Before I discuss the Top 25, I would like to discuss how the Top 25 sequences are conducted. There are two segments–first was the fitness wear round where they are expected to display energy. It’s a welcome departure from other editions as other editions usually featured another swimsuit or lingerie parade. This is set to a cover of “Rinse & Repeat” by Riton featuring Kah-Lo.
The Top 25 then changed out of their fitness outfits to a white-themed fashion show–not necessarily gowns, but varying styles of garments that are all-white. This time it was framed with a live performance by Poland-based Singaporean beatboxer Dharni and his partner the Polish singer K-Leah. After that parade the Top Ten was announced and I’ll discuss the conduct of those sequences in the next section of this essay.
I got 17 of the 25 quarter finalists right. Most of those I missed were in my Striking Distance and Bubbling Under list, and one that I probably underrated entirely. Still, they were a worthy bunch. Though I disagree somewhat with how they were ranked, well, I have to respect their tastes.
25TH PLACE: JAPAN – Risa Nagashima. I didn’t expect her to make the cut and I placed her in my “Striking Distance” list. But she’s polished and I don’t begrudge her presence here.
24TH PLACE: NETHERLANDS – Milenka Janssen. I was expecting Sweden in her place, but she’s a worthy choice, also a similarly refreshing blonde.
23RD PLACE: ARGENTINA – Wanessa Emiliana de Almeida. She got a special award as “Top Model”. There can be some justification on that, so one might think she deserves to rank higher, right? I do think she deserves within the Top 20, at least.
22ND PLACE: UKRAINE – Anastasya Lenna. Here’s another lady who I feel is Top 20 worthy with her prettiness and Slavic ingenue vibe.
21ST PLACE: VIETNAM – Duong Nguyen Kha Trang. She exuded a radiance that almost mirrored Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Datul. Her intricately designed red costume earned her a Best in National Costume award. She also made an indelible impression in her red gown. I would’ve ranked her bubbling under the Top Ten, not in a low position like this one. Wonder if she is weakened by her interview.
20TH PLACE: RUSSIA – Vlada Gritsenko. She earned a special award for Best Body. She does have a great figure and could indeed be a worthy choice.for the honor. I placed her in my “Bubbling Under” list so it’s not a surprise she made the cut.
19TH PLACE: BRAZIL – Cloris Ioanna de Souza. Yes, she has a great figure, strong stage chops, and her flowy aquamarine satin gown was dreamy, but I have quibbles about her mature features. This is why I only placed her in my “Striking Distance” list.
18TH PLACE: ROMANIA – Sinziana Sirghi. The judges seemed to love her black-and-white ballgown that she won the Best Evening Gown special award. I only placed her in my “Bubbling Under” list, but I’m not that shocked she made it.
17TH PLACE: RWANDA – Colombe Akiwacu. I was not surprised she made it this far, as she makes a strong distinctive presence. What I was surprised was that she didn’t get the Continental title for Africa, as the judges favored another lady…
16TH PLACE: MAURITIUS – Ambika Callychurn. She was totally outside my radar and I didn’t place her in my “Bubbling Under” or “Striking Distance” list. In hindsight I should’ve put her in higher regard, as she does strike a strong, exotic presence, and that make her the Continental winner for Africa. I think there is also another factor helping her cause, a factor that caused two ladies with similar heritages to make it to the Final Five.
15TH PLACE: PARAGUAY – Viviana Florentin. She is a strong-enough follow-up to Stephania Stegman, as she’s great looking and polished. Her ranking here is completely justified.
14TH PLACE: PHILIPPINES – Joanna Eden. I was expecting her to outdo Rogelie Catacutan‘s ranking last year–instead she ended up duplicating it. Admittedly she didn’t have the spark she had in Binibining Pilipinas, so again we had to be satisfied with her bubbling under the Top Ten. Still, even if she won the special award for Facebook popularity, which gives her an automatic ticket to the Top 25, her performance and ranking indicates she would’ve made the cut even without that distinction.
13TH PLACE: MEXICO – Cynthia de la Vega. I pegged her in the Top Ten, but it seems the judges favored others and she missed that hallowed circle by quite a bit. I find her makeup a bit too strong, but she is clearly very polished.
12TH PLACE: PANAMA – Leydis Maybeth Gonzalez. She’s a good-looking black woman and though I pegged her in my “Bubbling Under” list. But I forgot that the organization that created this pageant originated from this country, so in hindsight it should not be a surprise she made it. She is worthy of belinging her, but I disagree that she outranks Cynthia de la Vega.
11TH PLACE: AUSTRALIA – Silka Kurzak. I was surprised at her lofty ranking. I only placed her in my “Striking Distance” list. Sure she’s polished, but I don’t find her a conventional beauty. But I think a key factor may lie in her name–it hints of a Polish heritage and that may be the factor that helped her gain favor with the judges.
COMING UP: THE TOP TEN