SPAIN – Adriana Sanchez Rivas. Looks- and presence-wise, she’s a complete package and was fierce during the Presentation Show. Her communication skills are solid, though not that memorable.
SRI LANKA – Buddhika Harshani. She is not as polished onstage as other contenders out there but she’s a very articulate lady, and we’ll see how much she can parlay that to further her cause. I find it interesting that her name seems to evoke the Buddhist religion, but I also am reminded of Britain’s greatest female warrior heroine Boudika (often incorrectly called Boadicea)
SURINAME – Daryola Brandon. Well she’s also one of the very raw contenders in this pageant. Let her enjoy her experience here.
SWITZERLAND – Ambre Chavaillaz. Despite her French name, I find it interesting that her features look Asian–does she have an Asian mom?
TAHITI – Vaiata Buisson. Many pageant fans and pundits buzz about her beauty and felt she’s one of the front-runners. I agree–she has a gorgeousness and presence about her that she can make serious inroads not only in the Top 20 but the Top Ten and beyond.
TAIWAN – Ri-Xing Zhu. She has a trim-enough figure, but she’s not that polished. It’s interesting that they accept her representation under this moniker instead of “Chinese Taipei”. She has an excellent command of English and is a superb communicator.
THAILAND – Supaporn Malisorn. She is polished and is firing on all cylinders. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the Top Five.
TURKEY – Diana Osypenko. She’s pretty but not as buffed as other contenders. I think her name doesn’t sound Turkish–is it actually Russian or Ukrainian?
UKRAINE – Veronika Mykailyshyo. Like Russia, she’s not that heavily buzzed about but she was a revelation in the Presentation Show, that even in a simple blue satin gown she smolders with maximum impact.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Michelle Leon. This host delegate looks like a lock for the Top 20 with her girl-next-door vibe.
URUGUAY – Melina Carballo. She’s got a slim frame, but her stage catwalk skills need further polishing.
VENEZUELA – Debora Paula Medina. She is touted by many pageant fans and pundits as the favorite to win. I do agree she’s one of the front-runners and she channels two major Venezuelan winners: Miss Universe 1979 Maritza Sayalero (when her hair is pulled back to show her face) and Miss World 2011 Ivian Sarcos (she her hair frames around her face). But for now, I think Peru seems to have the stronger edge.
VIETNAM – Nguyen Thi Loan. There are pageant fans and pundits who are touting her as a Top Five contender. I’m not that totally convinced though she’s undeniably polished. Probably a Top 20 shoo-in but not that confident about her in the Top 10 or beyond. Anyway, her Presentation Show gown give me Princess-Leia-as-slave-girl (in Return of the Jedi) vibes.
WALES – Rachel Tate. She’s a polished contender–she’s close behind Scotland as the British-girl-most-likely.
COMING UP: “FEARFUL” FORECAST and FINAL THOUGHTS