Though it suffered a mild attrition*1 and decline in production values*2 last year, this year’s Mister Global has proven with this edition that it has earned its keep as a premiere international male pageant. The main reason of course is the caliber of this year’s contestants, as it’s at an arguably higher level than last year and is of equal caliber with the contestants you see in Manhunt International, Mister International, Mister World, and Mister Supranational. It does help that veterans from some of those pageants (particularly the latter two) are seeing action here. Without further ado, let’s start with…
*1 Last year’s edition woul’d’ve had an equal roster to 2016, but two contestants with body image issues chose to withdraw, reducing the roster from 30 to 28.
*2 I criticize the I-with-serif stage set-up and forcing all contestants to make stops at all corners of that stage for dissipating the flow of the programme and making it inferior to the zippier 2016 production.
AFGHANISTAN – Hamid Noor. He still is in the same caliber as he was when he competed at Mister Supranational last year, but he is not making as strong an impact as he did in his first pageant stint (representing Germany in Man of the World last year). It’s still possible he could make the cut but this year’s contenders are so strong you don’t know if there is room for him in the Top 15/16.
ALBANIA – David Qenanaj. Albanian language lesson: his surname is pronounced “Che-na-nye” (“nye” rhymes with “lie”)–in Albanian, the “Q” makes a like an English “Q” sound. On his corner he has a lean, rippled, sinewy frame and the good looks that resemble Entourage star Kevin Dillon. The problem though is that buzz about him is muted.
BRAZIL – Junior Garcia. He could conceivably deliver a back-to-back for his country, succeeding the reigning Mister Global Pedro Gicca. He consistently exudes a swarthy charisma that is hard to overlook and he’s almost consistently projecting at a high level.
CAMBODIA – Dy Vanda. He is one of the two later-comers in this contest–in fact he wasn’t in the original contestant roster. Still he makes a strong positive impression here. He has a passing resemblance to La Bamba actor Lou Diamond Phillips.
CHILE – Italo Robles. He is the last to arrive in this year’s contest. He is the first of a slew of boyish Latinos in this year’s contest. But he offsets his cherubic altar boy looks with a buffed physique, a slew of tattoos, and that prominent lip piercing, giving him a bit of a jarring bad-boy vibe. He’s great looking but would this combination work with the Thai judges?
CZECH REPUBLIC – Michal Žůrek. He does resemble ALBANIA above but he exudes more charisma that he is one of the likeliest to make the cut.
DENMARK – Marcus Rosenberg Jørgensen. His blond boyish looks are a clear standout in this group. A veteran of Mister Supranational 2016 (making the Top Ten), he is set to equal or probably even exceed his showing here. Much has been said about his pedigree (his mother is Miss World 1986 1st runner-up Pia Rosenberg). In case he didn’t win here, will we see him in Manila next year for Mister World?
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Frainy Figueroa. This guy impressed me in earlier appearances in Thailand but buzz dissipated somewhat. But for me he deserves bigger notices as even if he’s one of the shorter contestants in this batch, his perfect physique and handsomely swarthy features are top-notch.
EGYPT – Ahmed Lasheen. Last year’s Man of the World introduced most of us to clean-shaven Arabs*3 and this guy is of that mold. He may not be as conventionally handsome as last year’s Man of the World winner, but he still is great looking with a great physique and tall stature to boot.
*3 His countryman, Mostafa Galal Elizali, won that contest.
ETHIOPIA – Abdulfetha Ali Hasen. Though Africa is represented with three contestants, only one of them is black. And, this is arguably the black-guy-most-likely to make the cut, especially since he possesses a rippled physique. The only obstacle is that he’s obviously lacking in resources as it seems he doesn’t have a suit with him for formal wear shots, and may lack competitive polish that his peers may have. Still I’m rooting for him to overcome that traditional Asian bias against darker complexions.
GERMANY – Jan Laskowski. I was so bullish about him when he competed at Mister Supranational last year, but now I see how he fizzled out, and I fear he is also not making as great an impact in this contest.
GUAM – Adam Suharto. I find his surname interesting as normally people from this country would typically have a Hispanic surname (because the island was once colonized by Spain, and there are a host of people with Filipino descent in that place). His surname suggests he’s of Indonesian heritage. Anyway, for me he’s the best chance for Indonesia to make a splash this year instead of the guy who is actually carrying that country’s banner.
HONG KONG – Vincent Lau. He seems to exude a Eurasian vibe, and he’s not bad looking at all–but there are other Asians making much stronger impact.
COMING UP: INDIA to POLAND