I’m pleased with the results of this year’s Mister International. I got 13 of the Top 16 correct, with two of them in my “Bubbling Under” list, plus six of the Top 10 and three of the Top Five. I didn’t make a Top Three forecast, but I would’ve gotten two of the three correct. Even if I pat myself in the back for a generally good record, there were a few surprises…
First, out of my radar was Netherlands (Jeremy Lensink), as he has a plain face and one of the least defined physiques in this batch. But reportedly his outgoing personality (he happened to win Mister Congeniality) and strong interview helped him secure a slot over arguably hansomer choices…
As the host Michael Bristol was getting the crowd pumped up as he announced the Top 16, the host contestant from Myanmar (John Ko Ko) presumed his country was already announced when Michael was simply addressing the audience as the country. It was the only major gaffe of the night. Though I thought there would be a token slot set out for him, I’m actually glad merit prevailed and he didn’t make it.
There is one clear winner of the Lucas Malvacini award, and it’s gone to the country where Lucas is from, Brazil (Leonardo Nobre). There are people who felt he lacked spark that is why he missed the cut. At least he got the consolation of winning Mister Photogenic.
I was expecting the “Little-Cutie-That-Could” honor would go to Singapore (Marvin Soh), but instead, they went a bit on the scruffier route, and it’s actually a great choice–the honer went to Nicaragua (Elvis Murillo) instead, whose scruffy handsomeness and rippled body are too undeniable. Elvis delivered an auspicious debut for his country in this pageant as he made as far as Top 10.
I was expecting Lebanon (Michael Khoury) and Spain (Ruben Castilleros) to make a play for the Top Five, but they failed to advance to the Top Ten. I did notice Lebanon tends to be subdued and reticent and I have a feeling those prominent limb tattoos on Spain proved to be not to the judges’ liking.
Exceeding most forecasts is Japan (Taizan Matsuura)–I pegged him as a “Bubbling Under” choice but he went far into the Top 10. I admittedly found him plain at first, but I’m starting to appreciate his vaguely Eurasian features and he does have flattering handsome angles.
With Lebanon and Spain blocked from advancing to the Top Ten, this made room for Philippines (Raven Renz Lansangan) and Puerto Rico (Joseph Didier) to advance. I’m mighty pleased with both their showings.
I’m slightly shocked that the judges shut out Venezuela (Ignacio Milles) out of the Top Five to make way for Vietnam (Minh Trung)–wonder if the white jacket he sported was the cause? It also seems Venezuela’s loss is Colombia (Manuel Molano)‘s gain as Colombia provided a perfect consolation over the Venezuelan shut-out. Admittedly I underrated Colombia a bit–I was on the fence on whether I should include him as a front-runner or not as his charisma and spark were undeniable throughout his stay in Myanmar–I should’ve included him as a front-runner instead of Lebanon in hindsight. Anyway, I’m very glad at Colombia’s high placement, and pleased despite a weak translation the judges get that he delivered an eloquent answer to the question given.
Though there were many observers who noted Korea (Seunghwon Lee) seems relatively subdued, his charisma is so undeniable, and the topical North-South Korea peace talks helped bolster his profile and led to a satisfying and well-deserved win. Congratulations!
All images courtesy of Drew Francisco for Missosology