HAWAII – Guinevere Davenport. She was another of the biggest onstage revelations for me, as she was totally lit up all throughout. I like the way she shook her booty in her hula costume, how she’s brightly beachy vibrant in swimsuit, and elegant in her long-sleeved white evening gown. I thought she should be a shoo-in for the Top 15, but the predominantly Japanese panel doesn’t seem to agree with me here and hence she was shut-out. I realize on photos her torso may register as a tad thick and maybe that’s the quibble the Japanese judges had with her.
HONDURAS – Andrea Nicol Salinas. She’s solid, but I think the huge masses of wavy hair was a bit too distracting and not to the judging panels’ (nor my) tastes.
HONG KONG – Kelly Chan. In other years she could be a middle-of-the-pack contender but ins extremely stratified edition she’s one of the weakest links. I’d love to give her credit for doing the Taliana Twirl in her royal blue evening gown, but the gown is just too off-the-rack for that move to have any impact. At least she has the consolation of winning the congeniality-themed Miss International Asia.
HUNGARY – Csillag Szabó. She’s trim and good looking, but it’s just that there are prettier choices who made more impact out there. Still a worthwhile performance.
INDIA – Rewati Chetri. She may not be as pretty as other Indian representatives before her, but she’s a strong performer onstage, and was a dreamy presence in her layered ombre purple gown. there are so few slots for so many strong Asians.
IRELAND – Katherine Gannon. Her makeup and hairstyling was too 1990s pageant-patty for comfort, and her relatively thick figure doesn’t help matters.
KOREA – Kim Min-jeong. Here’s another lady who did everything right but whose efforts were not enough to impress the judging panel. The Japanese are not in the mood to revive the “goodwill” slots they typically accord this country in the 1990s-2000s. But to me her performance was at a high level–it’s just that at least 30 others are also at that level.
LEBANON – Stephanie Karam. It’s noted tjat this lady actually grew up and lives in Mexico, but has her heritage from this country–think the scenario of Lebanon’s represenative in 2008, Jessica Kahawaty, who was actually Australian (and represented Australia in Miss World 2012, ending up as 2nd runner-up). But unlike Jessica who ended up as a semifinalist that year, this lady fell a bit short with her too-voluptuous-for-Japanese-tastes figure and pageant patty lacy red gown.
MACAU – Ip Su-lin. Of the Chinese contingent, she’s the strongest one out there–it seems this year this Chinese Special Administrative Region has been fielding quality contenders in the international pageant arena, and this lady, although missing the cut, is one of them.
MALAYSIA – Olivia Constance Nicholas. Just like India, Korea, and Macau, another stellar Asian that the judges couldn’t find room in in the Top 15.
MAURITIUS – Shavina Hulka. She’s attractive, but she’s one of the few raw ones onstage this year.
MOLDOVA =- Alina Kirchiu. She garnered the honors of Miss Perfect Body (the equivalent of Best in Swimsuit). She does have the trim model’s frame to be worthy of the award, and she’s generally strong onstage. But I think if overall impression is tallied, there are at least 15 (or in my reckining, 20 to 25) others who made a much stronger impact.
MYANMAR – Inngyin Htoo. She’s very solid onstage, but in a year full of stellar Asians, being solid is just not good enough to make the final cut.
NEPAL – Barsha Lekhi. See MYANMAR< but this girl has a nice smile.
NETHERLANDS – Melissa Gesina Scherpen. This blonde didn’t make any mistakes and delivered a strong performance, but there are stronger blondes out there and with so few slots available, there isn’t enough room for her. At least she got the consolation of winning Miss International Europe (a congeniality award).
NEW ZEALAND – Jessica Tyson. See NETHERLANDS. I think because these two blonds came one immediately after the other, it made them appear that they are not as distinctive as they could be.
NIGERIA – Ivie Mary Young Akpude. She looks like a less charimatic version of actress Zoe Saldana, and because her face doesn’t light up sparks, she couldn’t open the Japanese judges’ minds the way Kenya’s Eunice Onyango did last year on her way to a 2nd runner-up finish.
NORTHERN MARIANAS – Josifynn Vivian “Peachy” Rasa. Well, she’s clearly not as polished and buffed as the rest of the contenders, hence she’s in the bottom of the pack. In other years she would’ve been in the middle of the pack.
Images courtesy of Jory Rivera for OPMB Worldwide unless otherwise indicated.
COMING UP: NORWAY to VIETNAM