This year’s Miss World may have some results that could be deemed very satisfying to a certain extent. Since we know 23 of the 40 quarterfinalists beforehand, so how well did I do with the remaining 17 slots? Not bad–11 out of 17. Five out of six I missed out were in my “Bubbling Under” list, and one in my “Striking Distance” list. I may have faltered a bit with my Top 15 prediction, with eight out of 15, but I came roaring back with Top Ten (six out of ten) and most importantly the Top Five (three out of five).
Let’s talk about that one in my “Striking Distrance” list: I actually liked Korea (Ha-Eun Kim), but I thought her lack of social media presence would turn her into the prime candidate for the Holly Carpenter award. But it turns out she’s more headed towards the Sabrina Houssami / Micaela Reis direction, and that the Miss World Organization insiders dug her so much that she made it all the way to the Top Ten, and even end up with the Miss World – Asia (since starting last year, continental titles are accorded to those who did NOT win the overall title). I don’t really mind her going as far as she did and pipping the more highly touted Indonesia (Auchintya Nilsen) out of that honor.
Though I put them in my “Bubbling Under” list, never in my wildest dreams did I expect Japan (Haruka Yamashita) and Sweden (Hanna Haag) to make the Top 40, with the former even going further to the Top 15.*1 But I’m glad to see them make the cut as I like these ladies and rooting for them to succeed. Of course I didn’t want them to take slots at the expense of our bet the Philippines (Laura Lehmann) in the Top 15, but well, we have the consolation of being co-winner for Beauty with a Purpose (BWAP) and the Head-to-Head challenge win to secure our Top 40 placement. I, like the rest of the Filipinos, would wish she fared higher, but sometimes those are the breaks…
*1 I think Haruka’s Top 15 placement was a way for Miss World insiders to atone for miscrediting Vietnam (Do My Linh) as the ballet performer during the Talent show on Facebook. The information on Wikipedia is correct (but still no pictures of Trinidad & Tobago’s performance).
Differing pageant fans would differing choices for the Holly Carpenter Award this year. My personal choice for this would be Chile (Victoria Stein)–yes, some pageant pundits found her a tad grating, but I like her spunk and her superb communication skills and I don’t think she’s pageant patty at all. In fact, I think she has a similar personality to previous Miss World Stephanie del Valle.
Two buzzed-about ladies from Oceania are strong runners-up for the Ruth Ocumarez Award: Australia (Esma Voloder) & Fiji (Nanise Rainima). Both have strong BWAP projects, are strong communicators, and both made such a big splash that many assumed they are shoo-ins for the Top 40. Unfortunately it turns out they fell short and ultimately missed the final cut that counted, and as a result are outpipped by New Zealand (Annie Evans) for the Miss World – Oceania honors. In this case, it helped that Annie has Chinese heritage and skills speaking the language (and translating for her fellow peers).
But I have two co-winners for the Ruth Ocumarez Award: Spain (Elisa Tulian) and Thailand (Patlada Kulphakthanapat). Both made significant splashes on the fast-track events, the former possessing beauty, athleticism and dancing talent to figure in Top Model, Sports, and Talent, and the latter ranked very high in Top Model (second, in fact) and was shortlisted for BWAP. I wonder if the Miss World insiders found Elisa a tad too spicy for comfort, and Patlada’s weak English skills a hindrance? For Thailand, there is also a side of me that wished this country won the Head-to-Head challenge instead as it turns out we could’ve secured the Top 40 by winning the BWAP anyway. It’s sad that these two worthy ladies were shut out.
But ulitmately many pageant fans and pundits agreed that this pageant selected the correct Top Two, with both the eventual winner India (Manushi Chhillar) and 1st runner-up Mexico (Andrea Meza) both being big favorites from the get-go. I think the Miss World judges were almost about to generate a perfect Top Three royal court but unfortunately one faltered during the final question, leading the way for lesser regarded England (Stephanie Hill) to snag 2nd runner-up. I’ll discuss more about that in my full-fledged Miss World review this December. For now, I salute and congratulate Manushi’s win as it was well deserved and a job well done.