MISS WORLD 2015: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

THAILAND   Thanyachanok Moonninta.  She was originally not shortlisted in Talent but at last minute she’s declared to advance to the Talent gala.  What might cause this?  I think to please the Chinese hosts, she was let in as her talent is singing a Chinese song.  It’s strange she didn’t figure in Multimedia as she’s not in Top 20 in the Alipay round.  Anyway, she’s figuring in the Top Ten of the People’s Choice award, so it’s possible like last year she’ll get her ticket to the semifinals through this path.

12371216_10153849157959974_8763913307148605359_o

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO –  Kimberley Farrah Singh.  She’s attractive, but she didn’t figure in any challenge event.  She has a BWAP project involving anti-bullying, but no video.

12362672_10153849158069974_6282851500350747272_o

TUNISIA – Maroua Heni.   Her BWAP project is relevant as it’s about helping victims of terrorism, and educating children of “martyrs”.

12356817_10153849158219974_6053554646630750827_o

TURKEY – Ecem Çirpan.  Her event of note thus far is Sports, as she made Top 24 under the Red team, but I think she has good looks that deserve more notices than that.  I have to note about her designer dress–it’s basically a blue minidress with train.  Well, at least it’s now called “designer dress” instead of evening gown as I’ll have an issue with it if it is referred to as an evening gown.

12309526_10153849158319974_3290443379720754655_o

UGANDA – Zahara Nakiyaga. She declared she had a BWAP project helping children with disabilities but no video.  She hasn’t figured in any challenge event so she might take up the rear, unfortunately.

12375221_10153849158494974_5052558330421667568_o

UKRAINE – Kristina Stoloka.  She only has a reserve slot in the Red Team for sports and her BWAP video submission going for her–another underrated gem who deserves better than what she got so far.

12140948_10153849158599974_5916941588175209647_o

UNITED STATES – Victoria Mendoza.  She’s not conventionally pretty, but she is considered a possible front-runner.  She made Top 30 in Talent and was a reserve in Sports for the Red team.  Her BWAP project feeding the hungry in her country got shortlisted, so she might be able to secure a good standing with all that.

12370933_10153849158699974_8873634084233788135_o

URUGUAY – Sherika Luciana De Armas Elías.  She did not figure in any challenge event and she lacks a BWAP video even as she declared she is working for an NGO helping disabled children and also worked for the Pereira Rossell hospital.  Prospects are not looking good for her making the final cut.

12362983_10153849158769974_2473754512366780554_o

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Jahné Indira Massac.  Her animal-oriented BWAP project made the shortlist.  It’s a highlight that she can be proud of.

12357049_10153849158904974_7673537228112332158_o

VENEZUELA – Anyela Galante Salerno.  Unlike her predecessors since Ivian Sarcos’ win in 2011, she looks like she might make serious inroads in the semifinals as she made the Top 30 in Top Model and figured in the Top 10 in People’s Choice.

11062739_10153849159184974_6003120815426966955_o

12362849_10153852734204974_4344954816048052084_o

VIETNAM – Trần Ngọc Lan Khuê.  Like Venezuela, she made a splash in Top Model and People’s Choice, but she also added making the Top 10 in dress design in her graduated red-to-yellow gown.  Her features remind me of Indonesian world music star Anggun.

12374790_10153849159284974_1167911982067644966_o

12370793_10153852732894974_9130058179402434571_o

Anggun (image sourced from ctrlaltosc.files.wordpress.com)

WALES – Emma Jenkins.  She made Top 13 in talent with her Gaelic folk singing.  She doesn’t have a BWAP video, but she does have a project helping women suffering from domestic abuse.

12356860_10153849159459974_2167612519183995277_o

ZAMBIA – Michelo Malambo.  She has her own foundation, Michie and Friends, and that’s her BWAP project.  Too bad she doesn’t have a video for her foundation.

12322834_10153849159569974_6123204882204358634_o

ZIMBABWE – Annie-Grace Farayi Mutambu.  Her BWAP project, helping people suffering from albinism (no skin pigmentation) looks worthy of being shortlisted, but we have not heard confirmation that this is shortlisted.

12363157_10153849159699974_9015308036826807498_o

Now that all 114 contestants are accounted for, let me now trot out my leaderboard and let’s take a look how I think all of them stand.

TOP CONTENDERS:  AUSTRALIA, INDIA, NEW ZEALAND

SHOO-INS:  BRAZIL, CHINA P.R., GUYANA, JAMAICA, NAMIBIA, PARAGUAY, PHILIPPINES, RUSSIA, SAMOA, UNITED STATES

LIKELIEST:  ARGENTINA, AUSTRIA, BERMUDA, CAMEROON, COTE D’IVOIRE, CURACAO, ECUADOR, ENGLAND, ETHIOPIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, GEORGIA, INDONESIA, ITALY, JAPAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KOREA, LEBANON, MYANMAR, POLAND, PUERTO RICO, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, THAILAND, TURKEY, UKRAINE, VIETNAM, VENEZUELA, WALES

EXCELLENT:  ALBANIA, BAHAMAS, BOLIVIA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, DENMARK, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, GUADELOUPE, GUAM, HONDURAS, ICELAND, IRELAND, KENYA, KYRGYZSTAN, LATVIA, MEXICO, MOLDOVA, MONGOLIA, NETHERLANDS, NICARAGUA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, PANAMA, ROMANIA, SCOTLAND, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN, ZIMBABWE

CHARITY FACTOR: EL SALVADOR, LESOTHO, TANZANIA, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS,

CHALLENGE EVENT FACTOR:  BOTSWANA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS,CZECH REPUBLIC, FIJI, MALAYSIA, NEPAL, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SINGAPORE,

VERY STRONG:  ARUBA, GIBRALTAR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, HUNGARY, SRI LANKA, ST. KITTS & NEVIS, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, ZAMBIA

STRONG: BELGIUM, BULGARIA, CROATIA, GABON, GERMANY, MACEDONIA F.Y.R.O., NIGERIA, PERU, URUGUAY

VERY GOOD:  CYPRUS, GUINEA, MAURITIUS,

GOOD:  MALTA, MONTENEGRO, PORTUGAL, UGANDA

FAIR:  BELIZE

So here’s my “Fearful” Forecast on the Top 25:

TOP FIVE:  AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, INDIA, NEW ZEALAND, RUSSIA

TOP TEN:  GUYANA, JAMAICA, NAMIBIA, PHILIPPINES, SAMOA

POPULAR CHOICE:  THAILAND

TOP 25:  ARGENTINA, CHINA P.R., ENGLAND, ETHIOPIA, FRANCE, INDONESIA, ITALY, KAZAKHSTAN, LEBANON, PARAGUAY, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, UNITED STATES, VENEZUELA, VIETNAM

BUBBLING UNDER:  AUSTRIA, BERMUDA, CAMEROON, COTE D’IVOIRE, CURACAO, ECUADOR, FINLAND, GEORGIA, JAPAN, KOREA, MYANMAR, POLAND, PUERTO RICO, SOUTH SUDAN, TURKEY, UKRAINE, WALES

STRIKING DISTANCE:  ALBANIA, BAHAMAS, BOLIVIA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, BOTSWANA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, FIJI, GUADELOUPE, GUAM, HONDURAS, ICELAND, IRELAND, KENYA, KYRGYZSTAN, LATVIA, LESOTHO, MALAYSIA, MEXICO, MOLDOVA, MONGOLIA, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS, NICARAGUA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, PANAMA, ROMANIA, SCOTLAND, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SINGAPORE, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN, TANZANIA, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, ZIMBABWE

This pageant is turning out to be the toughest to call.  Though it seems to point to Australia (Tess Alexander) winning the whole thing, it’s still conceivable that India (Aditi Arya) and New Zealand (Deborah Rose Lambie) usurping the title away from her, or even someone outside from that inner circle, like, say, Brazil (Catharina Choi), Philippines (Hillarie Parungao), Russia (Sofia Nikitchuk), or Samoa (Latafale Alofa Auva’a).  It seems to be Oceania finally coming at its own as a continent as it has three strong contenders for the title.  I have a feeling there will be surprises on hand.  All I’m hoping for is a justifiable, fair, and transparent outcome this Saturday.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

Likeliest to win: Australia (Tess Alexander)
Usurpers IND NZL
Top Usurpers: India (Aditi Arya) and New Zealand (Deborah Rose Lambie)
Usurpers BRA PHI RUS SAM
Other usurpers–clockwise from top left: Brazil (Catharina Choi), Philippines (Hillarie Parungao), Samoa (Latafale Alofa Auva’a) and Russia (Sofia Nikitchuk)

MISS WORLD 2015: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 7)

SAMOA – Latafale Alofa Auva’a.  She is going to bring forth the Samoan breakthrough as she made Top Five in both Sports (as part of the Orange team) and Talent (with her cover of the multilingual version of that Frozen hit, “Let It Go”).   Her BWAP project delivering books for schoolchildren may also help bolster her profile and secure her place, though no confirmation of a shortlist placement, yet.

12322841_10153849156114974_1749484081911019198_o

SCOTLAND – Mhairi Fergusson.  Her only impact thus far was in Sports, where she made Top 24 for the Red team.  But I have to note that her designer dress is rather provocative, with exposed cleavage.  I think she was dinged for that that is why she was not allowed to advance further in Top Model.

12374960_10153849156259974_5024280867560648329_o

SERBIA – Marija Ćetković.  She’s plain, but at least she made the Top 24 in Sports to shore up her fortunes in this pageant.  Her background as a member of her country’s national basketball team served her well here.

12370737_10153849156469974_3093360351173356904_o

SEYCHELLES – Linne Freminot.  Her biggest highlight is that she was 2nd place in the Sports challenge event.  Other than that, she’s at a disadvantage as even she has a BWAP project working with children of prisoners, she doesn’t have a video for it.

12357180_10153849156704974_1670268415057755532_o

SINGAPORE – Charity Lu Lu Seng.  Her best prospect so far is Multimedia as she’s Top Five in the Alipay portion of this challenge event.

12363144_10153849156784974_4368456655098717836_o

SLOVAKIA – Lujza Straková[.  She’s attractive, and yes, model-worthy, but she fell short in Top Model (and did not figure in any challenge event for that matter).

12304431_10153849156939974_6042925161454439110_o

SLOVENIA – Mateja Kociper.  She only made an impact in Talent, making Top 30.

12375047_10153849157059974_4073099897226196408_o

SOUTH AFRICA – Liesl Laurie.  She made Top 30 in Top Model and Talent and Top 24 in Sports as part of the Red team.  I think she’ll secure a place in the semifinals, but to make it a back-to-back with Rolene Strauss?  A bit of a longshot, as she missed an opportunity on BWAP as her video was frustratingly brief.

12339093_10153849157169974_3718368066893804360_o

12371038_10153852740104974_7213185980809758138_o

SOUTH SUDAN – Ajah Deng.  She’s not as striking as 2012 4th placer Atong Demach, but she made an impact in Top Model and made the shortlist for BWAP with her project battling the disease of fistula.  She is also likely to score points for Multimedia as she’s Top 10 in the Alipay activity.

12362932_10153849157259974_5780451114966931874_o

12363066_10153852728899974_7855468537179226426_o

SPAIN – Mireia Lalaguna Royo.  She made Top 30 in both Talent and Top Model and secured a Top 24 finish in Sports for the Red team, so she seems one who has secured a semifinalist spot.

12322755_10153849157324974_1884705628861259870_o

12377761_10153852729544974_8342868045583704888_o

SRI LANKA – Thilini Amarasooriya.  She has not figured in any challenge event, not even Top Model as she noted she’s a professional model.  Though she declared a BWAP project, she has no video to show for it.

12371243_10153849157399974_3055564025902339911_o

ST. KITTS & NEVIS – Jackiema Nichelle Flemming.  She’s actually a worthwhile contender, but the only place she’ll garner additional points on top of preliminary interview scores was that she submitted a BWAP video.

12339599_10153849157569974_4316546246743944217_o

SWEDEN – Natalia Fogelund.  Nick Verreos hated her hot mess of a bulky black-and-white gown, but somehow the Miss World powers-that-be felt she has the looks of a Top Model so she was shortlisted in this event.  She has a BWAP project helping victims of cancer, but no video.

12370899_10153849157684974_8924128866370892491_o

12378119_10153852729119974_6746027842518881753_o

TANZANIA – Lilian Deus Kamazima.  Just like Miss South Sudan, her BWAP project was related to fistula, and she made the shortlist.  That’s her only ace as she hasn’t figured in the other challenge events.

12374733_10153849157834974_7197265547750265280_o

COMING UP:  THAILAND to ZIMBABWE plus the “FEARFUL” FORECAST

 

MISS WORLD 2015: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 6)

NETHERLANDS – Margo Hanekamp.  Despite a hot mess of a designer dress she made the Top 30 in Top Model.  Her BWAP project is unique as it’s about training dogs to help the disabled.

12357159_10153849154004974_1846435816983368029_o

12356808_10153852732509974_5128573131738159493_o

NEW ZEALAND – Deborah Rose Lambie.  She is likely to score high in interview as she’s a doctor, but she is figuring in the challenges, too, making Top 24 in Sports as part of the Orange Team, placing Top 30 in Talent, and is on track of winning the Multimedia challenge as she is dominating the Alipay portion so far.  She can prove to be a challenge against the perceived front-runner from Australia.

12374950_10153849154109974_249442142967389876_o

NICARAGUA – Stefanía Alemán.  As part of the Orange Team, she made the Top 24.  She is better looking than her Designer Dress look might suggest (she looked old-fashioned, fi you ask me).  Her BWAP project is primarily affiliated with Operation Smile, but they also showed a brief early footage of recycling program.

12356929_10153849154219974_1121717671741096370_o

NIGERIA – Unoaku Anyadike.  She’s attractive, but she has not made an impact in the challenge events thus far.  At least she’ll earn credits for BWAP.

12322545_10153849154304974_6065184048761761102_o

NORTHERN IRELAND – Leanne McDowell.  Since she didn’t seem to figure in any of the challenge events, she’ll be the weakest link amongst the five British Isle girls this year.  At least she’ll earn credits for her BWAP project.

12362916_10153849154384974_3105930542111068198_o

NORWAY – Fay Teresa Valbekk.  She made the Top 24 in Sports as part of the Orange Team.

12363235_10153849154569974_3292874423101217947_o

PANAMA – Diana Jaén Ortega.  It’s interesting that her designer dress has a Chinese motif to it.  She has not figure in any challenge event, but at least she’ll earn credits for BWAP.

12370693_10153849154699974_8706807409697104436_o

PARAGUAY – Giovanna Estéfan Villalba.  She garnered 4th place in Talent with her traditional Latin dance.  She also made Top 30 in Top Model.  She seems to have an inside track into the semifinals.

12362916_10153849154904974_7252451004583728553_o

12375190_10153852739764974_177254508778825701_o

PERU – Karla Kristel Chocano Tolentino.  She reported that her BWAP project is helping children suffering from malnutrition.  Unfortunately she doesn’t have a video to show for that.

11052428_10153849155019974_8266440221896741167_o

PHILIPPINES – Hillarie Parungao.  It looks like her strongest bets for securing a slot and gaining a win is Multimedia and BWAP.  She is running 7th in the Alipay portion of the Multimedia challenge, and her wide-ranging Katuwang project to combat infant mortality looks like one of the front-runners to win.  Making Top 30 in both Top Model and Talent seems to secure her standing in this pageant–most likely she’ll be in the Top Ten.  Now to duplicate Megan Young’s win?  Despite being in “hostile” territory, she can conceivably do it, though there is Australia to contend with along with the other Oceania ladies from New Zealand and Samoa, among others.

12362881_10153849155199974_7387338510586639446_o

12339594_10153852731759974_8837787620969804762_o

POLAND – Marta Kaja Palucka.  She is reportedly shortlisted in BWAP and she has the great looks to make Top 30 in Top Model.  Looks like she has an inside track into the semifinals.

12375105_10153849155429974_8593177335783558172_o

12377953_10153852729964974_2874126826600801781_o

PORTUGAL – Rafaela Sofia Pardete.  She’s raw so she failed to figure in any of the challenge events.  She has a BWAP project regarding helping former prisoners get integrated back to society, but unfortunately no video to speak for it.  It’s a noble project and hope she earns credits from it even sans video.

12362778_10153849155554974_3811851233699139835_o

PUERTO RICO – Keysi Vargas Vélez.  Her black gown with sheer bottom got shortlisted in Designer Dress, and she made Top 30 in Top Model.  She also made the Top 30 in Talent.  She has a BWAP project helping people suffering from obesity, but no video to show for that–would she still have enough points to make it to the semifinals?

12375058_10153849155714974_830587118057106367_o

12322434_10153852740904974_6636287850139321775_o

ROMANIA – Natalia Ioana Onet.  She made the reserve for the Orange team in Sports.  That’s her only event of note so far, as she doesn’t have a video for her BWAP project, about educating children from the outlying villages.

12374731_10153849155819974_8072483203531086568_o

RUSSIA – Sofia Nikitchuk.  Just like Poland, she made Top 30 in Top Model and is shortlisted in BWAP, with her project helping people from a remote island village find new access to water as their local wells dried up.

12363184_10153849155999974_2408983298765824012_o

12365890_10153852740459974_446525864056450223_o

COMING UP:  SAMOA to TANZANA.