PERU – Juan Herbert. There are fans who rave about his handsome face. But there is an issue as his physique is bulkier and less defined than his peers. His prospects for advancing in the Top 16 may depend on his ability to play the Siera Bearchell card.
PHILIPPINES – Raven Renz Lansangan. There are pageant fans and observers at the venue who noted this guy tends to be quiet and reticent. But I have a feeling when it counts he can turn on the charisma–he registers very well in his photos. Besides, wasn’t Neil Perez also similarly quiet, and he won the 9th Mister International pageant? Lookswise he’s one of the strongest guys we fielded in this pageant, and I’m optimistic he’ll make the Top 16.
POLAND – Arkady Zadrozny. After two boyish, handsome guy, they bring on the manly swarthiness with this guy. He looks like a shoo-in for the Top 16 and beyond.
PUERTO RICO – Joseph Didier. With that swimsuit portrait and his penchant for tight pants (like in his national costume), he hands down win the Dino Nicolina award. He actually has handsomeness and charisma, but I’m a bit concerned that his otherwise fit bod doesn’t have the rippled definition exhibited by his peers, but I’m still hopeful his good looks would be enough for him to secure a slot in the Top 16 and beyond.
SINGAPORE – Marvin Soh. His face is relatively more attractive than most of his predecessors that he can qualify as a cutie. He also has a relatively polished presence and an enviably buffed bod. He’s also one of the shortest guys in this competition, but I have a feeling he’ll take the “Little-Cutie-That-Could” title and secure a Top 16 finish.
SOUTH AFRICA – Dwayne Geldenhuis. Amongst the contenders of European ethnicity this year this guy is the most polished and he could make a play for the Top Five, or as some fans might believe, even a win.
SPAIN – Ruben Castillero. Some pageant fans and pundits may be put off by his tattoos on both his arms and his right leg. But he has one of the most outgoing personalities, a sterling charisma, a superbly rippled bod, and he cuts the most dashing presence in formal wear. He can make a play for the Top Five and even a possible win, in my opinion.
SWITZERLAND – Alessio Costantini. After sitting out last year, this representative looks like a great follow-up to 2015 winner (and new dad) Pedro Mendes. He’s another one who can make a serious play for the Top Five.
THAILAND – Paran Pitijirakun. I actually find his brown complexion and swarthy features highly appealing but I find it surprising that Thailand fielded this type of guy instead of their traditional clean-shaven Asian types. He and India are the darkest skinned contestants in this year’s contest, which paints a sad picture of the inherent biases Asian cultures have towards dark skin that this year there are no African contestants and the US is fielding a Latino this time. Will Asian biases prevail and shut off this guy, or will more open-minded people be able to give this guy a fair shake?
U S A – Nelson Rivera. He has a boyish Latino handsomeness and possessed one of the beefiest, most rippled physiques in this pageant. It’s possible this might be the time that this country could make the cut in this pageant.
VENEZUELA – Ignacio Milles. Amongst the fierce Latino contingent he is the one with the brightest charisma. He was for me the favorite to win it all in the early goings, but quickly buzz as been focused towards KOREA. Still, his classic good looks are just too undeniable to ignore that he can still clinch that win.
VIETNAM – Minh Trung. After KOREA, this is the most charismatic and best looking Asian in this year’s batch (who’s third? Our countryman, of course). He can make a play for the Top Ten, with a possibility for the Top Five.
With all 36 contestants accounted for, let me now trot out my leaderboard to see how they all stack up:
TOP CONTENDERS: KOREA, LEBANON, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, VENEZUELA
SHOO-INS: BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES, VIETNAM
LIKELIEST: CHINA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, GUAM, HONG KONG, INDIA, JAPAN, MEXICO, NICARAGUA, POLAND, PUERTO RICO, SINGAPORE, U S A
HOST COUNTRY FACTOR: MYANMAR
EXCELLENT: BELGIUM, EL SALVADOR, MALTA, PANAMA, THAILAND
VERY STRONG: BOLIVIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS, PERU
Now, here’s my “Fearful” forecast:
TOP FIVE: KOREA, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, VENEZUELA
TOP 10: BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, INDONESIA, LEBANON, VIETNAM
TOP 16: MYANMAR, NICARAGUA, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, PUERTO RICO, SINGAPORE
BUBBLING UNDER: CHINA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, GUAM, HONG KONG, INDIA, JAPAN, MEXICO, U S A
STRIKING DISTANCE: BELGIUM, EL SALVADOR, MALTA, PANAMA, THAILAND
It’s nice to see at least these guys get to enjoy the sights Myanmar has to offer and even do some charity work on the side. I wonder if Myanmar will deliver a great show tonight. Anyway, it looks like it’s either the K-Pop charisma of KOREA (Seunghwon Lee) or the classical handsomeness of VENEZUELA (Ignacio Milles) for the win, with LEBANON (Michael Khoury), SOUTH AFRICA (Dwayne Geldenhuis), SPAIN (Ruben Castillero) and SWITZERLAND (Alessio Costantini) nipping at their heels. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds tonight.
All images courtesy of Drew Francisco and Ameer Gamama for Missosology.