By staging a new edition after its revival last year, we can now declare Manhunt International is back for real. Admittedly there are some slight worrying signs with an attrition from 43 to 37 contestants this year, a level that has not been seen since the 2000 edition, and the Thai organizers only scheduled a six-day itinerary of activities when most major pageants typically schedule a full week at the very least. However, it turned out to be a well-stacked itinerary for that limited time, as there are some charity work and the contestants immersing in Thai culture on top of the photo shoots and competition matters. And I have to thank Missosology and Drew Francisco for providing us with important coverage of this event (okay, yes, Global Beauties also has coverage but they came a bit later in the game).
Anyway, how do the 37 contestants stand compared to previous batches? To be honest, they kinda pale behind the heady standards of 2012, but there are still worthwhile guys to appreciate, starting with…
AUSTRALIA – Zaine Pringle. He has that classic blond boy looks that I know have many adherents, though I don’t really dig it that much. He won this sponsor’s prize for Thai Catwalk Choice Award–if that award is what I think it is, he might have an inside track to the semifinals with that skill.
BRAZIL – Christian Fin. He has a scruffy handsomeness that I like. However he wasn’t awarded with any special award, so I wonder how would that bode for him making the cut? I still am optimistic he’ll make it.
BULGARIA – Georgi Valkov. He has a cute boyish vibe, although not in any way classically handsome. He won a special award for “Best Vigor”. Wonder what that award means–an energetic attitude across various events?
CHINA – Han Liang. Yes, he has a buffed bod, but his face does not qualify as handsome. But then again this pageant seems to be heavily beholden to this country so they might make room for him in the semifinals–oh, I hope not, for justice’s sake.
CHINESE TAIPEI – Shen Ying Bin. In real-world terms he’s good-looking, though it seems he’s gunning for the male equivalent of Siera Bearchell or Migbelis Castellanos with his bulky frame. One of the sponsors, Loo Chang Huat, decided to give him a first runner-up prize for the Loo Chang Huat Model award. Again, I don’t really understand the significance of that award except perhaps it’s a sponsor’s whim (just like the other whimsical awards that were handed out as you read on).
COSTA RICA – Richard Coronado. I find him one of the handsomest in this year’s contest. However he looks awkward in most photographs, that I feel he doesn’t quite know how to properly model yet, so I can’t really rank him as one of the front-runners. He got a special award as Best Sexy Model, so perhaps the Thai sponsors found him sexually appealing somehow. But then I remember last year and recall that Denmark’s Sy Lee also garnered this distinction–read that as you may. It seems the Thais have a 180-degree difference in notion of what is sexy compared to the Chinese last year, but then again, Sy Lee is like a special unicorn who you don’t regularly see in major male pageants. Now the question is–was he able to polish up his act when it counted? I’m hoping he’ll make the cut.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Mike Jacobi. As much as finally Alex Liu is developing a tolerance for facial hair, I don’t think it spills over to long hair, and this guy’s plain features do not help matters. Okay, let’s give him credit for his buffed bod, but so many others have this quality too.
EGYPT – Ammar Darweesh. He’s an example of a boyishly cute Arab. There are people who might find him appealing, but I feel he didn’t quite stand out to the Thais’ reckoning.
FERNANDO DE NORONHA – Diego Michel Jacome Bautista. Many pageant observers and pundits feel he should be a lock for one of the semifinalist spots, but like Brazil he didn’t win a special award. Still, I will not count him out and I feel he still has what it takes to make the cut.
FRANCE – Jocelyn Rigaux. He’s boyishly handsome with a trim, slender frame. I have a feeling that slender frame may be an obstacle to his prospects for making the semifinals.
GERMANY – Leotrim Gjugja. Based on his name, he has Slavic roots. He actually has potential, but he doesn’t know how to tap it yet and as a result he registers as raw and unpolished.
GREECE – Spyros Spinoulas. He is of the classic Manhunt mold with a classic manly handsomeness and the chiseled bod of a Greek god. But some might say perhaps this look is already dated, but I think this organization is still slightly resistant to change so he will have a ticket in the Top Five.
COMING UP: GUAM to NEPAL