GABON – Channa Divouvi. Though I don’t really regard her as a conventional beauty, I will treat her as a member of the P.A.T.I.S. crew (this crew has a lot of members this year). Just like her stint at this year’s Miss International, she is well-regarded, but will likely fall short of making the final cut. It’s still an auspicious debut for this nation in this pageant and hope to see more representatives from this country in the coming years.
GEORGIA – Tamar Shedania. I find her features a tad angular, and I don’t like her hairstyle during the swimsuit round of the Presentation Show. But I have a feeling that she has the sort of features that Trump & Co. generally dig, so perhaps a Trump Ticket might be in order–but then again, she may not really need that ticket as despite the swimsuit hairdo, she delivered top-notch performances in both rounds of the Presentation Show–she was elegantly shimmering in her white and red sequined evening gown. Whatever the case, she is poised to deliver a breakthrough for her nation in this pageant.
Her features made me recall a cross between Glee star Heather Morris (who plays wacky bimbo cheerleader Brittany S. Pierce) and Paris Hilton.
GERMANY – Alicia Endemann. I was surprisingly drawn to her, and found her to be a possible upset contender based on early photos. I was also impressed by her online video interview. I thought she might break the 10-year drought for this country (they last placed with the legendary Natascha Börger). But then came the Presentation Show, and I was disappointed–she came out in a very austere black gown for the evening gown round, and her hair was a mess in the swimsuit round, and these are aggravated by a lackluster catwalk. Styling issues marred her presentation the following day in the National Costume show–I wish she sported pigtails or a more polished hairstyle than what she sported. I so wanted to keep the faith, but I feel her best prospects of making the final cut now is if she is handed that coveted Trump Ticket. I hope she gets lent a better gown if she makes the final cut.
GHANA – Gifty Ofori. I love her cheekbones, but other than that aspect, everything else makes her another member of the P.A.T.I.S. crew. She just doesn’t have that decisive sparkle to edge out against a din of formidable contenders.
GREAT BRITAIN – Holly Hale. I find her facial features slightly angular, but she qualifies as belonging in the P.A.T.I.S. crew. I am amused with her cheeky superhero Union Jack costume.
GREECE – Vasiliki Tsirogianni. In another year, she would’ve been in more serious contention for the finals, but in a year like this, she is relegated as another member of the P.A.T.I.S. crew. Her white evening gown is a slightly provocative highlight, as the bottom is sheer and lacy.
GUAM – Alyssa Cruz Aguero. I find her features plain and her figure a bit too voluptuous, but she does have a height advantage as she’s reportedly almost 6 feet tall. She also made a provocative presence in the National Costume show as there is very little fabric to her costume.
GUATEMALA – Laura Godoy Calle. I was surprised with her performance at the Presentation Show–she strikes a strong presence onstage and made a major splash. I adore her white beaded satin evening gown with its curved patterns on the bodice, and she delivered a fierce catwalk showcasing a buffed figure in the swimsuit round. I think she is on track of bringing her nation its fourth semifinal finish–remember two years ago also in Vegas, they also made a refreshingly surprisingly strong Top 10 finish with the lovely and sexy Jessica Scheel. She can pull off the same sleeper-type showing.
GUYANA – Ruqayyah Boyer. She wouldn’t be considered a delegate of note with the exception of the fact that during the Presentation Show, she fell down. Just like Miriam Quiambao 13 years ago, she quickly rose up and that has to be commended. But I doubt if she’ll make the final cut like the way Miriam did that time as she doesn’t really have the looks, stage presence, or charisma to be in serious contention for the finals.
HAITI – Christela Jacques. My issue with her is similar with my issue with Miss Curacao–she tends to look like a drag queen. It doesn’t help that her hips are relatively narrow compared to most ladies. Still, it’s nice to see a more typical-looking black Haitian even if so far the mulattas sent over the past two years made a bigger impression.
HONDURAS – Jennifer Andrade. There were pageant fans and pundits who love and adore her, who would consider her a serious semifinalist contender with the exception of one factor–her petite height of 5’4″. I wouldn’t have issues with her height except that she does have the proportions of a short person in terms of the length of her legs–she somehow pulled it off during the National Costume show, but during the more crucial Presentation Show, instead of masking her height, it was emphasized even further–for instance, she sported a white evening gown with a humongous mermaid hem–it seemed she was drowning in chiffon as a result, or that she’s trailed by a huge bucketful of soapsuds. The gown made her even more dwarfish than she actually is.
HUNGARY – Agnes Konkoly. She performed solidly throughout, but in my reckoning not convincingly enough to make the cut in her own merits. But then again, she might benefit from being granted that coveted Trump Ticket–this country has been a recipient of it over the past few years. I wouldn’t object as much this time.
INDIA – Shilpa Singh. Several pageant fans and pundits decried the quality fielded by Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen’s I Am She search, and some even bitched that this lady is a cellar dweller. Though I agree that the quality is a far cry from the 1990s-2000s heyday, I don’t think this lady is that bad–to me she resembles a frumpy relative of glamorous movie star Salma Hayek. Her stage performance during the Presentation Show is polished enough and I have no issues with her video interview. Still, amongst a formidable group of Asians this year, she’s one of the weaker links.
INDONESIA – Maria Selena. She’s the roommate of the Philippines’ Janine Tugonon. She is good looking and generally a solid performer all throughout. Prior to her Vegas arrival pageant fans and pundits regard her as a serious contender to the semifinals but buzz about her dissipated somewhat since then, especially as there are other stronger stars out there (and are also from Southeast Asia). It didn’t help that she tripped during the evening gown round of the Presentation Show. Anyway, I dig her grand red-and-white Garuda-inspired costume–pretty grand and shimmering.
IRELAND – Adrienne Murphy. She is attractive even if I find her facial features angular. I found her red satin evening gown with shoulder pads interesting, but unlike some other contestants, she tripped during the swimsuit round while she encountered no incident in the evening gown round.
All images courtesy of Miss Universe LP, LLLP unless otherwise indicated.
COMING UP: ISRAEL to NEW ZEALAND