MISS WORLD 2014: AT THE HOMESTRETCH–RED TEAM (PART 2)

CHINA P R – Du Yang.  She made the Top Five in Top Model.  She does have a sleek, polished presence about her that made her worthy of this placement.  Can this be her ticket to make the overall Top 20?  Highly possible.

COLOMBIA – Leandra Garcia.  She’s actually great looking, but so far the only event where she stood out was in Sports, as she was among the Top 32 (and the Top 8 in her group.  I hope she makes a good enough impression to also figure in the Top 20 overall.

COSTA RICA – Natasha Sibaja.  Actually, she is a pageant veteran who saw action in Miss International and Miss Intercontinental back in 2012, placing in the Top 15 in the latter.  She has the consolation of being shortlisted in the Top 27 for Beauty with a Purpose, but other than that, I don’t think it’s likely she’ll make the final cut.

CROATIA – Antonija Gogić.  She made the Top 20 in Top Model, so there is that remote possibility that she could make the final cut.

DENMARK – Pernille Sørensen.  Her predecessor was prettier, and she didn’t make any impact so it’s likely the same outcome would befall this lady, as she didn’t make the cut in any challenge event.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Dhio Moreno Romero.  She was regarded as a front-runner during the early parts of the pageant proceedings, and she indeed made a major splash in the Top Model event as she placed 3rd in World Designer Dress, and Top 20 in Top Model.  We’re not certain if she figured in Beach Fashion as she was not in the announced Top Five (they didn’t announce a Top 20), but who knows she may have garnered some points there, too.  Hopefully she’ll salvage a Top 20 showing overall.

ENGLAND – Carina Tyrell.  To be blunt, in terms of looks I would regard her as one of the weaker links among the British Isle contestants.  But she made Top 32 in Sports, Top Ten in Beauty with a Purpose, and Top Five in Multimedia, so it is almost assured she’ll sustain a Top Ten placement for her country.  Her Beauty with a Purpose video is loaded with her lifetime of charity work, which has begun since she was aged seven.

GIBRALTAR – Shyanne Azzopardi.  Unlike her predecessor, who had to rely on the Popular Vote to make the finals, she at least figured in the Top 32 in Sports and Top 14 in Talent.  Considering that unlike last year, her government has not rallied around to vote for her, it is unlikely she’ll duplicate the placement of her predecessor.

HONG KONG CHINA – Erin Wong.  She’s actually polished, and arguably better looking than her predecessor, but it is unlikely for her to come close to figuring in the Top 20 or show up in the leaderboard as she failed to place in the challenge events.

KOSOVO – Vita Rexhepi.  She’s a good looking ingenue, but the only event where she made an impact was a Top 32 showing in Sports.  Will she be able to use her looks to make an impression with the judges?

MEXICO – Daniela Alvarez Reyes.  Prior to her showing up in London, there were concerns among Mexican pageant fans and pundits that she doesn’t seem to be in competitive form–there were even rumors that she would be replaced.  But as she showed up in London, she put all doubts to rest as she made a major splash, figuring in the Top 32 in Sports, Top 20 in Top Model and Top Five in Beach Fashion.  With this development, it is possible she can make all the way to the Top Five, and possibly even the Top Three.

NICARAGUA – Yumara Lopez.  She’s plain-looking and she has not figured in any challenge event, so I don’t foresee her figuring in the leaderboards.

PORTUGAL – Zita Reis Oliveira.  There are attractive angles on her, but she’s unpolished, and she didn’t figure in any challenge event, so she can be considered an also-ran in this pageant.

ROMANIA – Bianca Fanu.  She has a “Drusilla” vibe about her, which sometimes work in this pageant (like back in the 1990s), but in this era, she is not making much impact.

SAO TOME & PRINCIPE – Djessica Barbosa.  She arrived late and missed out on practically all of the challenge events.  So her mere presence in this competition (the first time ever for this island nation off the western coast of Africa) is to be treated as achievement enough.

Posing with Miss Equatorial Guinea (L)

WALES – Alice Ford.  She made significant inroads in Sports, as she ranked 5th in that event.  It could probably treated as achievement enough for her as she didn’t place in any other event.

Now that all 31 in this group are accounted for, let me trot out my leaderboard for this group:

TOP CONTENDER:  MEXICO

SHOO-IN: ENGLAND

LIKELIEST:  AUSTRIA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, BRAZIL, CHINA P R, COLOMBIA, CROATIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

CHALLENGE EVENT FACTOR:  BOLIVIA, CANADA, COSTA RICA, GIBRALTAR, WALES

POPULAR VOTE FACTOR: BARBADOS

EXCELLENT:  ARGENTINA, ARUBA, BELGIUM, BELIZE, CAMEROON, KOSOVO

VERY STRONG:  ALBANIA, HONG KONG CHINA, ROMANIA

STRONG:  DENMARK

VERY GOOD:  BAHAMAS, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

GOOD:  BERMUDA, NICARAGUA, PORTUGAL

FAIR:  SAO TOME & PRINCIPE

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