CHINA – Jin Ye. She is clearly a model and the stage proves to be her friend judging from the way she projects in both the National Costume show and Presentation Show. She can take good modeling photos, too. But more casual photos, well, she doesn’t quite make as strong an impression. Still, her Presentation Show performance is noteworthy and she could be a semifinals possibility.
COLOMBIA – Lucia Aldana. She is prettier than last year’s representative, for sure, and she delivered the goods in the Presentation Show (I loved the Grecian-style white gown she wore and how well she worked it). But enough to make the semifinals? Don’t totally count her out as it is indeed very possible.
COSTA RICA – Fabiana Granados. This well-regarded semifinalist from last year’s Miss Earth is making a strong impression here, too, that she seems to have a strong lock for one of the semifinal spots. Maybe she will not go as far as 2011 Top 10 semifinalist Johanna Solano, but it’s still going to be a big deal since it will only be the fourth time this country would make the final cut.
CROATIA – Melita Fabečić. Prior to her arrival in Moscow, there were pageant fans and pundits who thought she could be a possible front-runner. She does have striking, exotic features (she could pass for Brazilian) but it turns out she doesn’t really have a lively, vibrant presence, so she turns out to be a disappointment in the Presentation Show (she was likewise low-key in her “Truth and Dare” video).
CURACAO – Eline de Pool. It’s quite surprising that during the Presentation Show, she had fans screaming for her–she has a good vocal contingent who flew from her island to Moscow for her. But to her credit, she delivered well and was a polished presence all throughout, and may even be regarded as a semifinalist possibility.
CZECH REPUBLIC – Gabriela Kratochvilová. She makes a striking presence with her short pixie haircut, evoking post-Les Miserables Anne Hathaway with a gorgeous face to boot. Plus, judging from her “Truth and Dare” video, she has a lively, playfully spunky personality. I am so rooting for her to succeed that she is my sentimental favorite. Unfortunately, her Presentation Show performance fell short–putting her bangs up was not a good strategy, and her figure was surprisingly not competition-level. I think a Trump Ticket is in order for her to make the final cut, and this is one Trump Ticket that I would not object to at all.
DENMARK – Cecilia Iftikhar. This lady is raw all throughout, but fortunately she wasn’t a catwalk disaster like her predecessor was.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Yaritza Reyes. Her frizzy hair and facial features seem to evoke a mix of the Italian 1997 finalist Denny Mendez (who was originally from this country) and 2002 representative Ruth Ocumarez. She made headlines in Moscow as during the Yamamay swimsuit fashion show she fell on the catwalk. Nothing of that sort fortunately happened during the Presentation Show, but pageant fans and pundits now discounted her prospects especially as she was a disappointment trying to channel the late 1980s to early 1990s in her dated evening gown.
ECUADOR – Constanza María Báez. She performed solidly all throughout, but was never regarded as a semifinalist contender–consider her a member of the P.A.T.I.S. crew.
EL SALVADOR – Alba Delgado. Facewise she is attractive but not enough to make a big impression, but she is otherwise a solid contender. In the evening gown round of the Presentation Show, she wore a very provocative yellow gown with a sheer top featuring strategically placed sequins. Nick Verreos hated it and named it the worst gown of the entire Presentation Show. I didn’t really think it was that bad, and my worst would’ve been the one that was second on his list, Belgium.
ESTONIA – Kristina Karjalainen. I would’ve regarded her as a member of the P.A.T.I.S. crew if it weren’t for the styling she had in the Presentation Show–that one-sided bun on the right side of her head is just a big no-no.
ETHIOPIA – Mhadere TIgabe. Ethiopians are supposed to be noted for their soulful eyes, but when I look at this lady, it seems her eyes are just vacant. Her demeanor is similarly lifeless throughout the Presentation Show and in her “Truth and Dare” video.
FINLAND – Lotta Hintsa. To her credit, she was lively in her “Truth and Dare” video, but otherwise she’s a middling contender.
FRANCE – Hinarani de Longeaux. Initially, most pageant fans and pundits believed this lady has more charisma than the woman who beat her in the Miss France pageant, Marine Lorphelin. But the way Marine sparkled luminously throughout her month-long stay in Bali (all the way to a deserving 1st runner-up finish at Miss World) proved otherwise. She is still on-track of sustaining her country’s strong semifinals streak in this pageant since 2009, but whether she can make the Final Five (which this nation has never landed since the immortal Christiane Martel’s win 60 years ago–yes, hard to believe considering the way she still looks now) is a bit of an iffy prospect though still highly possible.
GABON – Jennifer Ondo. Well, she’s attractive, but rather raw in her “Truth and Dare” video and onstage in the Presentation Show.
COMING UP: GERMANY to JAMAICA