ROMANIA – Catalin Brinza. Too bad we won’t be able to see his Mask routine again as it seems this pageant eliminated the talent segment in its itinerary of activities. He’s a solid, buffed contender, but I don’t think his grim facial expressions charmed the ladies enough to make inroads into the Top 20.
SLOVAKIA – Karol Kotlar. If we talk about merit, I would’ve put this guy in the bottom of the pack, especially with that scrawny body of his (this is how Philippines looked in 2015). But he has an ace that can ensure there is a slot for him in the Top 20–his country hosted some activities for this pageant (though it involves a grueling 11-hour bus ride each way between his country and Poland). Don’t discount politics and gratitude for co-hosting ties, even if you have misgivings about him. This country is capable of fielding hunky contenders like what we see in Mister International and Manhunt International over the years, why did they field this pipsqueak?
SPAIN – Jose de Haro. Here is another scruffy handsome guy with a man-bun. Between him and Peru, I’m more bullish on his prospects of advancing to the Top 20 (and possibly Top 10). But then I heard some insider stories of clashes involving him and some key pageant personnel so I don’t know if that will hurt his chances.
SRI LANKA – Shan Fernando. He’s not as charismatic as India, but he does have a buff bod and swarthy sex appeal going for him. I bet Asha Bhatt‘s presence in the judging panel would also boost his prospects.
SURINAME – Roche Kioe-A-Sen. Now, here’s a guy who is out of his league in this group. While his female counterpart just delivered this country its best finish in any major international pageant, for most pageant fans and pundits (including myself) he brings in the rear. Sure some might see a resemblance to Filipino-Canadian singer/comedian Mikey Bustos (with hair) and to his credit he has a buffed bod, but his exotic features are clearly a very acquired taste.
SWEDEN – Ali Ghafori. He’s good-looking and memorable for his pompadour. But his key disadvantage is that he is one of the shorter guys in this competition (though if you see the James Bond / Charlie’s Angel challenge photo, at least his pompadour helped him keep up with the tall ladies).
SWITZERLAND – Fabio Emanuel. See MALTA.
THAILAND – “Rome” Phanuphong Wanthamat. I find him very appealing, but like the Philippines, the question is–does he have fit European, Latin American, and Indian tastes? I’m actually a bit more bullish on his prospects over our own AR dela Cerna, but it’s still a 50-50 prospect.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – AJ (Adam Josef). Here is another guy who I suspect is handpicked by the organizers to represent a country of his heritage–if you watch his profile video on the website, he noted he was born in the US and moved to Poland when he was five. I think he got Trinidad & Tobago because of his ancestry/heritage. The things going for him are his great communication skills and his beefy buffed physique. But he doesn’t have facial appeal for me. Still, I will not be surprised if he makes the final cut–though pageant fans and pundits all over will then scratch their heads.
UNITED KINGDOM – Rex Newmark. He resembles to me like an odd fusion of action star Jason Statham and former Communards/Bronski Beat singer Jimmy Somerville. If you aware of who those two people are, their personas are such polar opposites–but then again, remember that Jason Statham appeared as a skimpily clad dancer in early-1990s club videos for The Shamen and Erasure, so he may not be as distant to Jimmy Somerville as he may now project). He seems to have a bright spark about him and his beefy bod is enviable, but I don’t know if he has enough appeal to make the final cut.
UNITED STATES – Walker Barnes. He’s undeniably a wavy-haired boyish cutie, and that could be enough for him to make the Top 20. Will his brother join him there?
VENEZUELA – Gustavo Acevedo. When I look at his eyes, I was bugged as it looked like he piled on eye makeup on them. But more pictures reveal they are natural and it dawned on me it’s similar to Zac Efron‘s eyes. Well, Zac is now regarded as one of the world’s hottest hunks, and that can help bolster his cause, and he looks a serious Top Five possibility.
All images courtesy of Leonardo Rodrigues for Mister Supranational unless otherwise indicated.
Now that all 37 contestants are accounted for, here’s how the leaderboard looks like:
TOP CONTENDERS: BELARUS, BRAZIL, INDIA, POLAND, VENEZUELA
SHOO-INS: CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, PUERTO RICO
LIKELIEST: ANGOLA, ETHIOPIA, FRANCE, JAPAN, MEXICO, PANAMA, PHILIPPINES, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, THAILAND, UNITED STATES
HOST COUNTRY FACTOR: SLOVAKIA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
ALTERNA-CUTENESS FACTOR: HAWAII
EXCELLENT: ARGENTINA, BELGIUM, CANADA, NETHERLANDS, ROMANIA, SWEDEN
VERY STRONG: CHINA, EGYPT, MALTA, SWITZERLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
VERY GOOD: FINLAND
So here’s my “Fearful” forecast:
TOP FIVE: BELARUS, BRAZIL, INDIA, POLAND, VENEZUELA
TOP TEN: CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, MEXICO, PUERTO RICO, SPAIN
TOP 20: ANGOLA, ETHIOPIA, FRANCE, HAWAII, JAPAN, PANAMA, SLOVAKIA, SRI LANKA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, UNITED STATES
BUBBLING UNDER: PHILIPPINES, THAILAND
STRIKING DISTANCE: ARGENTINA, BELGIUM, CANADA, NETHERLANDS, ROMANIA, SWEDEN
i’m so rooting for this pageant to succeed. I hope that insider stories I hear are growing pains that the organization can address and resolve for future editions. Best of luck to all the guys.