MISTER WORLD 2014: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 2)

Top 24 in Extreme Sports

GREEN TEAM

Green is usually seen as a drab color, but that quality does not apply for this team, as these are loaded with the most vibrant and colorful personalities around, and they have the liveliest team spirit amongst all the teams, as shown from their two team videos as embedded at the end of this section below.  Ironically as a team they have not won any aspect of the challenges, though some individuals from this team have come close.  I also have to note three of the four Talent finalists who would get to perform at the finale are from this team.  Though they did not shine in the team challenges, I have this gnawing feeling that the overall winner of this pageant will come from this team.

ARGENTINA – José Ferrer Santillán.  Imagine Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone with shorter hair, a squarer jaw, and a beefier buffed body, and you get this guy.  He made the final ten guys to compete in the mudflats round of the Extreme Sports challenge, though he was not Top 12 overall.  I like him, but it’s an uphill battle for him to make the final Top Ten.

At the 2nd round of talent auditions with Peru (L)
“With the Power of Indestructibility” – at the beach
Chef Curtis Stone (image courtesy of Wireimage)

CANADA – Jin Kwon Stewart.   This half-Korean guy took the role of the clown of the group, making silly faces and photobombing other contestants’ photos.  He may not be as successful as this year’s co-host Frankie Cena, but his presence and sense of levity is highly welcome.

Goofing about as Philippines (L) celebrated his birthday.
An agonizing round of sit-ups during the Extreme Challenge (with Ukraine lying down)
Yes, he scored a penalty kick in a suit and tie… he’s the self-appointed “team manager”, you know.

CURACAO – Zuenmarik Veens.  His looks, lanky frame, and mini-Sideshow Bob curls are an acquired taste, but he is very close to making the overall final cut as he is one of the four guys who would get to perform their talents in the Mister World finals.  He will be singing the late Luther Vandross’s “Dance with my Father”.

Singing Luther Vandross’s “Dance with my Father” at the Talent final
With Miss World 2013 Megan Young

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Braylin Vargas Nuñéz.  He seems very sleekly packaged, but we all know Miss World and Mister World tend to not favor that sort.  But he has a compelling quality that might bring him serious inroads into the Top Ten–with his flashy wardrobe and pompadour he could be a front-runner for the Fashion and Style challenge, if the insiders wouldn’t dig the more classic sleek GQ stylings offered by Italy, Moldova, and Philippines.

With Puerto RIco (L) and Moldova (R)
At the D-Day Commemoration with Wales, Guadeloupe, Bloivia, Ghana, and Denmark

GHANA – Nii Tackie Laryea.  If the fellow contestants were the ones who would vote for the Talent winner, I bet their unanimous choice would be this guy–he and his guitar playing are showcased all over their Facebook pages, and they all wax rapturously over his skills.  Sure, he was declared as part of the Top Seven, but I think it was a shocker for most of the guys when he was not called to perform at the finale.  What gives?  I have a feeling Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” may not be the best showcase for his talents, and the judges may have found it slightly off-putting that he didn’t alter the “I work in the market as a checkout girl” lyric–but then again, remember that female American Idol contestants sang Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” without altering the gender, too?  What if he sang Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” (like when he serenaded Philippines during his birthday) or John Legend’s “All of Me” (like when he and Northern Ireland and a whole host of other guys serenaded Austria on his birthday)?  Or maybe passionately sing a lesser known folk song?  Whatever the final outcome, this guy already made an indelible impact amongst his fellow contestants.

Performing on guitar for the Talent finals.
Comparing fitness with Puerto Rico

MEXICO – José Pablo Minor.  He possesses the classic good looks and outgoing personality that classic Mister World winners like 2003’s Gustavo Giannetti and 2007’s Juan Garcia Postigo possess.  But he also knows how to play by today’s challenge-oriented rules, and he is likely to shine brightest in the Multimedia event–check out his heart-tugging valedictory “Thank You” video of his entire experience below, but also check out the contents of his Facebook page.  Though he did not advance to the mudflats portion of the assault course, he performed well enough to fare 4th overall in Extreme Sports, and he got to perform in the Talent final with his mime act.  I also see him also in contention in Fashion & Style.  The only obstacle to him winning it all is a good friend of his…

Selfie before the Extreme Sports challenge
Crouching during swimming trials for the Extreme Sports challenge.
Performing a mime during the Talent finals.
At the D-Day Commemoration with Netherlands

NETHERLANDS – Demian Overduijn.  He also got buzz with his scruffy handsome good looks and lively, outgoing personality, but he started getting the upper hand as a front-runner as he generated videos early on in his stay–he’s responsible for the two amusing Green Team videos you would see at the end of this article.  He is on track to being the Multimedia champion if he isn’t trumped by Mexico’s utterly beautiful valedictory video above.  He’s also at the forefront in the Talent competition with his expressive contemporary dance to Passenger’s “Let Her Go”, that he will get to perform it at the Mister World finale.  I have this gnawing feeling though they are now close chums, he and Mexico are the ones who’ll be fighting out for the title this Sunday.

In front of the customized beach pattern made for the Mr. World contestants.
Miss World 2013 Megan Young introducing his dance performance at the Talent finals
At the D-Day Commemoration with Philippines
At the football tournament vs. the Torquay FC with Mexico

PARAGUAY – Joaquin Sandoval.  For those who like mature types, this tall and lanky fellow could be considered appealing.

At the gym with Russia (R)
During the D-Day Commemoration with Philippines (L)

POLAND – Michal Rostek.  He, India, and Lebanon are part of the “Permanent Goatee” club.  He made the Top 24 in the Extreme Sports event and Top 15 with his dancing talents.  It’s interesting that he changed his routine from the auditions to the finals, as he was in a suit during the auditions and then went B-boy in the Talent finals.

At the gym with Argentina, South Africa, Malta, and Sri Lanka
From being a nattily dressed dancer in the auditions…

 

Dancing during the Talent Final
…To being “street” in the Talent final

SPAIN – Jose Ignacio Ros.  I think he also possesses the classic handsomeness, elan, and outgoing personality of classic Mister World winners like 1998’s Sandro Finoglio, 2003’s Gustavo Giannetti, and his countryman 2007’s Juan Garcia Postigo.  Unfortunately he didn’t make much serious inroads in the challenge events, though at least he made the Top 24 in Extreme Sports.  (He auditioned for talent, but to be honest, his Sinatra-style singing is not up to snuff.)  Hopefully, he can use his looks and charm to win over the judges and make the final Top Ten, and at least be cited for his efforts in Multimedia.

Sailing
With a puppy
With Miss World 2013 Megan Young

UKRAINE – Bohdan Yusypchuk.  Lookswise, he doesn’t qualify as handsome, but he makes up compellingly in other qualities.  He proved very stellar in Extreme Sports and Talent–he ranked 3rd overall in the former and with his Charlie Chaplin act he will get to perform his talent in the finale.  Could his strength of character propel him to the Top Ten?

Performing his Charlie Chaplin act in the Talent final.

 

At the gym with India, Russia, and Paraguay
At the Extreme Sports challenge with Switzerland (L), Italy (R), and Guadeloupe (front)

VENEZUELA –  Jesús Casanova.  Interesting trivia–he actually had been to the UK before, as he was a swimmer representing Venezuela in the 2012 London Olympics.  He was among the 10 who advanced to the final round of the assault course for the mudflats portion of the Extreme Sports challenge (though was not Top 12 overall), plus he was the best performer from his team in shot put.  He is performing creditably, though he is a far cry from the heyday of stratospheric contenders from this pageant powerhouse.

At the Extreme Sports mudflats portion with Romania (L)

 

AT the D-Day Commemoration with Italy (L)

COMING UP:  The YELLOW TEAM

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