MISTER WORLD 2014: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 1)

Contestants arrive

In the seaside resort town of Torbay, England, 46 of the finest specimens of masculinity around the world gathered to compete in a series of challenges to determine who should be considered the most desirable man for this year.  These challenges tend to be athletic or military in nature, but there are also challenges for talent, multimedia, and fashion & style.  How do these 46 contenders measure up in terms of these challenges, and which of them is most worthy of taking over the mantle currently held by Colombia’s Francisco Escobar?

Like in Miss World this pageant organized the contestants into teams.  There are four teams, Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue.  Let’s look into them starting with

RED TEAM

This team is the smallest of the four teams as it only has ten members (expected arrivals from Guinea-Bissau and Haiti unfortunately did not materialize).  But this team made an impact as it collectively won the Extreme Sports team challenge plus some wins in the various Sports challenges–they won the four-man tyre race and the two-man bowling challenge.

AUSTRALIA – Nick Kennett.  Facewise he resembles Spartacus actor Liam McIntyre (the guy who replaced the late Andy Whitfield).  He made it as far as Top 10 in the obstacle course portion of the Extreme Sports Challenge and 11th in overall performance for that challenge event, plus made the Top 15 in Talent–he qualified with a beatboxing performance, but then trotted out his guitar to sing conventionally for the talent finals.  It’s pretty cutthroat to make the final cut, but whatever the outcome he is a more than worthwhile contender.

At the Extreme Sports challenge
From beatboxing for the talent competition audition…
…to singing with guitar for the Talent finals.
Liam McIntyre as Spartacus (image courtesy of Starz!)

AUSTRIA – Philipp Knefz.  He possesses a potent mix of boyish handsomeness and buffed sexiness that makes women swoon.  But little did we know he also has an athletic edge.  He has proven his mettle in the Extreme Sports challenge–despite not having advanced all the way to the mudflats round of the assault course, he scored well enough in other events to place second overall behind the eventual winner, Moldova.  He also generated impact as part of the winning team in the tyre race.  He seems one with an inside track of making the final Top 10.

At the gym
At the D-Day commemoration
At the Extreme Sports challenge with Denmark, Puerto RIco, Australia, and Brazil

BOLIVIA – Anyelo Bryan Roca.  He is one of the tallest contestants this year at 1.96m, and he’s also the youngest at age 18.  But to my eyes he looks younger–like a 14 year old boy (a boy giant, so to speak).  To find him desirable gives me an icky feeling because he just looks too youthful for my taste, but he is undeniably cute.  But it will be an uphill battle for him to be in serious contention for the finals–height and good looks alone are not enough for this pageant.  At least he got himself a highlight as he was among the last six standing in the football penalty shootout.

Selfie commemorating D-Day
With Miss World 2013 Megan Young

BRAZIL – Reinaldo Dalcin.  He made his presence felt in the sports round of the tyre relay race and as part of the winning bowling duo.  He is actually an improvement over his predecessor, WIlliam Rech, but is what he did enough to give his nation another Top 10 finish in this pageant?

Winning bowling duo, with Korea
During the soccer match with Ukraine and Spain

CHINA P.R. – Tang Hongzhen.  He is actually good looking.  But it seems he’s not making any kind of impact so making the final Top 10 would be an uphill battle.

With Ghana at the airport
Holding a “Mr. World United” sign

DENMARK – Nicklas Pedersen.  There are some pageant fans and pundits who find him highly appealing but for me his features are of an unconventional sort, though no doubt about it his body is supremely buffed and he has a great, outgoing personality.  He has proven his mettle in the grueling Extreme Sports and Sports challenge events, having been one of the last two standing in the mudflats round to race against eventual champion Moldova, being part of the winning tyre race relay team, and being the best performer from his team in shot put.  He is one of so many worthy choices to choose from that whittling these 46 guys to a Top 10 would be too brutal.

At the gym with South Africa (C) and Malta (R)
A selfie before the Extreme Challenge

JAPAN – Tsuyoshi Akaboya.  Well, for J-Pop and J-Dorama fangirls, this guy would be highly desirable and appealing.  He can be proud that in one round of the Extreme Sports challenge he clocked the fastest time.  We’ll see if there are J-Pop and J-Dorama fans among the Miss World insiders who generally constitute the panel of judges.

Running drill during the Extreme Sports challenge
Getting ready for the judges’ interviews.

KOREA – Jae Yeon Lim.  If Japan is a J-Pop guy, meet his K-Pop counterpart.  He made a splash as part of the winning bowling duo with Brazil.  Now, are there K-Pop and K-Wave fans among the Miss World insiders?

Tenpin king!
Getting ready for a fashion show.
Reclining amidst the presence of his fellow contestants and a local Torquay kid.

PUERTO RICO – Alberto Martinez.  He has very appealing Latin features.  He also made a splash in both Extreme Sports and Talent.  In Extreme Sports, not only did he advance to the mudflats round of the assault course, but he performed well enough to rank 5th overall in the challenge event.  He also fared well with his martial arts routine for the Talent event, making the Top Seven before they whittled them down further to the four who would get to perform in the Mister World finals.

Selfie at the Extreme Sports challenge.
Performing his martial arts talent at the Talent finals.

ROMANIA – Bogdan Mierla.  In real-world terms, he would be considered handsome and appealing.  But in stratified pageant/modeling standards, his looks would fall short.  But do not dismiss him as a bottom feeder as he has proven his mettle in Extreme Sports and Sports–he made it all the way to the mudflats round of the assault course and ranked 10th overall in the former, and he was part of the winning tyre race team.

Selfie during casino night
At the Extreme Sports challenge

COMING UP:  The GREEN TEAM

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