KOREA – Ha Eun Kim. She’s pretty and well-spoken, but it’s weird she doesn’t update much on her social media. She also didn’t figure in any fast-track event, so she’s a candidate for the Holly Carpenter Award.
LEBANON – Perla El Helou. Though many fans are expecting Korea (due to Asian fan votes) or the United States to win this Head-to-Head challenge, it’s this lady who emerged the victor instead. She’s a refreshing choice of a winner, as she has the looks and a straight-to-the-point communication style that made a great impression.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – Chandini Chanka. Beauty queens from this country are strong communicators and this one is no exception. But would she make a strong enough impression to secure one of the 15 judges’ interview slots? With the presence of the United States that is uncertain. Some sources are also reporting she was shortlisted in Talent but we couldn’t glean any photo of her performing on the Talent show–wonder what happened?
PANAMA – Julianne Britton. She has a good human interest story surviving a tough childhood and she was shortlisted in Top Model. But would that be enough for her to make Top 40?
UNITED STATES – Clarissa Bowers. Many pageant fans and pundits touted her as the one to win it all but as the days wore on and she failing to figure in any of the fast-track events, and not even winning this Head-to-Head challenge, one might wonder–is she heading towards Holly Carpenter-dom? But her overachieving medical background and her superb interview skills are just too compelling for her to end up in that path. Many pageant fans are still betting on her to place high, so perhaps her trajectory is more towards Sabrina Houssami and Micaela Reis, ladies who also failed to figure in any fast-track back in 2006 and 2007 respectively but still managed to become runners-up.
CAYMAN ISLANDS – Kristin Amaya. She made a good impression in the Head-to-Head challenge as a strong communicator. This is probably as much impact as she’ll probably make, though, as arriving late has disadvantages.
CAPE VERDE – Cristilene Dos Santos. She has a charm about her, but the most she can be is a worthwhile contender.
ZAMBIA – Mary Chibula. She’s the most eloquent communicator of this group, and she has a dignified bearing about her.
KAZAKHSTAN – Gulbanu Azimkhan. No doubt she’s the best looking of this group of latecomers, and she has the voting support to win the Head-to-Head challenge for this group.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – Helina Hewlett. She’s the one who made the biggest splas amongst the latecomers, finishing second in the Sports fast-track. She’s one of the rare ladies who took her country away from being the traditional cellar dweller in international pageantry.
Now that all 118 countries are accounted for, let’s trot out my leaderboard:
TOP CONTENDERS: FRANCE, INDIA, INDONESIA, MEXICO, RUSSIA
CHALLENGE WINNERS: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, NIGERIA, MALTA, MONGOLIA, ITALY, ARGENTINA, NEPAL, COLOMBIA, BANGLADESH, MACAU, MOLDOVA, GUATEMALA, LIBERIA, VENEZUELA, PERU, PHILIPPINES, VIETNAM, LEBANON, KAZAKHSTAN
SHOO-INS: AUSTRALIA, JAMAICA, BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, CHINA, ENGLAND, FIJI, POLAND, THAILAND, SPAIN, UNITED STATES
LIKELIEST: AUSTRIA, COTE D’IVOIRE, ISRAEL, CHILE, COOK ISLANDS, BOTSWANA, CANADA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, KENYA, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, ARUBA, GHANA, NETHERLANDS, DENMARK, HONG KONG, UKRAINE, CROATIA, NEW ZEALAND, SWEDEN, GUYANA, JAPAN, SLOVENIA, TANZANIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, SCOTLAND, MYANMAR,
EXCELLENT: ANGOLA, BOLIVIA, BELGIUM, CAMEROON, GUINEA, EGYPT, PARAGUAY, PORTUGAL, GUAM, ICELAND, CYPRUS, IRELAND, FINLAND, HUNGARY, SENEGAL, SLOVAKIA, MONTENEGRO, NORWAY, SERBIA, TURKEY, WALES, ZIMBABWE, KOREA, PANAMA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, ZAMBIA
VERY STRONG: BAHAMAS, ETHIOPIA, HONDURAS, BULGARIA, GREECE, LAOS, ROMANIA, URUGUAY, NICARAGUA, CAYMAN ISLANDS, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CAPE VERDE,
STRONG: GUADELOUPE, ALBANIA, GERMANY, GIBRALTAR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, RWANDA
VERY GOOD: GEORGIA, MAURITIUS, ARMENIA, SINGAPORE, TUNISIA, SOUTH SUDAN,
GOOD: CURACAO, SEYCHELLES, SRI LANKA, LESOTHO, BELIZE
Here is my “Fearful” Forecast:
TOP FIVE: FRANCE, INDIA, INDONESIA, MEXICO, RUSSIA
TOP TEN: CHINA, VIETNAM, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, BRAZIL
TOP 15: JAMAICA, MONGOLIA, PHILIPPINES, THAILAND, UNITED STATES
TOP 40: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, NIGERIA, MALTA, ITALY, ARGENTINA, NEPAL, COLOMBIA, BANGLADESH, MACAU, MOLDOVA, GUATEMALA, LIBERIA, VENEZUELA, PERU, LEBANON, KAZAKHSTAN, AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, FIJI, POLAND, CROATIA, KENYA, NEW ZEALAND, NORTHERN IRELAND, SCOTLAND
BUBBLING UNDER: AUSTRIA, COTE D’IVOIRE, ISRAEL, CHILE, COOK ISLANDS, BOTSWANA, CANADA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, ARUBA, GHANA, NETHERLANDS, DENMARK, HONG KONG, UKRAINE, SWEDEN, GUYANA, JAPAN, SLOVENIA, TANZANIA, MYANMAR
STRIKING DISTANCE: ANGOLA, BOLIVIA, BELGIUM, CAMEROON, GUINEA, EGYPT, PARAGUAY, PORTUGAL, GUAM, ICELAND, CYPRUS, IRELAND, FINLAND, HUNGARY, SENEGAL, SLOVAKIA, MONTENEGRO, NORWAY, SERBIA, TURKEY, WALES, ZIMBABWE, KOREA, PANAMA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, ZAMBIA
Let’s see how everything unfolds tonight. Good luck to all the ladies!