MYANMAR – Nang Khin Zay Yar. There seems to be major internet buzz about this girl, and not simply because it’s been over 50 years since this country last saw action in a major international pageant. She does have a kawaii (cute) quality about her that could be catnip for Japanese tastes. She can be a semifinals possibility.
NAMIBIA – Paulina Malulu. It’s a welcome debut for this country, and they fielded a competitive contender with a trim figure. If the Japanese panel are in the mood for diversity and allow a token African to make the final cut, she is the one most likely to take that slot. However, the main issue that might prevent her from making the cut is that her very African facial features are not the sort that appeals to Japanese tastes–Miss World would appreciate those features the best.
NEPAL – Subekshya Khadka. Unlike the stunner sent to this year’s Miss World, this lady is the typical delegate from this country–generally raw, plain, and unpolished.
NEW ZEALAND – Hannah Carson. She is not receiving much buzz, but there are pageant fans and pundits (including myself) who feel she deserves to be noticed. She seems to be doing everything right, and she does have great looks (she reminds me of Australian TV and radio presenter and former member of pre-school TV show group Hi-5 Charli Robinson) and a trim figure to create that much needed impression.
NICARAGUA – Reyna Perez. She has an appealingly exotic look that would’ve given her major impact if this was Miss World or Miss Universe. I wonder if the Japanese panel would allow more room for more dusky complexioned contestants like her, as there are at least three who seemed to be ahead of her in the queue.
PANAMA -Karen Jordan Beitia. She does have a sleek and slender frame and Caucasian complexion that usually does well in Japan–her facial features though might be a bit too angular for Japanese tastes, though.
PARAGUAY – Nicole Huber. This veteran of last year’s Miss World and Miss Earth still has the strong qualities that allowed her to be successful in those pageants, that it is almost a given she should be guaranteed a semifinal finish in this pageant.
PERU – Rossmary Pizzaro. We have been treated to strong representatives from this country across all major international pageants over the decades. This lady pales in comparison to her predecessors, I fear…
PHILIPPINES – Nicole Schmitz. Though she has not seen action in any international pageant, she always looks polished (save for occasional shots of windswept hair in that outdoor swimsuit photo session). She is likely going to sustain the streak initiated by Patricia Fernandez back in 2008, as a slot in the semifinals is almost a guarantee. Now, all she needs to do is hope the sterling blondes and the fierce Latinas falter somewhere during the finals for her to go further.
POLAND – Rozalia Mancewicz. I was not aware that besides Miss Universe, this lady already saw action previously in Miss Tourism Queen International seven years ago, actually being very successful and landing as 3rd runner-up. Back at last year’s Miss Universe, she didn’t make a strong impression, and her performance at the Presentation Show was disappointing. But so far here she is projecting wonderfully, and I started noticing a resemblance to the gorgeous host of So You Think You Can Dance, Cat Deeley. I am currently foreseeing two Latinas (seemingly bosom buddies at this point as they are often photographed together) in a battle for the crown, but this lady is poised to wrest it away from them if she finally resolved her stage projection issues and if the two front-runners were not careful–not unless another contender who happens to be both blonde and Latina pulls off an upset.
PORTUGAL – Joane Petta. After a banner year last year, it’s back to business as usual for this country. There are some angles where she resembles a brunette version of actress Melanie Griffith, but otherwise she’s raw and her figure is not as buffed as other competitors out there.
PUERTO RICO – Ashley Ruiz. She seems to be projecting the best she could, though her facial features might be too strong for Japanese tastes to be in serious contention for the finals. A creditable performance is the likeliest result.
RUSSIA – Ekaterina Meglinskaia. We expect stunning lookers coming from this country, and unfortunately this lady doesn’t quite measure up. She often projects like Harry Potter star Emma Watson before she evolved and blossomed into the fashionista ingenue that we now adore.
SINGAPORE – Leong Ying Mae. She is actually attractive and stronger than the typical representative fielded by this country in recent years. Still, her best prospects is likely going to be a creditable performance as the Asian slots are likely reserved for India, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines plus maybe Myanmar.
All images courtesy of Miss International Beauty Pageant 2012 unless otherwise indicated.
COMING UP: SLOVAKIA to VIRGIN ISLANDS and the “FEARFUL” FORECAST