AUSTRALIA – Esma Voloder. She only figured in one fast-track so far, Beauty with a Purpose, but I’m confident she’s likely to secure a slot by faring strongly in the judges’ interview.
FRANCE – Aurore Kichenin. She is considered one of the possible front-runners for the crown, and with a potent combination of a Top Model and Beauty with a Purpose shortlist, she seems to be on her way to the top. She already secured a spot by winning this group’s Head-to-Head challenge.
GERMANY – Dallila Jabri. Her features register as exotic but she’s obviously too raw to make significant impact here.
ARMENIA – Lili Sargsyan. She has striking cheekbones, but otherwise she’s registering as raw and unprepared.
EGYPT – Farah Shaaban Mostafa. She is surprisingly a strong communicator compared to others before her, and I would give her props for that even if she isn’t making much impact in this pageant. For me she’s a worthwhile contender.
JAMAICA – Solange Sinclair. This country is a powerhouse in this pageant, and this articulate and charming lady is unlikely to break that chain. She got shortlisted in Sports but it looks like her ticket to fare well in this pageant is the judges’ interview.
CURACAO – Vanity Girigori. She has appealingly exotic features but though a solid communicator she doesn’t quite hold people’s attention that much.
PARAGUAY – Paola Oberladstatter. She’s an attractive lady and a strong communicator with a great dancing talent that she got to showcase in the Talent Show.
GIBRALTAR – Jodie Garcia.
COLOMBIA – Maria Daza. Her features may seem a tad exotic to some tastes (like myself) but it turns out to be her ticket to get a Top Model shortlist. She may have spoken in Spanish but she delivers intelligent answers in her native language. She secured her place in the Top 40 by winning the Head-to-Head challenge for this group.
PORTUGAL – Filipa Barroso. In her introduction video, she does exude some old-school Hollywood glamour with that lovely back-lighting framing behind her hair, making her glow. But otherwise she sometimes registered as a tad mature and has not made significant impact.
COOK ISLANDS – Alanna Smith. She earned a bronze medal in Sports and was shortlisted in Beauty with a Purpose. Could this be her ticket to make the Top 40?
CANADA – Cynthia Menard. She actually makes a strong positive impression in the Head-to-Head challenge, but so far she hasn’t figured in any fast-track event. Could she make a strong-enough impression in the judges’ interview or are we seeing another possibility for the Holly Carpenter Award?
ETHIOPIA – Kisanet Molla. She is making a positive impression even if she struggles with her English. Her hair was a huge dramatic frizz during the Top Model event, giving me visions of Diana Ross, albeit less polished.
BOTSWANA – Nicole Lisa Gaelebale. She made a great splash in the Head-to-Head challenge, as she proved to be the strongest communicator out there. Could she impress enough in the judges’ interview to secure one of the 15 interview slots?
BRAZIL – Gabrielle Vilela. Like France, she has shortlists in Top Model and Beauty with a Purpose on her belt, and with that she can be perceived as one of those with an inside track to the finals. But unlike France, she would need to score with the judges’ interview as se didn’t win this Head-to-Head challenge, as surprisingly the winner was…
BANGLADESH – Jessia Islam. For many pageant fans and pundits, she is deemed the least worthy winner of the Head-to-Head challenges thus far, as many perceived her as the weakest link in this program. Her win seemed obviously buoyed by an active Bangladeshi netizen fanbase, bolstered perhaps with a little help from Indian and Nepalese internet pageant fans.
SOUTH AFRICA – Ade van Heerden. She made a great impression in Sports and Beauty with a Purpose–the latter it is confirmed she’s in the Top Five. Though I’m confident she’ll shine in interview, it looks like the Beauty with a Purpose fast-track would be her big ticket to advance further, as she’s the only one of the five who didn’t win in her respective Head-to-Head challenge.
COMING UP: GROUPS 7 TO 9