RESULTS REACTION: MISS GRAND INTERNATIONAL 2018

Though getting 15 of the eventual Top 21 (because of the popular vote–more on that later), the results of this year’s Miss Grand International was filled with socks and surprises.  It resulted with me only getting five of the Top 10 and two of the Fival Five.

Though I did include Vietnam (Bùi Phương Nga) in my forecast, she basically made it by virtue of popular vote, which give her an automatic ticket to the Top 10.  She squeaked past erstwhile leader Cambodia (Dy Molika) during te closing hours of voting–to be blunt, I’m glad VIetnam made the cut as she is Top 20-worthy to begin with.

I only placed Spain (Patricia Lopez) in my “Bubbling Under” list but I’m glad she made as far as the Top Ten.  She does have great looks, and her passing resemblance to the outgoing Miss Grand International might have bolstered her cause.

I’m similarly satisfied and have no objections with the inclusion of Australia (Kimberly Gundani), New Zealand (Hayley Rose Robinson), and Sri Lanka (Pawani Vithanage).  All three are polished contenders who carried themselves well so it’s not that surprising they made the cut.

 

I only placed Kazakhstan (Ayim Isengalieva) in my “Striking Distance” list but I also have no objections with her inclusion.  I only underestimated her as I thought she would be drowned out being packed in a cluster of Asians within her alphabetical range.  I’m glad she made a strong enough impression nevertheless.

Sure, she made the Top 10 in Miss Supranational last year, but I still maintain that Costa Rica (Nicole Montoya) is a headscratcher.  Why in the hell did Nawat reward her overbaked, Dunavka Trifunovka-level presentation style?  Her inclusion is even more galling when you consider who were shut out to make way for her…

For starters, the entire African continent was shutout, even with the strong caliber of Tanzania (Queen Mugesi) and Zambia (Isabel Chikoti).  Just because the black race is represented with Australia and Dominican Republic (Mayte Brito) doesn’t excuse Nawat and company from overlooking worthy ladies from this contient.

Also outrageous were the omissions of Czech Republic (Kristýna Langová) and Philippines (Eva Psychee Patalinjug), who are 1st runner-up and winner respectively for the Ruth Ocumarez Award.  Again, Nawat and company don’t put a premium on facial beauty that led to Kristyna’s omission.  In the case of Eva’s omission, it probably boiled down to her getting penalized heavily for her evenign gown trip, though some observers also quibble about her less-than-standout styling all throughout.  I’m sad Eva was shut out as I thought despite the imperfections she still had what it takes to secure a Top 20 spot.

Another shocking point of contention were two of the perceived front-runners shut-out of the Top FIve.  Thailand (Namoey Chanaphan) was not even allowed to advance to the Top 10–galling considering the pageant’s head honcho Nawat is her countryman.  At least Venezuela (Gilliannis ALvarez) got furter to the Top 10, but getting shut out of the winners’ circle is still galling for most pageant fans and pundits (including myself).

Okay, we have to concede that both Indonesia (Nadia Purwoko) and Puerto Rico (Nicole Marie Colón) are excellent speakers, and in some respect that quality alone might justify their runner-up placements (2nd and 3rd runners-up respectively).  But many pageant fans and pundits still raise their objection over their high placements and many felt they don’t have enough charisma to outperform the two aforementioned front-runners.  There is more ire targetted towards Indonesia as in the judging panel is her fashion designer/pageant coach and a former winner from her country, so many objected that there is inherent bias.

Pageant fans and pundits are not alone in believing India (Meenakshi Chaudhary) should have been the winner–apparently many of the fellow contestants shared the same sentiment, as shown in this picture of them huddling around her after the pageant.

There are conspiracy theorists who are spreading word that the fainting incident of Paraguay (Clara Sosa) was fake and staged to generate buzz for this pageant.  I’d like to give Clara the benefit of the doubt here as she’s also articularte and gorgeous like Miss India, and I did believe she could usurp India’s almost iron-clad status as the one to beat.  Still, how long will Nawat keep up with his Latin fixation?  Though at least the choice of two gorgeous looking ladies as the Top Two is welcome, hope we get to see beauty prevail in future editions to come.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

 

 

RESULTS REACTION: MISTER WORLD PHILIPPINES 2018

The Winners’ Circle: 2nd Runner-up 11 (Wilfred Placencia), Mr. Multinational Philippines 2 (Denver Hernandez), Mr. World Philippines 14 (JB Saliba), Mr. Supranational Philippines 8 (Marco Poli), Mr. Eco Philippines 4 (Robin Hanrath), and 1st runner-up 9 (Ameen Sardouk)

After a series of postponements, the Mister World Philippines was finally held last Tuesday at the Newport Theater at Resorts World and selected the one who will represent us at the Mister World pageant along with representatives for Mister Supranational, Mister Eco-International, and Mister Multinational.  Though I got four out of the six in the Winner’s Circle, there were some surprises galore as two of the guys I thought would get a title ended up as runners-up instead, making way for others to win titles.

Though the big favorites were part of the Winner’s Circle, I have to hand the Lucas Malvacini Award tp one I thought would have a slight edge over the others to squeak into the winners’ circle, but eventually fell entirely short:  Candidate 13 (Miguel de Castro).  He was probably deemed as not having as strong communication skills and/or charisma to make the Top Eight semifinalists.

I forecasted a Top Ten but it turns out this pageant only selected a Top Eight.  I got seven of the Top Eight.  The one I didn’t get, Candidate No. 7 (Abdullah Cheng) was in my Bubbling Under list.  He probably impressed in the interview to make it this far, but he really has very little chance of making the winners’ circle.

Meanwhile, I’m glad that Candiate No. 6 (Joy Jerome Evangelista) won a well-deserved Talent award and yes, earned his slot in the Top EIght.  In the final Q&A he was asked about how to describe the color red to a person born blind.  I’m impressed with his answer, delivered in Tagalog, about presenting the concept of courage to the point of shedding blood for your convictions is brilliantly apt to presentt the concept of the color as those things are indeed associated with that color.  If you ask me he deserved to be in the winners’ circle with the caliber of his answer, but I have a feeling besides the fact his looks are not as highly regarded in our shores, the judges might have felt in the international arena, they wouldn’t appreciate a guy proud of our native tongue and would expect us to speak English.  Still, based on the caliber of his answer, I would’ve rather have him there instead of…

Candidate No. 2 (Denver Hernandez) who garnered the Mister Multinational – Philippines title.  He gave the absolute worst Q&A performance, as he has no clue about what the concept of machismo was all about.  He had to ask the hosts–“What do you mean by ‘macho culture’?”  The hosts did try to explain the concept but the explanation was incomplete–it wasn’t simply bout asserting masculinity, but prioritizing masculinity without consideration for others.  Okay, it made him choose the “incorrect” answer about being pro-machismo as he stressed a positive quality of leadership that we associaate with assertiveness  that is definitely needed to get things done sometimes.  Still, the fact he doesn’t know as simple a concept as that made me want to be shut out of the winners’ circle.  Still, his good looks are undeniable, and perhaps he was given the benefit of the doubt by the judges since the hosts didn’t really guide him right.  Anyway, hopefully his prior experience at Men Universe Model will serve him well in his Mister Multinational mission.

Two of the guys who I thought are most likely to garner titles ended up as runners-up instead.  Many fans are especially outraged at Candidate 9 (Ameen Sardouk) being shut out.  Admittedly Ameen comes off as less polished and the judges noticed that and perhaps even if he has the best physical appearance of all of them, they may want to send a message that he can wait for either the next edition of Mister World Philippines in two or three years’ time*1 for the possibility of ultimately winning it or he can wait to be designated with the Mister Supranational – Philippines title for next year, since it’s unlikely that this local search will be held only when there is a Mister World, and remember that it is expected tha Mister Supranational is held annually (along with the other titles, if those international pageants manage to garner enough support to be an annual ongoing concern).  Definitely both him and Candidate 11 (Wilfred Placencia) gave better answers than Denver Hernandez, but perhaps this designaion is a reflection of their potential to be designated titles for a later time and allowing them the options to finesse themselves and the opportunities they may choose to take.

*1 Mister World was never held for two consecutive years in a row–they often skip a year or two before the next edition.

A few more notes on Ameen:  I wonder if he’s actually an introvert at heart.  He does register as such in the meek way he speaks.  It’s a far cry from his Lebanese heritage, as the Lebanese are renowned for their gregarious, outgoing nature.  Maybe he can take some tips from his relatives to learn how to step out of his shell more.  Let’s see if he’ll take on a title designation next year, or try for the big prize again in two years’ time.

There is a lot of praise for the answer delivered by Candidate No. 4 (Robin Hanrath) as he was asked a question with an LGBTQ theme–what to tell a boy who has crushes on men.  His answer was a beacon of compassion and tolerance, advising the kid that if his love is pure, then he should fight for that love.  We need people to think in terms of compassion and empathy instead of the selfishness permeating this world these days.  His eloquence will serve him well in his mission at the inaugural Mistter Eco International pageant.

Most would presume with the two of the big favorites shut out of titles, the primo title of Mister World Philippines should easily go o Candidate No. 8 (Marco Poli), right?  I think the judges felt that even if he has undeniable physical qualities and charisma, from recent years Mister World is looking more on communication skills and personality, and albeit he gave a decent answer when asked about how dispel the notion that being fit and buff also means being narcissistic (his simple albeit verbose answer talks about changing a mindset as working for a fit and buff bod means you simply want to have a healthy lifestyle and vanity isn’t always part of that equation.  It’s a good answer, but pale behind Robin, Joy Jerome, and the eventual overall winner…

Candidate 14 (JB Saliba).  I only pegged him in my Top 10 and placed him out of the winners’ circle despite hearing buzz from other pundits about him.  As it turns out, yes he’s attractive enough and buffed though I wasn’t that aware about his biggest ace–his impeccable English diction and confident communication skills.  In hindsight, he might actually indeed the best fit for the plum Mister World Philippines title as people behind Mister World prioritize an outgoing personality over stunning looks (like what happened to John Spainhour and Sam Ajdani, both shut out of the Top 10), and JB is reasonably appreoachable and good looking and his confident speaking skills turn out to be the key to his outgoing charm.  He would make an excellent host delegate since we are going to host the big pageant this coming January.

Overall I’m optimistic about our prospects in the international male pageant arena.  JB can break the drought by the strength of our role as host and his personality, and Marco will almost guarantee our best showing ever at the upcoming Mister Supranational pageant this December, and with enough seasoning, Robin and Denver will give us a good showing in those inaugural fledgling pageants.  Now basically we’ll watch out what happens next year if they would handpick the runners-up to take the banner to represent us in those “lesser” pageants, or if they will hold out for the opportunity to compete again when the next Mister World would be held in two years’ time.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

Mister and Miss World Philippines 2018: JB Saliba and Katarina Rodriguez

MISS GRAND INTERNATIONAL 2018: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

SPAIN – Patricia Lopez Verdes.  She’s like a prettier version of the reigning Miss Grand International.  I would consider her a Top 20 possibility.

SRI LANKA – Pawani Vitthanage.  She’s surprisingly extremely polished and elegant, and looking her best with her hair pulled back.  She can easily join front-runner INDIA in the Top 20.

SURINAME – Safina Barsatie.  She’s not as pretty as NEW ZEALAND and SOUTH AFRICA, but she delivers a surprisingly polished performance all throughout the she belongs in the “underrated gems” list.

SWEDEN – Hanna-Louise Haag Tuvér.  She was a refreshing treat when she competed at Miss World last year and made the Top 40, but little did we know how she can turn her charisma up until she set foot in these shores, as she emerges as one of the most stunning faces in this year’s competition.  I’m surprised when they declared her vital statistics as possiessing of a 29-inch bust line, which might indicate she is the winner of the “Flapper” award for this batch.  I’m rooting for her to go Top 10 and beyond–her face, for me, is too gorgeous to be overlooked.

TAIWAN – Tania Tan Yi Rong.  Like GUADELOUPE, God bless her for her mere presence here–her best strategy is to enjoy this as a lovely Myanmar holiday.  Also I think we need to shave off 7 cms from her declared 1.67m stature–she registers more of a height 1.60 or even below.

TANZANIA – Queen Mugesi Ainory Gesase.  Amongst the black African contingent, for me she has the most gorgeous face and I’m rooting for her to be the black African most likely to make the cut.  Her gorgeousness, dignified bearing, and charisma are too good to be overlooked.

TATARSTAN – Zulfiya Sharafeeva.  She’s a great example of Eurasian beauty as typically found in her land, an autonomous republic within Russia.

THAILAND – Namoey Chanaphan.  She ticks all the boxes, with a combination of good looks, polished presence, movie star charisma, and a thus far impeccably flawless presentation.  I don’t know if she has what it takes to beat INDIA, but she seems a shoo-in for a runner-up finish.

UKRAINE –  Yana Laurinaichute.  She has a “Snow White” gorgeousness, with “hair black as ebony, skin white as snow and lips red as blood”.  That, along with a polished presence, gives her an inside track to the Top 20.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Paola Melissa Cossyleon.  She makes a distinctively hip presence with her brunette shoulder-length bob.  She is a solid contender throughout but will that be enough for her to make the final cut?

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Morgan Evans.  She may not be classically pretty but she has a sleekly slim figure that Nawat prizes and a polished presence all throughout.  She can indeed be a Top 20 possibility but with Dominican Republic seemingly a lock for the black Caribbean contingent, will there still be room for her?

VENEZUELA – Biliannis Alvarez.  Like INDIA and THAILAND, she’s a complete package who never made a misstep thus far.  She also probably has a sympathy factor going for her with the dire situation her nation is undergoing right now, and no doubt there will be something she’ll be saying about it.  She was first touted as a possible front-runner to beat but as the days go on all buzz seems directed towards INDIA’s way.  Still, a possible win remains in play.

VIETNAM – Bui Phuong Nga.  She fits the “Slender Asian” bill and she exudes a charisma that I like and found her facial features pleasant.  I would rather see her make the cut over CAMBODIA and INDONESIA, who are getting heavier buzz so far.

WALES – Lauren Parkinson.  It’s weird why I think she’s one of the short Welsh girls we see in international pageants lately as it turns out she’s 1.72m (5’8″ tall) and is the tallest amongst the British girls in this year’s pageant.  She’s not as polished as multiple contenders out there but she is doing her very best and delivered a creditable performance.

ZAMBIA – Isabel Chikos.  Though I tend to favor TANZANIA as the African most likely, sne could also be in contention of making the cut, as she’s also undeniably polished and has enough attractiveness to make a great impression.  Plus, there is the fact she has excellent singing chops as sown on the farewell party, singing Jessie J‘s “Price Tag” (featuring B.o.B.) and Rihanna‘s “Umbrella” with brio.

Now that all 75 contestants are accounted for, here’s how my leaderboard stacks up:

TOP CONTENDERS:  INDIA, THAILAND, VENEZUELA

SHOO-INS:  BRAZIL, CZECH REPUBLIC, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, MEXICO, PARAGUAY, PHILIPPINES, PUERTO RICO, RUSSIA, SWEDEN

LIKELIEST:  ALBANIA, AUSTRALIA, CAPE VERDE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COOK ISLANDS, CUBA, JAPAN, NEPAL, NEW ZEALAND, PERU, POLAND, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, TANZANIA, UKRAINE, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, VIETNAM, ZAMBIA

POPULAR VOTE FACTOR:  CAMBODIA, INDONESIA

HOST FACTOR:  MYANMAR

EXCELLENT:  ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, CANADA, DENMARK, ECUADOR, ENGLAND, ETHIOPIA, KAZAKHSTAN, KOREA, NETHERLANDS, PORTUGAL, SIERRA LEONE, SURINAME, TATARSTAN, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

VERY STRONG:  CHILE, EL SALVADOR, ESTONIA, FINLAND, GERMANY, HAITI, HONG KONG, LEBANON, MACAU, NORWAY, PANAMA, WALES

STRONG: BELGIUM, GHANA, JAMAICA, KOSOVO, LAOS, MALAYSIA, MONGOLIA, SCOTLAND,

VERY GOOD:  BULGARIA, MOLDOVA,

GOOD:  COSTA RICA

FAIR:  GUADELOUPE, TAIWAN

Now, here’s my “Fearful” Forecast:

TOP FIVE:  INDIA, PARAGUAY, PHILIPPINES, THAILAND, VENEZUELA

TOP 10:  BRAZIL, CZECH REPUBLIC, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, MEXICO, SWEDEN

TOP 20:  CAMBODIA, CUBA, INDONESIA, JAPAN, MYANMAR, PERU, PUERTO RICO, RUSSIA, TANZANIA, VIETNAM

BUBBLING UNDER:   ALBANIA, AUSTRALIA, CAPE VERDE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COOK ISLANDS, NEPAL, NEW ZEALAND, POLAND, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, UKRAINE, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS,  ZAMBIA

STRIKING DISTANCE:  ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, CANADA, DENMARK, ECUADOR, ENGLAND, ETHIOPIA, KAZAKHSTAN, KOREA, NETHERLANDS, PORTUGAL, SIERRA LEONE, SURINAME, TATARSTAN, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

I’m pleased with the general high quality of this year’s batch, with so many worthy contenders to choose from.  On top of that, we are treated to at least four or five stunning faces that are too gorgeous to overlook.  Nawat doesn’t always reward gorgeous faces–will he make an exception this time?  And is there anyone ready to stop INDIA (Meenakshi Chaudhary)’s path to victory?  Let’s see how it unfolds tonight.  Good luck to all the ladies!

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

 

How well will these gorgeous faces fare? Czech Republic, Paraguay, Russia, and Sweden
Who will win? Thailand, India, or Venezuela?