The 11th Mister International was initially intended to be staged in Thailand in mid-November 2016. However on 13 October, the beloved king Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away and brought the entire nation into a mourning period that staging this pageant didn’t feel appropriate for that time. So it was rescheduled for February 2017, which paralleled what happened two editions ago. However, unlike the chaotic 9th edition, which not only rescheduled the date twice it even changed the finals date by one day while the pageant activities were underway, the rescheduled dates in this edition are being firmly followed, with a tight and productive seven-day schedule leading to a pre-Valentine’s Day finale.
There was a mild attrition this year as there are 35 contestants from last year’s 36. Conspicuously absent are countries that fielded semifinalists and finalists like Panama, Sweden, and the country of the reigning Mister International, Switzerland. There are no contestants of African descent in this year’s batch, too*1. There is a debate if this year’s batch improved upon last year’s batch–last year featured a host of at least 10 stellar standouts but also had its share of dud-dy dudes. This year, there are fewer stellar standouts but most of the pack are well-regarded strong contenders and the dud-dy dudes seem fewer. But one thing is clearer–they amped up the steam factor this year with those near-revealing white Raenrra swimwear. If last year’s batch were guys you want to marry, this year’s batch feature guys you want to be ravished by.
*1 Originally Switzerland is supposed to field Yann Aka but somehow his participation fell through for unknown reasons (scheduling conflicts, lack of proper arrangements, or personal issues, perhaps?). He would’ve been the sole black male contestant if he made it.
AUSTRALIA – James Carne. The key issue that I noticed about him is his height, but otherwise he exudes an outgoing personality and his handsomeness and buffness are undeniable. But then again, there usually is a handsome short guy who makes the cut, and this guy could fit the bill as this year’s “little-cutie-that-could”.
BELGIUM – Mitchell Spruyt. He’s handsome with a lean physique. However, he’s overshadowed by the rest of the pack and his physique seemed to lack tone and definition.
BOLIVIA – Alex Limpias. Physically he’s a major improvement from the previous year’s representative, though perhaps his predecessor had stronger communication skills (though this guy is a good-enough communicator in his native language). There are Latino contenders that seem to be overshadowing him but he’s a worthwhile contender.
BRAZIL – Ivo Cavalcanti. On his own, he is great looking with oodles of sex appeal, though his predecessor, 1st runner-up Anderson Tomazini, was way more charismatic and handsomer. I wonder how well Alan SIm and his organization would appreciate his upfront sensuality–would this quality allow him to make the final cut? Anyway, from more candid swimsuit pics, I would hand him the Dino Nicolina award*2 I wonder if he’s a grower because, well if he is, we are talking about something incredible like Mister World 2010 semifinalist Jonas Sulzbach. Another piquant note–he could be considered the guy responsible for shuttling Kim Ross Delos Santos‘ Bb. Pilipinas dreams (she was considered an erstwhile frontrunner along with Maxine Medina and Kylie Versoza) as a leaked test shot featuring him and Kim led to her disqualification.
*2 Dino Nicolina was Manhunt Curacao back in 2000 who placed 4th runner-up. He’s well known for how he bulges prominently in his Speedos.
CAMBODIA – Yoeung Samneang. To his credit, he’s more polished than his predecessor, and he has an enviably buffed physique. He’s also arguably the shortest guy in this year’s competition, so though he is commendable, it’s an uphill battle for him to make inroads. Anyway, I’m glad he ditched his peroxided hair from his submission photo and reverted back to his natural hair color.
CANADA – Chris Snyder. He’s a tall boyish cutie, but perhaps too boyish for this pageant.
CHINA – Shihao Qu. He’s actually a solid contender, but it seems attention is focused towards Hong Kong. Not sure if there are enough slots for him to make the final cut as his charisma is a tad muted.
CZECH REPUBLIC – Josef Kurka. He’s a beefy, burly “daddy” type, though he’s only a mere 25 years old. I dig him a lot, but does Alan Sim & Co. appreciate his “rougher” type?
EL SALVADOR – Robin Balses. He has a passing resemblance to Mister World 2012 Francisco Escobar of Colombia, but his charisma is a tad muted that attention is diverted towards other Latino standouts. Still, he could pull off a sleeper surprise and make the final cut.
GUAM – John Kanemoto. He grew back his facial hair after his Manhunt International stint. Though it’s not 100% assured, he may make serious inroads to the finals as besides his lean, sinewy physique and Asian handsomeness he also has good communication skills.
HONG KONG – Kyle Lee. It’s easy to remember his name as all you need to think of is the Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue (yes, I’m squarely in the Minogue camp in the copyright battle between Miss Minogue and Kardashian-related Miss Jenner). He has that boyish cutie appeal that could make serious inroads, and I have a feeling he had charmed the hell out of Alan Sim and other judges as he does have a bright, outgoing personality and superb communication skills. He could make it all the way to the Final Three, and is arguably the strongest Asian in this year’s batch.
COMING UP: INDIA to NETHERLANDS
Swimwear and National Costume images courtesy of Klickbox Photography, Streetwear images courtesy of Oat Nutphon, and Evening Wear images courtesy of Drew Francisco for Missosology unless otherwise indicated.