GROUP 3: There are 30 ladies in this group, the largest of the three. Pageant fans and pundits do not buzz that much about this group with the exception of three standouts likely aiming for an element.
ARGENTINA – Fiorella Hengemühler. This blonde is generally solid but overshadowed by more charismatic ladies in other groups.
BAHAMAS – Brittania Alexa Mitchell. She’s also another solid contender, but again there are prettier standouts out there.
BOLIVIA – Giancarla Fernández. She has a pretty face and a sexy figure, but there are other Latinas that are garnering way more attention. At least she got a piece of the spotlight with a gold medal in national costume.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA – Lela Karagic. She is one of the pretty babes from the Balkans this year. However, her interview turned out to be shallow and relatively sub-par, and this would hinder her chances of making the Top 16.
BRAZIL – Yasmin Engelke. Brazil is a powerful sash lately, as lesser heralded ladies have been garnering elements. This lady is deemed less attractive than her predecessors, and although she has a polished presence and a human interest story recovering from a coma. If you ask me, this should be the time that this country makes way for other countries to have their chance to shine as there are at least more than 20-30 contenders worthier than her in the Top 16.
CAMBODIA – Em Kun Thong. It’s nice to see this country return to this pageant after a 12-year absence. Though we don’t expect her to make serious inroads into the Top 16, her presence is highly welcome.
CHINA – Mei Zhan. She may not be much in terms of facial beauty, but she does have a lean figure and is surprisingly a strong interview.
COOK ISLANDS – Mona Louisa Taio. She’s a solid interview and has an attractive face, but hindering her prospects is her figure is obviously too voluptuous for typical pageant standards–and this pageant still adheres strictly to that. At least she got her turn in the spotlight with a silver medal in talent.
CROATIA – Bonita Kristic. She may not be as pretty as Bosnia & Herzegovina, but she proved to be a more solid interview than her.
CYPRUS – Artemis Charalambous. She could be a sleeper choice to make the Top 16, as she has been generating a bit of buzz among pageant fans and pundits. She garnered a gold in talent and silver in national costume. Wonder what happened to her that she missed out on the evening gown competition?
GUADELOUPE – Morgane Nestar. See BAHAMAS, albeit she speaks French.
HAITI – Anaika Vanessa Gaspard. People wonder if she’s actually still in the competition and was simply too ill to participate–she missed out on the press presentation and national costume competitions, and she also missed out on her group’s evening gown event, and while practically all the ladies in Groups 1 and 3 were shown to be interviewed, she’s one who missed out. I haven’t read anything about her dropping out, so at this point we should still treat her as still officially “in”.
INDIA – Shaan Suhas Kumar. She has a trim enough figure, but she proved to be a stellar interview. Would that be enough to overcome reservations about her facial beauty? At least she got the consolation of garnering a bronze medal in friendship.
ITALY – Fabiana Enrica Barra. Her styling tends to be a tad over-the-top but she’s proven to be an outgoing, vivacious personality. She got a silver medal for her 1700s-era costume. During the interview round, she took initiative to speak about herself, her background and her causes before the judges asked any question–I don’t know if that’s a good idea, especially with her choppy English but I have to salute her chutzpah to do so.
MALAYSIA – Cherish Ng. She may not be much in terms of looks, but we have to give her credit for her outgoing, vivacious personality.
MALTA – Christie Refalo. She’s a good looking girl with a subdued, down-to-earth personality. That subdued quality is a reason why she’s easily overshadowed by the big stars out there, but she’s a worthwhile representative from this country.
COMING UP: MEXICO to ZAMBIA