MR. WORLD 2013: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 2)

Ten of the Sports challenge Top 12 chillin’ at the pool–clockwise from top left: Croatia, Japan, Wales, Martinique, Poland, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Portugal. Missing: Ireland and Philippines

THE GREEN TEAM:  This team shone best in the Sports challenge, as seven members made the Top 12 shortlist.  They also salvaged a slot from the domination of the Blue team in the Extreme Sports challenge, as Poland made the Top Four.  In the Talent challenge, they were relatively weak, with only two who made the initial shortlist, and one of them was whittled out of the final list (New Zealand), leaving only one survivor from this team (England).  Nevertheless, there are some serious contenders in this roster, and let us take a look at them:

Green Team at the Sports challege. Top (L-R): Paraguay, India, Puerto Rico, Martinique, England, Japan; Middle (L-R): France, New Zealand, Poland, Paraguay; Bottom: Ireland
Top Five qualifiers for Extreme Sports challenge: Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Mexico, Portugal, and Poland. Poland went on to become Top Four overall in this challenge.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA – Zlatan Duratović.  He is good looking, but it seems he couldn’t get much inroads edgewise.  Still he should be regarded as a worthwhile competitor and in a less competitive group, a semifinals slot should have been within reach.

with Mr. Brazil
with Mr. Croatia (left)

BULGARIA – Stefan Miletiev.  If it weren’t for his receding hairline and his relatively shorter stature, he could be considered a worthwhile contender. His face is actually handsomely cute–he resembles So You Think You Can Dance season 5 finalist Evan Kasprzak.

In front of a red London phone booth
Touring Canterbury
Evan Kasprzak (image courtesy of Fox)

ENGLAND – Roland Johnson.  Besides Mr. Bolivia, this fellow also has a resemblance to a young Prince William–I sometimes confuse the two when I view the photos.  He made the Top 16 in last year’s Manhunt International, but I have a feeling he will outshine his Manhunt peers this time–not only because he’s the host contestant and this is a British-run enterprise, but because they put more emphasis on other qualities like talent.  With him performing original material and actual good musical skills, he could be granted the fast-track slot in the Talent challenge.

Showcasing his musical talent
Chillin’ at the pool, too: France, England, and Poland

FRANCE – Alexandre Cheraibi.  He is good looking, but his frame is obviously skinny.  He has not made any impact in the challenges thus far, but I still regard him as a worthwhile contender.  If you observe a photo on my writeup for Germany in the first part of my essay, they form the “Pompadour Duo” as that is one of his distinctive traits.  That, and the  beaten faded denim jacket he sports in some casual occasions.

Having a cup of coffee in Kent
His favorite denim jacket for informal outings

INDIA – Taher Ali.  In early photos, I presumed he and Philippines are roommates as they seemed to be seen together frequently.  This model is not conventionally handsome, but he has a sense of style that perhaps he could be considered for the shortlist in the Fashion & Style challenge.

Taking the London Underground with Mr. Philippines
Chic, dapper schoolboy touring Kent

IRELAND – Leo Delaney.  Now we have a more typical Irish lad representing this country unlike the reigning biracial Mr. World.  There is a strong possibility that he can even give a back-to-back victory for his country, especially since he shone in the Sports challenge (he’s the likeliest to be granted the fast-track), and he’s handsome.  A frontrunner to watch out for.

Touring Canterbury
Winning the golf portion of the Sports challenge
Swim champ: with Colombia, Croatia, and Poland
Could he make it a back-to-back victory? With the reigning Mr. World, Kamal Ibrahim

JAPAN – Shuhei Arai.  I don’t know if we should always expect Japan to field unconventional lookers like this guy–but then again in the previous edition, this nation was represented by the reasonably good-looking Hareruya Konno (though even he has some deficiencies with his less-than-buffed physique and his odd teeth).  Many pageant fans and pundits are turned off by his looks and would regard him as a cellar dweller.  But take note that he made the Top 12 in the Sports challenge, and that he has a lively, outgoing, fun personality.

Push-ups during the fitness test
Touring Canterbury
Goofing about during the ghost hunt.

MARTINIQUE – David Fortune.  He reminds me of the previous edition’s 2nd runner-up from Nigeria.  He shone in the Sports challenge, but I wonder if he rubbed the powers-that-be the wrong way with his comedy drag act when he auditioned for the Talent challenge.  Still, he seems to be a friendly, outgoing personality so he can still charm the judges over and be granted a semifinals slot.

During the golf round of the Sports challenge
Le drag comedie: As Sheenanay for the talent auditions
Sheenanay eliciting chuckles from peers, but the powers-that-be are not amused.

MEXICO – Enrique Ramirez Mayagoitia.  Many pageant fans and pundits salivate at his sight, especially at his pre-arrival modeling photos, and hype that he is the front-runner to win it all.  His physique is definitely enviable.  I don’t think his facial features are conventionally handsome, but he does make a striking presence that even if he was overshadowed by the Blue team in both the Extreme Sports and Sports challenge (with the exception of whupping Mr. Philippines’ butt in the swimming round), he could conceivably still be the man to win it all.  He does also carry himself with flair so a Fashion & Style shortlist (and possibly win) is conceivable.

Wow! A Mexican restaurant in Canterbury!
At the gym with Colombia, Greece, and Poland

NEW ZEALAND – Courtenay Bernard.  He’s an atypical representative as he’s half-black.  He is handsome, and he made the initial shortlist in the Talent challenge for his singing, but nerves probably prevented him from going forward to the final round of this challenge.  He could’ve been a strong contender for the semifinals, but it seems he’s currently overshadowed by another biracial contestant, Mr. Wales.  His video stands out as he trotted out a Kiwi Haka chant at the end.

Touring London
With Mr. Luxembourg during the fitness test

PARAGUAY  – Miguel Cardozo.  He looks rather rough, but he doesn’t actually look bad.  He was among the Top Five in his team in the Extreme Sports challenge.  And he also reportedly inadvertently set off the fire alarm at the hotel, causing the rooms on his floor to be momentarily flooded and the contestants had to temporarily evacuate.

Mexico and Paraguay at the We Will Rock You musical at West End
At the BBC One Show

POLAND – Krystian Kurowski.  He possesses one of the beefiest and buffest physiques out there, that he puts in obviously great use in both the Extreme Sports and Sports challenges.  But his face is just a bit too mature for comfort and a tad on the homely side, though he’s way better looking than Mr. Latvia.  Apparently judging from his video, he’s the most laconic (a.k.a., man of a few words) of the lot, as he has the tersest, briefest video.

Sauna Time: Poland, Lebanon, Costa Rica, and England
Beefy eater at the pub

PORTUGAL – Pajo dos Reis.  He possesses a scruffy handsomeness and a beefy physique that are highly regarded amongst ladies and pageant fans and pundits.  He also made inroads in both the Extreme Sports and Sports challenges.  But he’s most notable for being a clown, doing a bunch of wacky stuff (like check out a video of him mouthing the lines of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” underwater on his Facebook page).  Humor is often a way to a woman’s heart, and perhaps he was able to charm the judges with that quality to secure a semifinals slot.

At the gym with Martinique
Goofing about at the ghost hunt.

PUERTO RICO – Alberto Cerro.  He’s reportedly one with the best facility at English and often acting as translator for his peers.  Though he may be relatively shorter than several of his peers, he has the looks and charm to win over the judges and secure a semifinalist spot.

Getting ready for the Sports challenge.
At the gym flexing his biceps in front of Spain, Paraguay, England, and Japan

SPAIN – Alvaro Villanueva Santos.  I wondered if we’ll ever see the likes of the legendary hunk Fabien Hauquier again–that steamy combination of hulking beefiness, fever-inducing ravishing sex appeal, and handsome manliness–the “Beefcake Behemoth”.  Sure, there was Chile’s Pato Laguna in 2007, but since then it’s slim pickings.  There are several who came close (most recently, Manhunt International 1st runner-up Peter Jonsson of Sweden), but I think I found Fabien’s (and Pato’s) worthy successor with this fellow.  He definitely looks the part, and he has a nice, cheeky personality.  However, I’m fretful that he may not make the cut this year unlike the way Fabien garnered a 2nd runner-up finish–he has not been shortlisted in any challenge round, for starters, and he tends to be low key in most group photos (even if he still sizzles even while standing still).  But I hope there will be room for this specimen of gorgeousness in the finals.

Bench-pressin’ dreamboat…
Mr. World 2003 2nd runner-up (and Manhunt International 2006 1st runner-up) Fabien Hauquier (image sourced from emlyn.blogspot.com)
Mr. World 2007 finalist Pato Laguna (image courtesy of Pato Laguna)

UKRAINE – Oleksandr Bogdanov.  His features, like Messrs. Latvia and Poland, tend to be a bit on the mature side, but he has a Slavic handsomeness to his advantage.  Still in an extremely competitive group like this one, it will be a major challenge for him to make serious inroads

Touring London
Hotel photo with fresh new haircut

All images courtesy of Mr. World and its respective contestants unless otherwise indicated.

I wanted to close this section of my review by posting Mr. Brazil’s video of them dancing the Los del Rio 1996 megasmash “Macarena”, but I haven’t learned how to embed “Facebook” videos at this point.  But check out Mr World – Brazil’s Facebook page for that video…

COMING UP:  THE RED TEAM plus the “Fearful” Forecast

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