of her stay, pageant fans and pundits thought she is in contention of clinching the Continental title for Africa (amongst several other African standouts). Though she’s undeniably great looking, her low-key demeanor in her introduction video may have revealed why her best challenge performance was being initially considered for Top Model before they whittled down the list to 46.
SIERRA LEONE – Vanessa Ethleen Yvonne Williams. She was the last one to arrive in China. I had to use her full name, as we all know she shares an identical name with a couple of more illustrious celebrities. Like the most famous of them all, her performing talent is singing. It seems she was able to bypass the original audition process to be instantly listed in the Top 16 for talent, though after listening to her singing performance, I have to note that even though her singing voice is decent, she is nothing compared to the distinctive stylings and vocal quality of the “Save the Best for Last” and “Colors of the Wind” singer and actress. Not to mention she is definitely not as glamorous or well put together.
SINGAPORE – Karisa Sukamto. Several pageant fans and pundits regarded her very harshly and placed her as a cellar dweller in their lists, and accuse her of using family connections to clinch the national title. I have to beg to slightly differ as I actually find her features attractive. Yes, she’s probably the shortest out there at 1.60 m, but considering she was shortlisted in the Sportswoman event and Multimedia award, she won’t be occupying the cellar.
SLOVAKIA – Kristína Krajčírová. This lady does exude a glamorous supermodel vibe that it’s obvious she deserved being shortlisted for Top Model. She could be within striking distance of the Top 30.
SLOVENIA – Nives Orešnik. She is good looking enough but her best moment was being shortlisted in the Sportswoman event, being part of the winning team in the relay race.
SOUTH AFRICA – Remona Moodley. One thing is for certain–the Continental title for Africa will not go to this country this year. Though she does share the strong communication skills characteristic of contestants from this country, she doesn’t have the charisma of her predecessors. She was in the initial list for Top Model before it was whittled down to 46, but at least she has the consolation of figuring in the Top 40 for Beach Fashion.
SOUTH SUDAN – Atong Demach. She competed at Miss Earth two years ago, making a positive impression though missing the final cut. She was supposed to compete in this pageant last year, but we all know about the restrictive visa policies of the UK that prevented her from making it. But I suppose it’s a blessing in disguise since if she competed last year she may have been overshadowed by the favoritism towards Bokang Montjane. Now, she gets to finally shine in the spotlight, with the possibility of clinching the Continental title for Africa well within reach. Sure, on paper it seems even between her and Nigeria–both of them landed in both Beach Fashion and Top Model, with Nigeria landing in the Top 10 for Beach Fashion, and her making the Top 10 for Top Model. But I think it is likely Atong shone in the crucial interview rounds if her introduction video is any indication–she comes off as a poised, intelligent, and dignified lady while Nigeria would seem raw in contrast. I’m rooting for her to bring forth a breakthrough for her new nation.
SPAIN – Aranzazu Estevez. What I noticed most about her are the shape of her face, which is this long oval shape, and her luminous eyes–only Mz. Australia and Wales have more luminous eyes than hers. I think she’s likely to duplicate the feat of her predecessor and make the Top 15. She made a major impact figuring in Top Model and Beach Fashion, making the Top 10 in the former. She also made the shortlist in the Designer Dress award–deservingly so, in my opinion.
SRI LANKA – Sumudu Prasadini Wijesinghe. She generally looked unattractive in most photos taken of her, and she’s rather raw in her introduction video. So I wondered why in the hell was she shortlisted in Top Model. Photos from that event revealed that she does make a striking impression with the way she was styled in that show, and even I started rallying around her corner. But otherwise, I don’t foresee her making any other kind of impression.
ST. KITTS & NEVIS – Markysa O’Loughlin. If it weren’t for her steel-drum performing talent, she would likely end up as a cellar-dweller.
SURINAME – Stephanie Grace Gentle. Here’s another one of the headscratchers who was chosen for the Top Model event. But then examining the photos from the event, I found the reason why–the shape of her head is unusual and fascinating, though still to my eyes she doesn’t qualify as attractive. The people responsible for selecting Top Model seem to have some unusually exotic tastes, it seems.
COMING UP: SWEDEN to ZIMBABWE, plus the “Fearful Forecast”.