Before I discuss the Top 20, I have previously mentioned this pageant borrowed an element from another major pageant. The major pageant is Miss World, and the element is the leaderboard (employed from 2011-2015). In this case, the twist is it is used to score the three challenge activities conducted: One team challenge which is the “Maluch” (Polish car assembly) chalenge, and two individual challenges, the Aquacity (swimming) challenge and Supra Chef (cooking) challenge. The team challenge is scored with 8 points for the 1st place team, 6 for the 2nd place team, 4 for the 3rd place team, and 2 for the last-placed team, but there is 5 bonus points* for one individual who was singled out and given the privilege to go on a drift ride with female race car driver Karolina Pilarczyk, while the individual challenges scored the Top 10 performers with 10 points going to the 1st placer and 1 point going to the 10th placer. The one who accumulates the most points would be given a wildcard slot in the Top 20. It turns out there is a tie for first this year…
*That honor went to Trinidad & Tobago.
I have to note about an awkward moment on the leaderboard segment–Peru (Alvaro Paz-Lopez) was disqualified a day before (because he was bringing in girls to his hotel room and basically treating his stint as “spring break”), but he made it to the scoreboard as he was part of the winning Maluch challenge team (8 points) and placed 7th in the Supra-Chef challenge (4 points). Wonder if he would make the final cut if he wasn’t disqualified?
After the Top 20 was announced, we are then treated to a chic fashion parade with the Top 20 modeling semi-formal black outfits. set to “Goodbye” by Feder featuring Lyse.
Immediately after that sequence, the Top 10 was announced. But before we delve into the Top Ten, let’s discuss the Top 20. I got 14 of the 20 correct, and I have to admit I severely underrated quite a few guys who made it, plus I wasn’t aware of the “wildcard” part, and one of the two wildcards would’ve probably had been in the dreaded “Bottom 11” if it wasn’t for it. And that person is…
20TH PLACE: UNITED KINGDOM – Rex Newmark. He is a chef by profession, and that is the factor why he won the Supra Chef challenge and garnered 10 points. He was also part of the winning Maluch challenge team, and that gave him an additional 8 points, and with that he was in the joint lead and advanced to the Top 20. Based on this official ranking, it meant he ousted Egypt from a Top 20 placement as otherwise, most pageant fans and pundits (including myself) regard him as one of the bottom contestants in this batch.
19TH PLACE: SWEDEN – Ali Ghafori. I think his situation was similar to Egypt. but he was lucky enough that he ranked one notch higher to avoid being knocked out by the Wildcard winners. He didn’t really register that much in the preliminary looks rounds but he showed spunk and personality later on (which may reflect in the interviews).
18TH PLACE: FRANCE – Bryan Weber. As I predicted he made the cut, but it seems barely so as the judges seemed to rate others more highly. Still it’s worth celebrating that he made the cut this time after missing Mister International the previous year.
17TH PLACE: PHILIPPINES – AR dela Cerna. I’m glad his boyish cuteness garnered enough appeal to make the cut. It’s all we expected of him and he delivered.
16TH PLACE: PUERTO RICO – Christian Trenche. He was co-champion of the challenge events, garnering 7th in the AquaCity challenge (4 points), was part of the 2nd place team in the Maluch challenge (6 points) and third in the Supra Chef challenge (8 points). But based on his ranking, it seems he would’ve made the cut without the Wildcard anyway. Still, I’m surprised he ranked relatively lower than I predicted (I expected him in the Top Ten) as I maintain that he’s way better, than, say, Slovakia.
15TH PLACE: SPAIN – Jose de Jaro. Unlike in activities prior to finals night, he decided to let his hair down. I’m not that into his long mane, but well, he does handsomeness and charisma enough to make the cut (though I predicted in my homestretch review that he would fare better).
14TH PLACE: SLOVAKIA – Karol Kotlar. I expected him to make the cut on the basis of the fact his country co-hosted some of this pageant’s events. But to rank this high? With his boyish scrawny untoned frame? That he’s better than Spain and Puerto Rico? That I’m not convinced. But I have to hand it to him that he has fly dance moves (perhaps he has extensive dance background, both in street and ballet).
13TH PLACE: BELGIUM – Johnny Gaspart. Showing off his beefily buffed physique at almost any occasion worked for him–I should’ve placed him in higher regard as his physique is indeed enviable, and yes, hot enough to make girls swoon. In the end, though I prefer someone like Puerto Rico above him, he earned his high placement.
12TH PLACE: MALTA – Neil Scerri. Here is another guy that I severely underestimated, to the point that I didn’t even include him in my “Striking Distance” or “Bubbling Under” lists. But upon a second look, he did have charisma and I found he has a strong fanbase, too. I apologize for my weak assessment of him initially. Yes, I prefer Puerto Rico, but he’s proven to be a strong, worthy contender knocking at Top Ten’s door.
11TH PLACE: CZECH REPUBLIC – Jan Pultar. He is actually highly regarded, and based on this ranking, he probably missed the Top Ten by very little–the judges probably simply had a stronger preference for a couple of more exotic types on top of a sleeper surprise. Some might view his placement as so close yet so far from glory, but in my reckoning, his placement is nothing to be ashamed of.
COMING UP: THE TOP TEN