MALAYSIA – Renee Tan.  In another year, she could make serious inroads into the semifinals.  But with a group like this, it’s an uphill battle for her to make serious inroads.

MONGOLIA – Tugsuu Idersaikhan.  She was 2nd runner-up at Miss International 2011, behind winner Fernanda Cornejo of Ecuador and 1st runner-up Jessica Barboza of Venezuela, the latter being previously Miss Earth – Water 2009.  I’m quite surprised few pageant fans and pundits include her in their shortlists,   She garnered a silver in cocktail wear, and I feel she still has an inside track of making the final cut–but then again, this is an extremely competitive field, so nothing is assured.

NAMIBIA – Paulina Malulu.  With this pageant, she is the third person to pull off the feat of competing in all of the “Big Four” pageants, after Zambia’s Cynthia Kanema and South Africa’s Bokang Montjane.  So far, she only managed to make the final cut in her Miss International stint.  Can she also make it in this pageant?  It is highly possible, if the pre-judging panel can overcome their resistance to her kind of features.  Anyway, she made the medal tally with a silver for national costume and a bronze for swimsuit.

At Miss International 2012 (image courtesy of Miss International Organization)
At Miss World 2013 (image courtesy of Miss World Ltd)
At Miss Universe 2013

PANAMA – Maria Gallimore.  Here is another black Latina worth reckoning with–good-looking with a buffed figure and polished stage presence.  Her costume win for her continent is well deserved.  She is another one jockeying for one of the Top 16 slots.

Americas National Costume winners: Bronze – Chile, Gold – Panama, Silver – Venezuela

PARAGUAY – Sendy Caceres.  It’s quite surprising that this lady failed to make the cut at Miss Grand International last year.  It seems she’s a stellar contender especially with the golds she had garnered from resorts wear and cocktail wear, on top of a silver as Best Teacher.  Can she go all the way and garner an element?

Group 2 Resorts Wear winners: Bronze – Slovenia, Gold – Paraguay, Silver – Dominican Republic
Group 2 Cocktail Wear Winners: Bronze – Zambia, Gold – Paraguay, Silver – Mongolia

PORTUGAL – Raquel Fontes.  Wonder what happened to her that she missed the National Costume competition?  Anyway, she seems good looking so I am rating her a worthwhile contender.

REUNION ISLAND – Lolita Hoarau.  So far she is the best contender fielded by this French overseas department.  She is trim, attractive, and generally polished.

SCOTLAND – Romy McCahill.  Miss England seemed to be garnering more attention with her costume and friendship gold medal wins, but amongst the British Isle delegates, I find this lass the most attractive.  So far she only medaled bronze in talent, but there is still that possibility she could pull off a sleeper surprise and make the final cut.

SLOVENIA – Patricia Peklar.  This blonde is garnering significant buzz, as she garnered a gold in talent and a bronze in resorts wear.  There are other blondes in this group that I find more attractive, but she deserves some props and she is one worth reckoning.

Group 2 Talent winners: Bronze – Scotland, Gold – Slovenia, Silver – Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA – Imaya Liyanage.  In terms of looks, I wouldn’t put her in high regard, but she might make inroads because of her commitment to the cause.  She earned a silver for talent and is cited as one of the 10 best Eco-Beauty videos.

SWITZERLAND – Shayade Hug.  There are pageant fans and pundits who have a high regard for her, including her in their shortlists.  I can see why–there are some angles where she has a passing resemblance to Miss Earth 2004 Priscilla Meirelles.  A possible explanation for that passing resemblance can be found on her Eco-Beauty video, where she explains she is half-Brazilian.  She garnered a gold for friendship, and she would be a worthwhile sleeper surprise if she makes the final cut.

Group 2 Friendship winners: Silver – Ukraine, Gold – Switzerland, Bronze – Croatia
Miss Earth 2004 Priscilla Meirelles

TONGA – Sicilia Makisi.  Ordinary folk may appreciate her voluptuous frame, but in the pageant world, she would be rated out of contention.

UKRAINE – Valeriia Poloz.  This lady earned silvers in evening gown and friendship.  It is possible she could make the final cut, but as we all know there are several strong contenders jockeying for limited slots.


ZAMBIA – Cartier Zagorski.  I find it interesting that this country is represented by a light-skinned girl.  Plus her name doesn’t sound African at all.  This lady looks like a stage dynamo so it is highly conceivable she can bring forth a breakthrough for her nation.  So far, she garnered a silver in swimsuit and two bronzes for cocktail wear and evening gown.  I find her Eco-Beauty video intriguing for the wrong reasons–she was a blonde in this video; I think the jet black hair she sports now becomes her more.  I’m also wondering about her accent–is that an Australian or a South African accent?

All images courtesy of Carousel Productions and Bruce Casanova for OPMB Worldwide unless otherwise indicated.


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