Due to responsibilities at my day job and other issues, unfortunately I would be unable to post my usual detailed delegate-by-delegate review of the Miss International 2015 pageant. Instead I’ll just share a few observations and note who has made the best impressions so far prior to the finals.
First, after attracting a record 73 delegates last year, the roster dwindled a bit to 70. It could’ve been 71 but one Scandinavian contestant dropped out: Sweden (Isabella Jedler Forsman). She complained about the lack of sleep and hectic schedule of activities–but some other accounts noted that for the more prepared delegates, they actually view their experiences thus far in a positive light. And I have a feeling if she thinks Miss International is hectic, imagine the hissy fit she’ll give about the typical itinerary in a Miss Universe pageant.
Coverage seems rather limited and frustratingly not as comprehensive as I’d like (with the exception of the final costume parade at the Miss Japan International 2016 finals)–though at least we do see a host of pictures coming from the Miss International organization, I suppose we pageant watchers have to be grateful that popular pageant website Missosology does offer significant coverage–a more comprehensive and complete run-through of the initial costume presentation and the swimsuit photoshoot next time, please.
There is no clear runaway favorite to win this year’s pageant, but so far it looks like some less heralded countries might pull off a coup ahead of the normal pageant powerhouses. The “H” ladies who previously competed at Miss World, Honduras (Jennifer Valle) and Hungary (Linda Szunai) have garnered heavy buzz as possible winners, but not far behind are the fierce Latinas like Mexico (Lorena Sevilla) and Venezuela (Edymar Martinez) prominently in the mix. Also regarded as a possible winner is USA (Lindsay Becker). Though Philippines (Janicel Lubina) seemed relatively subdued in many photos taken of her, she may be ready to pounce when it counts during the finals.
There are a whole host of strong semifinalist possibilities, some from expected powerhouses, and then there is the Asian “Goodwill” factor to consider, if it will be reactivated this year. But I would like to spotlight ladies from three countries that has never made the final cut in this pageant: the two sub-Saharan African delegates from Kenya (Eunice Onyango) and Zambia (Brandina Lubuli), and the heavily complimented lass from Macau (Ana Choi).
All images courtesy of Miss International Organization and Missosology
Now, it’s time to trot out my leaderboard based on my initial impressions and here is my take on how the 70 delegates stand:
TOP CONTENDERS: HONDURAS, HUNGARY, MEXICO, PHILIPPINES, U S A, VENEZUELA
SHOO-INs: ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, POLAND
LIKELIEST: CANADA, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, DENMARK, FINLAND, FRANCE, GIBRALTAR, HAWAII, INDIA, INDONESIA, KENYA, KOREA, MACAU, MOLDOVA, MONGOLIA, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, PUERTO RICO, RUSSIA, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, THAILAND, UNITED KINGDOM, ZAMBIA
“GOODWILL” FACTOR: CHINA, JAPAN, VIETNAM
EXCELLENT: BELARUS, BOLIVIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, HAITI, LEBANON, MALAYSIA, NEPAL, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, SLOVAKIA, TURKEY, UKRAINE
VERY STRONG: BELGIUM, HONG KONG, ITALY, NORWAY, TUNISIA
STRONG: AUSTRALIA, GUADELOUPE, GUAM, MAURITIUS, MYANMAR, NICARAGUA, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS, ROMANIA, SINGAPORE,
VERY GOOD: ARUBA, CUBA, LUXEMBOURG
GOOD: EL SALVADOR, PORTUGAL
FAIR: CHINESE TAIPEI
Here is my “Fearful” Forecast:
TOP FIVE: HONDURAS, HUNGARY, MEXICO, PHILIPPINES, U S A
TOP 15: ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, DENMARK, JAPAN, KENYA, KOREA, NEW ZEALAND, POLAND, SPAIN, VENEZUELA
BUBBLING UNDER: CANADA, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, FINLAND, FRANCE, GIBRALTAR, HAWAII, INDIA, INDONESIA, MACAU, MOLDOVA, MONGOLIA, NETHERLANDS, PUERTO RICO, RUSSIA, SRI LANKA, THAILAND, UNITED KINGDOM, ZAMBIA
STRIKING DISTANCE: BELARUS, BOLIVIA, CHINA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, HAITI, LEBANON, MALAYSIA, NEPAL, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, SLOVAKIA, TURKEY, UKRAINE, VIETNAM
I’m thinking that since we will see the delegates in full during the live streaming broadcast, I might just do my full-fledged review on all of them there. Anyway, it promises to be a fless-than predictable competition. Let’s see who will rise and who will fall by the wayside as the finals gets under way. Best of luck to all the delegates!