NEW ZEALAND – Casey Dawn Radley. She has a similar vibe like Australia, a girl-next-door attractiveness that is considered beautiful in a real-world sense, but by pageant standards usually would tend to fall short. Still, in a bunch like this, she could be considered refreshing enough to make the cut.
NICARAGUA – Celeste Castillo. Just like most Latin American contenders, her features may not be conventionally pretty, but she has polished projection skills that could giver her an edge over the competition.
PANAMA – Betzy Madrid. Sure, some pageant fans and pundits may say her key disadvantage is that she is dark-skinned. But another key issue is that her facial features are just too exotic for Japanese (and most pageant fans and pundit’s) tastes to appreciate. She does have a buffed figure, though.
PARAGUAY – María Martha Raviolo Vera. Many Filipinos would automatically gravitate to her mestiza features, but her features have a harshness to them that may not make the right impression to the Japanese judges.
PERU – María Gracia Figueroa Llave. This previous veteran of Miss Earth 2011 actually has an above average attractive face (compared to the rest of the delegates to this pageant) but she seems to lack sparkle to make more serious inroads. But who knows with a batch such as this?
PHILIPPINES – Bea Rose Santiago. There are some angles where she reminds me of Miss Universe 2003 Amelia Vega, albeit with a slightly Asian mix. She hasn’t quite sparkled like an Amelia Vega yet, but she is clearly competing at the top of her game. She is going to be a shoo-in for the Top 15, which means she will most likely be doing a cultural speech. Now, her communication skills are top-notch, but I think the key for her to clinch our 5th Miss International crown is to make her speech appeal to emotions instead of speaking about lofty goals–which could be a cinch especially in light of the recent disasters we have experienced.
POLAND – Katarzyna Oracka. Now here is one of the few unconditionally pretty faces in this year’s pageant. If you ask me, she should be a shoo-in for the finals, and a possible crown contender, even if buzz is currently muted at this point.
PORTUGAL – Ana Claudia Ornelas Bonfim. There are some flattering angles, but most of the time she looks plain and raw.
PUERTO RICO – Ashley Beth Pérez Calderón. Here’s another less-than-conventionally-pretty Latina who knows how to project with flair, and that could be her ticket to make the final cut.
ROMANIA – Diana Maria Tiron. She facially reminds me of the current sole female American Iron Chef (and extra-tough judge on the Food Network competition show Chopped) Alex Guarnaschelli, albeit with a youthful vibe and a trimmer figure. Not sure how the Japanese judges would respond to her type of features, but it’s probably a distant possibility that she’ll make the final cut.
RUSSIA – Olga Gaidabura. Here is another lady who doesn’t seem to be that buzzed about that I think I should be fret if I want to ensure another victory for the Philippines. Her features remind me of the well-regarded (even though dethroned) Miss Universe 2002 Oxana Fedorova, and if she has the right sparkle onstage on Tuesday night, she might clinch the crown over the two highly touted front-runners from the Philippines and Venezuela.
SINGAPORE – Chew Jia Min. See MALAYSIA, albeit slightly prettier.
SLOVAK REPUBLIC – Nikoleta Duchonova. She’s another of the blondes-next-door like Australia and New Zealand. Would any of them tickle the fancy of the Japanese panel?
COMING UP: SOUTH AFRICA to VIETNAM plus the “FEARFUL” FORECAST