NETHERLANDS – Talisa Wolters. In general this blonde is polished and good looking. A possible sleeper into the Top 16. She also earned a silver for friendship.
NEW ZEALAND – Sheree Anderson. See NETHERLANDS, albeit not as tall and has not garnered a medal.
NIGERIA – Damola Akinsanya. Behind Kenya, she’s the second best-looking black African in this pageant. There are some pageant fans and pundits who are including her in their Top 16 list. It is indeed possible. She got one gold medal for being Best Teacher in her group.
PAKISTAN – Shanzay Hayat. She made the Top 20 in last year’s Miss Grand International. She is arguably the best-looking representative ever fielded by this country to this contest. I have a feeling the fortunes between her and Paraguay would reverse for this pageant from their Grand International stint–Paraguay will most likely make the cut while she would be likely be shut out. It’s still conceivable that she could make the final cut but it’s a crowded field this year. Anyway, she made the medal board as she earned gold for her talent.
POLAND – Patrycja Dorywalska. She has the smoldering sexy looks that could earn her a slot in the Top 16. She only garnered one medal–a bronze for swimsuit–but she has a strong presence and great looks to be taken into serious consideration.
ROMANIA – Andreea Chiru. She competed in last year’s Miss World and didn’t make an impact, and it’s likely the same scenario will take place here.
RUSSIA – Anastasia Trusova. Based on the medals she garnered she is one of the ladies who could be in line for an element. She garnered gold in evening gown, silver in national costume, and bronze in cocktail wear. She was also rated as one of the top 10 Eco-Beauty videos, though personally I would’ve preferred another contender to take her slot–I don’t quite believe some of the facts she is stating about her country in her video, especially in relation to news stories we hear regarding this nation lately. Anyway, she does have what it takes to generate her nation’s best showing to this pageant.
SAMOA – Natasha Westropp. She’s attractive, but clearly not in serious contention for the finals.
SINGAPORE – Silvia Lam. I regard here as a polished contender. She can strike a sexy presence especially in her form-fitting national costume. She earned a bronze medal for friendship.
ST. LUCIA – Francillia Austin. See HAITI, with extra polish.
SWEDEN – Frida Fornander. She’s a pretty blonde who needs a little polish to make maximum impact. But still, it’s conceivable she can make the cut as a refreshing choice.
THAILAND – Sasi Sintawee. She employs sex appeal to generate maximum impact. And thus far it’s working with gold medal wins in swimsuit and cocktail wear, plus a silver in resorts wear. On top of that, she made the Top 10 for her Eco-Beauty video. It seems she has an inside track into the Top 16, with the possibility of going as far as her dethroned predecessor.
U S A – Andrea Neu. I didn’t quite get her when she competed at last year’s Miss International and made the Top 15. But I’m starting to get her as she competes here–she is evoking the vibe of one of my favorite beauty queens–the legendary hardest-working beauty queen Natascha Börger. She is one of the more prominent players garnering a gold for resorts wear, silver for Best Teacher and swimsuit, and bronze for evening gown. She seems to have an inside track of garnering an element during the finals–but it’s going to be a tightly fought contest.
VENEZUELA – Maira Alejandra Rodriguez. She was originally designated to compete in this pageant the following year, but the designated representative was deemed by Osmel as unfit to compete so he accelerated her to compete this year. She is rated by most pageant fans and pundits as a major favorite, and it shows that even if she didn’t garner gold, she won the most medals with five. She garnered four silvers for Darling of the Press, evening gown, cocktail wear, and national costume, and a bronze for resorts wear. It’s not a 100% guarantee that all these awards would mean she will ultimately make the final cut, but indications seem to be heading toards that direction. The rumored presence of Osmel Sousa in the pageant finals may also factor in guaranteeing her presence in the Top 16.
Now that all 85 delegates are accounted for, let me trot out my leaderboard to show how I think they all stack up:
TOP CONTENDERS: PHILIPPINES, SPAIN
SHOO-INS: PARAGUAY, RUSSIA, THAILAND, U S A, VENEZUELA
LIKELIEST: AUSTRIA, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, ENGLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, INDIA, JAPAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KOREA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MONGOLIA, NAMIBIA, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NIGERIA, PAKISTAN, PANAMA, PERU, POLAND, PUERTO RICO, SCOTLAND, SLOVENIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SWITZERLAND, TAHITI, UKRAINE, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, ZAMBIA
COMMITMENT FACTOR: NEPAL, SRI LANKA, TANZANIA, ZIMBABWE
EXCELLENT: AUSTRALIA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, CANADA, P R CHINA, CURACAO, DENMARK, EGYPT, GABON, GUATEMALA, GUYANA, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, NORTHERN IRELAND, REUNION ISLAND, SINGAPORE, SLOVAK REPUBLIC, SWEDEN,
VERY STRONG: CHILE, CZECH REPUBLIC, FIJI, GERMANY, GUAM, LATVIA, PORTUGAL
STRONG: BELGIUM, CROATIA, ECUADOR, ISRAEL, ITALY, LEBANON, MADAGASCAR, SAMOA, ST. LUCIA
VERY GOOD: BOTSWANA, GHANA, HAITI, ROMANIA
GOOD: CHINESE TAIPEI, TONGA
So here is my “Fearful” Forecast:
TOP FOUR: PARAGUAY, PHILIPPINES, SPAIN, THAILAND
TOP EIGHT: INDIA, RUSSIA, U S A, VENEZUELA
TOP 16: BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, FRANCE, PUERTO RICO, SLOVENIA, TAHITI, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, ZAMBIA
BUBBLING UNDER: AUSTRIA, COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, ENGLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, JAPAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KOREA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MONGOLIA, NAMIBIA, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NIGERIA, PAKISTAN, PANAMA, PERU, POLAND, SCOTLAND, SOUTH AFRICA, SWITZERLAND, UKRAINE
STRIKING DISTANCE: AUSTRALIA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, CANADA, P R CHINA, CURACAO, DENMARK, EGYPT, GABON, GUATEMALA, GUYANA, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, NEPAL, NORTHERN IRELAND, REUNION ISLAND, SINGAPORE, SLOVAK REPUBLIC, SRI LANKA, SWEDEN, TANZANIA, ZIMBABWE
There are 42 top-notch contenders fighting for 16 slots. There are several interesting and satisfying combinations that can be derived from them. The key questions would be these: Would we have our 2nd Miss Earth win? Would Spain finally garner its first win? How many blacks/Africans will make the final cut? How many Latinas? How many Latinas of color? How many Asians? How many blondes? Will Venezuela garner an element? Whatever the case, it will be a close battle as I see it. Good luck to all the ladies!