MISS WORLD 2015: RE-BALANCING ACT (CONCLUSION)

I only got one of the Top Five right, but at least she was one who ended up almost winning it all.  Again, no official announcement on who between Jamaica and Lebanon was actually ranked 4th and 5th, but most pageant fans and pundits (and myself) seem to agree that this was how they ranked.

5TH PLACE:  JAMAICA – Sanneta Myrie.  This dreadlocked lady won over the judges enough to place 5th in the preliminary interview with 400 points.  We know she placed 3rd in talent for her interpretative dance, so if my calculations are correct she earned 23 points for that.  She collected a total of 44 points for the challenge events other than BWAP, so the remaining 21 points from the challenge events came from Multimedia, where she made the Top Five, so this probably means she ranked 5th in this event.  For BWAP, she earned 20 points, so this means she was ranked 21-25 in this event.  Her final point total was 464 points, good for 4th place.  The judges liked her unique story enough that they decided to keep her in the Top Five.  But the four other girls were arguably more charismatic that it was expected she took up the rear.

JAM W

4TH PLACE:  LEBANON – Valerie Abou Chacra.  I was glad she topped the preliminary interview round because most pageant fans and pundits believe she is the most gorgeous lady out there and hoped that being shortlisted for only one challenge event (Top Model) would not hurt her.  Fortunately, despite earning only a measly five points for Top Model, her status in the Top 10 was secure–she dropped to 6th prior to BWAP, and was overtaken by Guyana when BWAP scores were tallied and ended up in 7th, but it was clear when it was time for the judges to decide on the Top Five, there must be a slot allocated for this lady.  She did okay on the video interview profile and final speech, but I suppose the judges felt she didn’t have as much of a spark as the Top Three and her manner of speech a tad too casual that they didn’t elevate her to the Royal Court.  Whatever the case, what cannot be denied is that she brought forth her nation’s best showing in this pageant ever.

LIB W

3RD PLACE:  INDONESIA – Maria Harfanti.  Thanks to her BWAP win, she’s this year’s “Challenge Queen”, pipping the surging Guyana by a few points as she gained 96 points overall from all challenge events.  She was 8th in the preliminary interview with 390 points.  Besides the 60 points she earned for winning BWAP, she garnered 36 points for Talent and Multimedia–which probably means she bubbled under the Top Five in both of those events.  I might be a tad biased, but I find Hillarie way more attractive than this lady, even if it could be justified that this lady had outscored Hillarie in interview.  The presence of national director Liliana Tanoesoedibjo in the final judging panel made me feel that it is set up to make sure this girl will be the top performing Asian, and they blocked out Hillarie out of the Top Five to ensure this lady achieves the best showing this country has ever had in this pageant.  There were also rumors of another go-round for this pageant in Indonesia next year, and with the swimsuit competition now eliminated, the so-called Muslim clerics could no longer justify protesting the holding of the pageant in that country.

INA W

2ND PLACE:  RUSSIA – Sofia Nikitchuk.  In some ways, she exuded the radiant vibe of Miss World 2002 Azra Akın, and I was not surprised she ranked high in interview (3rd with 420 points) and rose to the top of the leaderboard after gaining 40 points from the challenge events–most likely she was 2nd in Top Model so she got 25 points, then earned 15 points from Multimedia.  She was among the Top Ten in BWAP, and with 32 points from it (since her final tally was 492 points, sustaining her 1st place finish), it means she ranked 10th in that event.  She seemed to be a very charming, likable lady who would serve Julia Morley and the Miss World Organization well, so why was she not given the crown?  I have a feeling that the insiders in the judging panel (along with the “sorority” with the exception of course of Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova) are uncomfortable with the current global political climate and Russia’s current reputation as a “villain” so they don’t feel inclined to make Russia win and decided to seek for an alternative…

RUS W

MISS WORLD 2015:  SPAIN – Mireia Lalaguna.  Based on her scores, no one would’ve expected her to become the winner.  She ranked 11th in the preliminary interview with 384 points.  She garnered 44 additional points from the four non-BWAP challenge events, 30 of which from winning Top Model.  It looks like the remaining 14 points came from Sports and Talent.  She was ranked 7th prior to BWAP, but after Indonesia and Guyana surged, she fell to 9th place.  Considering the people who conducted the preliminary interview were also in the final judging panel, what made them decide to include her in the Top Five instead of, say, South Africa, France, and Philippines?

ESP W

I think a key factor was that the final judging panel included the members of the “sorority” (former Miss World winners), and they noticed something about her that excited them a lot, especially when viewing the Top Model highlights video and how she looked onstage.  There are some angles where Mireia resembles the legendary Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen.  Yes, Gisele is largely retired from the runways, but her legend continues to loom large.  The original judging panel also probably took notice of that, especially in her video interview, that they felt she could be the alternative to Russia they were seeking in lieu of Lebanon.  I know most pageant fans and pundits, when Russia was announced as 1st runner-up, were assuming the crown would go to the early favorite Lebanon, but well, Julia, her insiders, and the sorority sprung us a surprise that perhaps some might view as refreshing but others might find a tad jolting.

Gisele Bundchen (image courtesy of mirror.co.uk)

We can always argue that 2013 finalist Elena Ibarbia, 2012 semifinalist Aranzasu Estevez, 2011 semifinalist Carla Garcia, 2008 semifinalist Patricia Yurena Rodriguez, 2001 semifinalist Macarena Garcia, and 1999 semifinalist Lorena Bernal are still the paragons of Spanish beauty over this lady but we have to salute that this lady finally brought forth the long-awaited breakthrough for this country in this pageant.  I may disagree with the final result, but I’ll respect it, so congratulations, Spain for the long-awaited win!

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

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MISS WORLD 2015: RE-BALANCING ACT (PART 4)

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Now, let’s proceed with the Top Ten which has an addition as they added the People’s Choice winner in this roster.  I only ended up with five out of ten right no thanks to the “re-balancing” of points.  Also, since there was no official announcement of Top Ten rankings, consider the rankings I’m giving to be speculative and from my own educated conjecture.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER:  VIETNAM – Trần Ngọc Lan Khuê.  She was nowhere to be found on the Top 20 leaderboard, so we wouldn’t know how she actually scored.  But at least she benefited from the active Vietnamese pageant fanbase, and she also has the consolation of winning the Designer Dress award for her graduated red-and-yellow gown (which ironically, she didn’t wear during the finals).  We all know that there is very little or no chance that the judging panel would consider including the People’s Choice winner to rise up the ranks within the semifinals to go all the way to the finals, so perhaps it is achievement enough that this lady went as far as she did.

VIE W
This is NOT her winning “Designer Dress”…
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…This is the winning “Designer Dress”.

10TH PLACE:  AUSTRALIA – Tess Alexander.  Based on her placements in various challenge events, I was under the impression that the judges may like her enough to make her the winner, and several pageant fans and pundits were under the same impression.  Little did we know they didn’t really have a high regard for her, lookswise, since it turns out she didn’t make the Top 20 in the preliminary interview.  Still, those placements in Talent, Sports, and Top Model (plus possibly Multimedia) helped her amass at least 40 points to make it in 11th place prior to the BWAP announcement.  Though she didn’t make the Top 10 in BWAP, her project was worthy enough to make the Top 15 that she knocked out Kazakhstan from the Top 10.

AUS W

9TH PLACE:  SOUTH AFRICA – Liesl Laurie.  I actually liked her but I was concerned she only placed in one challenge event–Top Model.  But it turns out she made a big splash in the preliminary interview, ranking 2nd with 422 points.  She still secured her Top 10 placement by earning 12 points from Top Model, and though she dropped lower in the rankings, her 10 points for BWAP was enough for her to be in 8th place going into the finals.  The girl who ranked below her ultimately advanced to the finals (and beyond), so most likely she dropped in rank again as a result.

RSA W

8TH PLACE:  FRANCE – Hinarere Taputu.  She was 4th in the preliminary interview with 410 points.  She then earned 29 additional points, thanks to her Top Five placement in Top Model and shortlist in Sports.  She was third overall prior to the announcement of BWAP points but since she has no BWAP video, she dropped from 3rd to 7th.  She then dropped another notch since the girl who was ranked 9th advanced to the finals.

FRA

7TH PLACE:  GUYANA – Lisa Punch.  With her Talent win and Top Five placement in Multimedia, this lady gained at least 51 points from her preliminary interview score to soar up to 10th place with 413 points prior to BWAP.  She then gained 44 more points for her BWAP project, which probably means she placed 4th in that event, and she was scored 5th place overall before the judges deliberated to select their Top Five.  I kinda expected she will be dropped out of the Top Five to make way for one preliminary favorite.  But little did we know that there was another rising favorite in the finals that also lead to another Top Five scorer to drop out.  Well, at least with her Talent win, she actually got to perform twice during the finals–first her winning performance after being announced as the Talent winner, then a mini-concert as the results are being tabulated/deliberated.

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6TH PLACE:  PHILIPPINES – Hillarie Parungao.  She was 9th in the preliminary interview with 388 points.  I knew she would do well in Multimedia, but little did I know that she will win it all–I think the first two stages she shone so brightly that despite being 7th in the Alipay stage of that event, she still secured her lead and ultimately won.  On top of the 30 points from her Multimedia win, she earned 19 additional points for being shortlisted in Talent and Top Model–most likely if she only got 5 points in Talent, she probably earned 14 points in Top Model which means she probably was in the Top 15 in that event.  Prior to the BWAP scores being announced she rose up to 4th place.  Though she missed the Top 10 in BWAP, she earned 30 points (which means she bubbled under the Top 10) and with those points factored she actually then rose up to become 3rd overall.  I thought she would secure her Top Five placement, but little did I realize the presence of a certain national director and the sorority’s clamor for the girl in 9th place led to her being pried away from her lofty Top Three position.

PHI

COMING UP:  THE TOP FIVE

MISS WORLD 2015: RE-BALANCING ACT (PART 3)

Despite the “re-balancing” of the scoring system, I still managed to get 14 of the Top 20 correct in my “fearful” forecast (15 if you add the People’s Choice champion).  Now, let’s proceed with the ladies who made the Top 20, starting with those who ended up in the “right side” of the scoreboard:

20TH PLACE:  NORTHERN IRELAND – Leanne McDowell.  The preliminary judges and insiders scored this lady in a tie for 6th place with Netherlands with 395 points.  Thanks to her declaration that she has a BWAP project albeit no video, she was able to salvage her Top 20 standing with a 10-point credit, ending up with a final tally of 405 points.

NIR

19TH PLACE:  ECUADOR –  Camila Marañón.  She was in 20th place in interview with 370 points.  It took a Top Ten citation for her BWAP project for her to return to the Top 20 as she failed to place in other challenge events.  She earned 38 points for her BWAP project, which probably means she placed 7th in this event.

ECU W

18TH PLACE:  SCOTLAND – Mhairi Ferguson.  From scoring 383 points in interview to tie in 12th place with Poland, she secured 11 additional points for placing in the Sports challenge and finally garnering the cursory 15 points for submitting a BWAP video, for a final total of 409 points.

SCO W

17TH PLACE:  SOUTH SUDAN – Ajaa Monchoi.  I’m not sure if she tied with Ecuador with 370 points for the interview that is why she was not shown in the first leaderboard, but it looks like she amassed significant points in Top Model and Multimedia to amass at least 32 points.   Now, a tad strange–she only got 10 points for BWAP even if she submitted a video, and it was originally rumored to also have been shortlisted.  I have a feeling this is an error, and that she should have had a final tally of 417 points instead of 412, and so should have switched places with…

SSU W

16TH PLACE:  CHINA PR – Yuan Lu.  She made the leaderboard in the preliminary interview by ranking in a tie for 15th place with 378 points.  She then acquired 15 additional points–most likely split between Top Model and Multimedia since she scored in the Alipay challenge.  Then, she was granted 20 points for her BWAP project for a final point total of 413 points–it makes me wonder if the 20 points was actually meant for South Sudan and not her, but they just alloted those points to this lady so the host country could save face…

CHN W

15TH PLACE:  NEW ZEALAND – Deborah Lambie.  She probably scored low in the preliminary interview primarily because of her looks.  But she garnered at least 30-35 points, the bulk of which was for her Top Five showing in Multimedia, though she also earned points for Talent and Sports, too.  She earned 25 points for her BWAP project, which probably means her project was in the Top 20.  Her final point tally was 417 points.

NZL W

14TH PLACE:  POLAND – Marta Palucka.  She and Miss Scotland ranked 12th in interview with 383 points.  She then added 12 points for her Top Model challenge placement and then 25 more points for her BWAP project for a final tally of 420.  Just like New Zealand, her project seemed to be ranked in the Top 20.

POL W

13TH PLACE:  KAZAKHSTAN – Regina Vandysheva.  She was in a tie for 15th place in interview with China PR and Bosnia & Herzegovina with 378 points.  It was announced she placed 4th in Sports, so that accounts for 22 points, so that means she earned 14 points for Top Model.  Prior to the BWAP scores being factored in she was actually ranked 9th, but because her project wasn’t shortlisted, she ultimately dropped out of the Top Ten and was overtaken, with a final overall point total of 429 points.

KAZ W

12TH PLACE:  BRAZIL – Catharina Choi.  She was 18th in the preliminary interview, earning 375 points.  She then garnered 31 additional points thanks to Multimedia and Top Model and rose up the rankings to 13th place.  Her BWAP project against leprosy may have missed the Top 10 by very little, as she earned 30 points from it so she ended up in 12th place with a final tally of 436 points.

BRA W

11TH PLACE:  NETHERLANDS – Margot Hanekamp.  She was tied with Northern Ireland in 6th place in the preliminary interview with 395 points.  She then amassed 12 points for Top Model, and her project for animals was unique and worthwhile enough to earn 30 points for a final tally of 437 points.

NED W

COMING UP:  TOP 10 PLUS PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER