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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
COMING UP: THE TOP FIVE