The most prominent players in this group are a couple of South Americans, a couple of ladies from the former Soviet Union, and one Southeast Asian, but there are also some sleeper possibilities galore. Let’s take a look at them now starting with…
BOLIVIA – Maria Renee Carmona. She made the shortlist in both Resorts Wear and Swimsuit, plus she garnered a bronze medal for her continent in National Costume. She’s gorgeous, buffed, and has oodles of charisma, so she seems a shoo-in for the Top 16 and beyond.
BRAZIL – Priscilla Martins. At first glance, I thought though she’s undeniably one of the strongest contenders in this year’s contest, I thought she could be the one most likely to lose her country’s grip on an element among the “Elemental Trio” of her country, Philippines, and Venezuela. But as the competition wore on, she proved that she is likely going to be a lock for an element. She garnered silver in both the Swimsuit competition and National Costume competition for her continent, plus garnered some sponsor’s prizes along the way.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – Kimberly Herbert. She has a cute face and a bubbly personality. Amongst this batch of candidates, she has the most “voluptuous” figure.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Maria Eugenia Vargas. I find her features more of an acquired taste and her projection a tad raw. We’ve seen stronger, fiercer bets from this nation before.
GABON – Filiane Mayombo Koundi. Here is another great looking African who deserves better notice. At this point, I’ll label her as an underrated gem.
GERMANY – Caroline Nouding. Though her stage projection skills are not that polished, and she has not figured in the preliminary events (nor won sponsor’s prizes) this lady has garnered great compliments from some pageant fans and pundits. Wonder if she could still pull off a sleeper surprise?
GUATEMALA – Jimena Mansilla Wever. She’s generally polished, but so far her only impact was garnering a silver medal as best teacher in her group during the school tour challenge.
HAITI – Carolina Rinchere. She is attractive and polished enough, but I’m rather distracted by her weave as it’s just too artificial looking that it’s distracting. I think it’s that weave that might be preventing her from making any serious impact.
HUNGARY – Dalma Huszarovics. I find her very pretty, and she has a trim figure, but perhaps she seems rather low key that is why she is not making any serious impact so far. Which is such a shame as I find her an underrated gem.
ITALY – Debora Bon. She is great looking and actually made a great impression in the Press Presentation, but so far she was not shortlisted in the key preliminary competitions and did not garner any sponsor’s prizes. But who knows, she could still pull off a sleeper surprise.
MACAU – Ashely Qian. Well, she’s slim and polished. She also seems to have a pool of supporters who flooded the fan votes that she garnered silver medals in both Miss Photogenic and Eco-Beauty. Interesting fact: she was born in the Philippines.
MALAYSIA – Josephine Tan. She decided that in order to stand out she cut her hair to a shoulder-length bob. Well, it does flatter her, though still her features are just too plain for her to make more serious inroads into the Top 16.
MAURITIUS – Virginie Dorza. She is a refreshing choice to be shortlisted in the Swimsuit competition. Wonder if she could then be another sleeper choice for the Top 16? She can do it.
MEXICO – Kristal Silva. She is attractive though her features are not really my cup of tea. But she is making some waves so far, figuring in both Swimsuit and Resorts Wear competitions and winning a sponsor’s prize. She is at least an improvement over last year’s representative who made the final cut.
NETHERLANDS – Kristy Hoogerbrugge. Her features are a bit too angular for my comfort, but she is undeniably polished, has a slim, model-worthy frame, and is a strong communicator. Her knowledge helps her garner a silver medal as best teacher in the school tour challenge.
COMING UP: NORWAY to ZAMBIA plus the “FEARFUL” FORECAST