RWANDA – Sonia Gisa. She has a dignified presence about her and she makes a very distinctive impression with her near-shaven head. This is the key reason why even if she’s shorter than most delegates, she got a citation for Top Model.
SCOTLAND – Nasreen Harrison. There is a good-looking girl underneath, but it’s overwhelmed by heavy doses of “pageant patty”-ness.
SINGAPORE – Sharon Nadine Wee Chan Yi. She’s the weakest link amongst the formidable Southeast Asian contingent, I’m afraid.
SLOVAK REPUBLIC – Petra Denkova. She made the Top Ten shortlist in Top Model and Top Three in Best Body. Though I’m not as into her as, say, Czech Republic, she could be someone to keep an eye on.
SPAIN – Raquel Bonilla. Many pageant fans and pundits regard her as the one to beat, but with the exception of a win as Miss Expo, she didn’t make inroads in the shortlist events such as Best Body or Top Model. But then again, it is possible she can still beat the odds and go far.
SURINAME – Nicole Tsai-A-Woen. Simply plain, with a less-than-toned figure to boot.
SWEDEN – Stina Nordlander. Her figure is a tad bulkier than current pageant ideals, but she’s a good looking blonde, the type you visualize when you think of this country.
SWITZERLAND – Catarina Lopes. Her boyfriend is the newly minted Mister International, Pedro Mendes, and she watched the coronation online. Unlike her gorgeously hunky boyfriend, she has not made major splashes in this pageant as she exudes an awkwardly gawky vibe. Still she has merits so there might be room for her in the Top 20.
THAILAND – Tharathip Sukdarunpat. Despite not figuring in any shortlist like Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam, I will not count her out and I still believe it is possible she can sustain a Top 20 finish for her country.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – Shaunika Frith. She made the Top Ten in evening gown and is generally a worthwhile contender.
TURKEY – Hazal Subasi. She is not that buzzed about but she’s good looking and seems to be a worthwhile contender.
UKRAINE – Alina Sapiha. Despite not making in any shortlists, I would expect her to make the final cut and maybe even go far.
UNITED STATES – Kelly Kirstein. She only made the shortlist in evening gown, but I think she has the charisma to rank high within the Top 20, perhaps even making as far as the Top FIve. There is also something about her features that made me think of Supergirl (and Glee alumni) Melissa Benoist–and that is a great thing.
VENEZUELA – Hyser Betancourt. She’s not a product of the “Osmel” school and her features are a letdown from what we typically expect from this country. But in real-world terms she can be considered attractive.
VIETNAM – Nguyen Thi Le Quyen. She made the Top Three in evening gown (with a simply, but dreamy white serpentine number), and is generally a polished presence. But her looks pale in comparison with her front-running counterparts from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and even Thailand. I have a feeling Thailand may knock her out of a Top 20 spot.
WALES – Jade McQueen. She makes a distinct presence with her biracial features and short bob. But the most she can aspire for is to be a worthwhile contender.
With 82 contestants accounted for, let me now trot out my leaderboard, as follows:
TOP CONTENDERS: CANADA, COLOMBIA, INDIA, PANAMA
SHOO-INS: AUSTRALIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, MYANMAR, PARAGUAY, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, SLOVAK REPUBLIC
LIKELIEST: BELARUS, BOLIVIA, CHILE, CHINA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GUADELOUPE, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDONESIA, ISRAEL, JAMAICA, JAPAN,KENYA, MALAYSIA, MEXICO, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, RWANDA, SPAIN, THAILAND, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, UKRAINE, UNITED STATES, VIETNAM
EXCELLENT: ALBANIA, BELGIUM, BRAZIL, DENMARK, ENGLAND, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, GABON, GIBRALTAR, LITHUANIA, NETHERLANDS, PUERTO RICO, SWEDEN, TURKEY
PERSONALITY FACTOR: CHINESE TAIPEI, LATVIA, MACAU
VERY STRONG: ARUBA, COSTA RICA, ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, GEORGIA, HONG KONG, LUXEMBOURG, MALTA, MOROCCO, NEW ZEALAND, NIGERIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, SCOTLAND, SWITZERLAND, WALES
STRONG: CROATIA, IRELAND, ITALY, PERU, PORTUGAL, VENEZUELA
VERY GOOD: CURACAO, FRANCE, MAURITIUS
GOOD: SINGAPORE, SURINAME
Now, my “Fearful” Forecast on who’ll make the Top 20:
TOP FIVE: CANADA, COLOMBIA, INDIA, PANAMA, PARAGUAY
TOP TEN: AUSTRALIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, MYANMAR, PHILIPPINES, SLOVAK REPUBLIC
TOP 20: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, HUNGARY, INDONESIA, KENYA, MALAYSIA, POLAND, RWANDA, SPAIN, UKRAINE, UNITED STATES
BUBBLING UNDER: BELARUS, BOLIVIA, CHILE, CHINA, ESTONIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GUADELOUPE, ICELAND, ISRAEL, JAMAICA, JAPAN, MEXICO, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, THAILAND, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, VIETNAM
STRIKING DISTANCE: ALBANIA, BELGIUM, BRAZIL, CHINESE TAIPEI, DENMARK, ENGLAND, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, GABON, GIBRALTAR, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, MACAU, NETHERLANDS, PUERTO RICO, SWEDEN, TURKEY
From the way I see it, the battle for the crown seems to be between two neighboring Latinas, whose countries used to be united as one about 200 years ago, Colombia (Mónica Castaño) and Panama (Angie Keith). Nipping at their heels are two members of the Commonwealth, Canada (Siera Bearchel) and India (Aafreen Rachel Vaz), but there are a host of usurpers poised to overtake them.
All costume, swimsuit, and evening gown images courtesy of Leonardo Rodrigues forGlobal Beauties and all Top Model and Social Media headshot photos courtesy of Miss Supranational Official / Milton Mieloch and Tomasz Mosionek unless otherwise indicated.