SOUTH AFRICA – Natasha Pretorius. In most other major pageants, one typically assumes that the best delegate from Africa will come from this country. For this pageant, though, it’s not the case–this blonde is clearly overshadowed by the slew of fierce ebony stunners out there, and on top of that, she is hampered by a thick-by-pageant-standards figure.
SPAIN – Eva Rogel. She seemed good looking in her official portraits, but is not making a major impression in others. Is she a member of the P.A.T.I.S. crew?
SRI LANKA – Gayesha Perera. In terms of looks, there are stronger Asians out there. But at least she was commended for her dancing talent during the talent competition.
SURINAME – Jaleeza Weibolt. She and Miss Netherlands have complexions that can definitely be classified as “ebony”. With her wide smile and buffed figure, she has made a positive impression.
SWEDEN – Sally Lindgren. I don’t classify her as a conventional beauty, but I now understand why she was granted the Miss Elegance special award–she does have a distinctively upright gamine stance that is indeed graceful and elegant to behold. This could be her ticket to make the Top 20.
SWITZERLAND – Joana Loureiro. This multilingual girl (she can speak five languages) has a buffed figure and a spunky vibe that makes a strong, positive impression.
THAILAND – Thanyaporn Srisen. Last year, this country garnered a 1st runner-up finish in this pageant. Though this Asian doll is highly polished and competitive, I don’t think she will duplicate or improve on that showing. But she is one of the likeliest to make the final cut, even going all the way to the Top 10.
TOGO – Armande Akumah. I’m scratching my head a bit reading reports that she was under consideration as choice for Top Model (along with a fierce battle between Russia and eventual winner Moldova). She does have features that individually are very pretty, but from my viewpoint, the way they are put together seems to be rather off–it’s like a slightly abstract portrait of pop superstar Rihanna, from what I’m seeing. Still, maybe sometimes my tastes deviate from the consensus, so maybe she is indeed a strong contender and part of the fierce African contingent.
TURKEY – Leyla Köse. She seems to be developing into a sleeper possibility into the finals. She does have a bright spark that sometimes is missing with some delegates from this country in various pageants.
UKRAINE – Kateryna Sandulova. Here is another possible front-runner to watch out for, though I feel there is something about her features that is not flawless for me to classify her as a classic beauty. I suppose I got a similar vibe about 13 years ago with the Miss World 2000 finalist Katja Thomsen from Uruguay.
URUGUAY – Agustina Mederos. I actually find this blonde pretty, but she is not receiving much buzz. Is she a member of the P.A.T.I.S. crew?
USA – Kristy Abreu. She is actually attractive, but overshadowed by several other standouts out there. Her best prospect is a creditable showing.
U S VIRGIN ISLANDS – Esonica Veira. She makes a distinctive presence with her hip bob, and it is likely she will duplicate her success at Miss World 2011 and make the Top 20 (with strong possibilities of making all the way to the Top 10). She performed her Michael Jackson tribute dance again in the talent competition and again earned accolades by earning 2nd runner-up honors.
Now, I wonder about something–Global Beauties reported in the swimsuit plus cocktail wear competition, she garnered thunderous applause. But looking at the swimsuit lineup from that event, she seems nowhere to be found. I suppose the applause came as they paraded in cocktail dresses, but it also makes me wonder–so is the swimsuit portion of the event optional? Was there a compelling reason why she was not present for the swimsuit round?
VENEZUELA – Annie Fuenmayor. She is not conventionally pretty in my book, but she exudes a lot of charisma and sparkle, plus she has a killer buffed figure. This major pageant powerhouse so far only made the final cut once, but she can most likely improve on that track record, maybe even go all the way to the Top Five.
WALES – Fallon Robinson. See NORTHERN IRELAND.
ZIMBABWE – Lungile Mathe. This elegantly statuesque and slender model who currently resides in China is one of the fierce Africans in this year’s pageant who is battling for a slot in the Top 20. Will there be room for her?
Now with all the 83 contestants accounted for, let me now trot out my leaderboard:
TOP CONTENDERS: BELARUS, MOLDOVA, PHILIPPINES, PUERTO RICO, RUSSIA
SHOO-INS: AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND, THAILAND, UKRAINE, VENEZUELA
LIKELIEST: CAMEROON, CANADA, COLOMBIA, FRANCE, GABON, GHANA, GUADELOUPE, INDIA, LATVIA, LUXEMBOURG, MEXICO, MYANMAR, NETHERLANDS, PANAMA, SURINAME, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, TOGO, TURKEY, U S VIRGIN ISLANDS, ZIMBABWE
TALENT/PERSONALITY FACTOR: MALAYSIA, SRI LANKA
EXCELLENT: ARGENTINA, DENMARK, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, HUNGARY, ICELAND, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, ROMANIA, RWANDA, SCOTLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, URUGUAY
VERY STRONG: AZERBAIJAN, BOLIVIA, COSTA RICA, ENGLAND, ESTONIA, INDONESIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, SERBIA, WALES
STRONG: ALBANIA, CHINA, EL SALVADOR, GERMANY, HONDURAS, JAMAICA, MACAU, MARTINIQUE, SOUTH AFRICA, U S A
VERY GOOD: COTE D’IVOIRE, FINLAND, HAITI, PORTUGAL
GOOD: BELGIUM, GEORGIA, HONG KONG, IRAQ, ITALY, REUNION
FAIR: GUATEMALA, KOSOVO, NIGERIA
So here goes my “fearful” forecast:
TOP FIVE: BELARUS, MOLDOVA, PHILIPPINES, PUERTO RICO, RUSSIA
TOP TEN: AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, THAILAND, UKRAINE, VENEZUELA
TOP 20: CAMEROON, CZECH REPUBLIC, LATVIA, LUXEMBOURG, MEXICO, MYANMAR, POLAND, SWEDEN, TURKEY, U S VIRGIN ISLANDS
BUBBLING UNDER: CANADA, COLOMBIA, FRANCE, GABON, GHANA, GUADELOUPE, ICELAND, INDIA, NETHERLANDS, PANAMA, SURINAME, SWITZERLAND, TOGO, ZIMBABWE
STRIKING DISTANCE: ARGENTINA, DENMARK, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, HUNGARY, ICELAND, MALAYSIA, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, ROMANIA, RWANDA, SCOTLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, URUGUAY
Will tradition continue and a semi-homeland decision (albeit worthy) will take place? Or will tradition be broken and they open up wins for those with less historical or organizer connections? All I’m really hoping for is a fair and just decision. Let’s see how it all unfolds on Friday.
All images courtesy of Miss Supranational unless otherwise indicated.