ECUADOR – Tatiana Loor. The formal photos below seem to be the most flattering of hers I’ve seen, as in most photos she looks rather plain. So it is highly unlikely that she’ll duplicate Maria Fernanda Cornejo’s victory last year (then again, I extremely underestimated Fernanda’s value then, having placed her only as a “bubbling under” bet). Her best prospects of making the final cut would depend if the predominantly Japanese judging panel would give courtesy for the reigning Miss International (who also happened to also belong in this year’s judging panel).
EL SALVADOR – Marlin Ramirez. She is your typical Salvadoran delegate (though this country had fielded striking exceptions in other major pageants over the years)–in other words, she is not expected to make significant inroads into the finals.
ESTONIA – Xenia Likhacheva. My assessment for her back at her stint at Miss Earth 2011 still holds–she is attractive, but she is drowned out by stunners out there.
FINLAND – Viivi Suominen. Her surname seems to indicate something patriotic, as “Suomi” is the name of her nation in her native language. She is a slender, highly attractive blonde. To my eyes, she would make a strong positive impression but I don’t picture her making the final cut. But then again, if you read my homestretch reviews of this pageant over the past decade, I had been notorious for underestimating the chances of the Finnish representative (a couple of them landed in runner-up positions, you know). Will the predominantly Japanese panel look again at her with favor? There are stronger blonde options out there, you know…
FRANCE – Marion Amelineau. We’ve been spoiled with gorgeous, elegant stunners from this country over the past several years–this lady, unfortunately, is a letdown compared to them, even if she would be deemed attractive in real-world terms.
GABON – Channa Divouvi. Despite a relatively shorter stature than most contestants, this undeniably attractive lady generates a polished presence and has a trim, buffed figure to boot. But the issue is, she would make more serious inroads if the pageant was Miss World, Miss Universe, or even Miss Earth. In this pageant, it is likely going to be an uphill battle as I don’t think she fits the tastes of the Japanese.
GERMANY – Aline Marie. Her features are actually rather attractive and she is better-looking than several of her recent predecessors. But she often sports her hair in unruly curls that detract from her looks so it is unlikely for her to make serious inroads into the finals. She should trot out the flatiron and tame that hair for the finals to help her make at least a creditable impression.
GIBRALTAR – Kerrianne Massetti. She resembles a taller, gawkier version of American Idol Season 7 finalist Carly Smithson. Again, in real-world terms she would be regarded as attractive, and her statuesque height and trim figure are assets. But in pageant terms, well, it’s nice to see this tiny country seeing action in this pageant.
GUADELOUPE – Aude Belenus. She’s one of two latecomers to the pageant, that is why no full-body formal swimsuit photo is available. She seems to be an attractive lady, though her best prospects is to enjoy her stay in Okinawa.
GUAM – Chanel Cruz Jarrett. I hope the Top 15 would have room for this striking Pacific looker. She seems to have all the qualities worthy of belonging in the final cut, but I wonder if the Japanese would agree with my tastes (along with other pageant pundits who also placed her in high regard). There is another exotic sleeper that I’m also keeping my eye on… (meet her in the concluding section of my Homestretch review).
GUATEMALA – Christa Garcia. She’s one of the stronger bets coming from Central America this year–which is saying a lot as this region is generally rather weak. But though I regard her as a worthwhile contender, I feel she is going to miss the final cut.
HAITI – Anedie Azael. She is still in full-blown pageant mode in terms of looks, but it works very well for this pageant. I do hope there will be significant room for polished, dusky contenders like her as she looks worthy of belonging in the finals. She is competing at a high level, and this group of contenders is not as fiercely competitive.
HONDURAS – Nicole Velasquez. I looked at the roster of judges expected to judge at the finals on October 21 and of the two non-Japanese, one is the Honduran ambassador to Japan (the other is the reigning Miss International). Even with the presence of the ambassador, I don’t think this lady will make the final cut as the other Japanese judges will clearly overrule the ambassador. She simply lacks the looks and charisma to be worthy of making the cut.
HONG KONG – Tracy Tsin Suet Chu. I find her attractive and cute enough, though I don’t expect her to make the final cut.
All images courtesy of Miss International Beauty Pageant 2012 unless otherwise indicated.
COMING UP: HUNGARY to MONGOLIA