CURACAO – Akisha Albert. She’s generally attractive and polished, and would make more serious inroads in a less competitive year.
ECUADOR – Maria Jose Maza. Her features are a bit too strong for most people’s tastes, including mine. Still, we have to hand it to her that she’s generally polished, but well, the Latina contingent is formidable this year.
EL SALVADOR – Georgina Gonzalez. She may not tally medals, but I think she has the sort of girl-next-door looks that can pull off a sleeper surprise.
ENGLAND – Gabriela Gatehouse. Facewise, this brunette is attractive but there are prettier and more stunning faces out there. She tends to take the sexy path, judging from the provocative neckline of the gown she wore in the evening gown competition, and the hotpants-with-thigh-high-kinky-boots style of her beefeater costume. Anyway, she made a major splash on the medal board as she garnered golds for costume and friendship and a bronze as Best Teacher.
GERMANY – Arta Muja. She’s good looking but raw. As a result, she couldn’t make as much impact as she potentially could with her looks.
GHANA – Nana Ama Odama-Okyere. She is the BB Sweepstakes winner for this edition of this pageant. Her facial features are very plain to my taste, so I don’t foresee her making any serious inroads into the finals.
INDONESIA – Annisa Ananda Nusyirwan. Her Asian features are not really to the Filipinos’ tastes, but she is making the most of what she has. She garnered a gold for her national costume.
ISRAEL – Tala Safadi. She is cute, but clearly overshadowed by her peers.
KAZAKHSTAN – Assel Zholdassova. She seems to make a striking presence onstage, and she has appealing features to boot. She’s on the medal map with a bronze for talent, but I can see her making inroads into the Top 16.
KENYA – Lydiah Linah Manani. She is the best-looking dark-skinned African in this year’s batch, in my opinion. But buzz is muted about her. She figured in the medal board with a silver in talent. She could still be one of the sleeper possibilities for the Top 16.
MAURITIUS – Anne Sophie Lalanne. I find her better looking that the one who made the cut last year. But with a competitive group like this year, I’m not certain she can duplicate her predecessor’s feat.
MEXICO – Yareli Carillo. She seems to have great looks and charisma, though it seems it falls short for her to medal, though she made such a positive impression that several pageant fans and pundits have included her in their Top 16 lists. It is highly possible, but there are just so many possible scenarios equally likely to take place.
MYANMAR – Ei Mon Khine. It seems this country is developing an avid internet pageant following, and those followers helped propel her to a bronze medal finish in the online photogenic vote. It’s a remote possibility she could conceivably made the final cut, but there are formidable contenders out there.
NEPAL – Prinsha Shrestha. She doesn’t make an impact looks-wise, but her Eco-Beauty video is for me one of the best and most impactful–it being touted as one of the 10 best is well deserved in this case. The video talks about a grassroots potato pancake project–it’s earnest and serious and all, though I feel that for some Filipino viewers like myself, the 1985 Japanese anime version of A Little Princess (called Princess Sarah), which was phenomenally popular in our shores in the early 1990s would pop to mind–for Filipinos, remember those amusing viral internet memes?
All images courtesy of Carousel Productions and Bruce Casanova for OPMB Worldwide unless otherwise indicated.
COMING UP: NETHERLANDS to VENEZUELA and the “FEARFUL” FORECAST