SLOVAKIA – Katarina Oeovanova. She has great looks, but I worry that she seems overly made-up that it could be a tad distracting and as such may have distract from her natural beauty, something that cannot be said about….
SLOVENIA – Mersedes Viler Zdjarsky. She tends to go for a clean-faced look and she did declare that often goes out without makeup. I wonder if enough people in the judging panel love freshly scrubbed features…
SOUTH AFRICA – Belinde Schreuder. I have a feeling the presence of the new co-owner of a major website may influence this lady’s prospects and that a Top 25 finish is secure. To be honest, on many appearances, her features register as mature, but there are angles where she looks refreshing, so making the cut would be deserving.
SPAIN – Teresa Calleja. She seems to exude significantly more personality than her goregeous predecessor, who was a shock boot last year. A Top 25 finish is highly conceivable.
SURINAME – Shimara Jap. I think she is one of those intriguing mix of various ethnicities–though Indian seems prominent, she possibly also has Chinese and European ancestry (and perhaps also others). I like her look but not certain if she made enough impact to make teh Top 25.
SWEDEN – Jenny Wulff. She reminds me of the actress who played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films, Evanna Lynch. But she also registers as less-than-polished, so I’m not bullish on her Top 25 prospects.
SWITZERLAND – Thaina Vieira. There seems to be a whole host of Portuguese people now residing in the French side of Switzerland, and you can count this lady on that list. She was born in Brazil, raised in Portugal and now living in the country she represents. This brunette is good looking but I feel she gets overshadowed by many sparkling ladies out there.
THAILAND – Pinnarat Mawinthon. I’m not impressed with her Raymond Saldana photo, but she looks great in others so she might still have a chance to join the very fierce Southeast Asian contingent.
TOGO – Yasmin Iman. She’s arguably the plainest looking of this batch, but well, at least she seems to have ocnfidence and personality to redeem her prospects.
TURKEY – Roda Irmak. It’s a tad frustrating that most of the time, thsi country would field a gorgeous looker but then somehow forget to include spark and personality. This lady potentially has the looks to stun but her charisma is muted and she seems to lack spark. We need more Azra Akin types for these pageants, please!
UKRAINE – Snizhana Tanchuk. There are some people who presume she can be the front-runner to win it all, but although she looks great and it seems assured she’ll secure a Top 25 slot, I’m not that sure she has what it takes to win it all. If she sparkles tonight, perhaps indeed a win is possible.
UNITED STATES – Katrina Jayne Dimaranan. Six years ago, she actually won one of the plum titles in Bb. Pilipinas — Tourism. However, for twist in circumstance, she didn’t get an oppoortunity to compete in an international arena (especially since no Tourism Queen International was held that year). It’s nice to see she finally sees action in an international pageant and I don’t mind if she is now competing under the United States banner. I know she has the personality to charm, and I hope her exotic vibe does win over the Poles. Though I think Jehza has the edge, making the Top 25 will be reward enough.
VENEZUELA – Nariman Battikha. Her name suggests she’s also of Indian descent, but her primary language is obviously Spanish. It’s rare to see that kind of combo and she’s a strong contender so it looks like a Top 25 slot is secure–now the question is how further can she go.
VIETNAM – Minh Tu Nguyen. She is one of the fierce Southeast Asians in this year’s pageant. Many are betting she’ll finish in the Top Ten and I agree with tem. She seems to have charisma and height to make a major impression.
With all 72 contestants accounted for, let me trot out my leaderboard to share how I think they all stack up:
TOP CONTENDERS: BRAZIL, INDONESIA, MEXICO, PARAGUAY,
SHOO-INS: AUSTRALIA, BELARUS, COLOMBIA, DENMARK, INDIA, KOREA, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, PUERTO RICO, ROMANIA, UKRAINE, UNITED STATES, VENEZUELA, VIETNAM
LIKELIEST: ARGENTINA, CANADA, CHINA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, FRANCE, GUATEMALA, HAITI, HUNGARY, ITALY, JAPAN, KENYA, MOLDOVA, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS, PAKISTAN, RWANDA, SINGAPORE, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SURINAME, THAILAND,
PERSONALITY FACTOR: BOLIVIA, JAMAICA, PANAMA
EXCELLENT: ALBANIA, BELGIUM, EL SALVADOR, ENGLAND, GUADELOUPE, LEBANON, MALTA, MAURITIUS, NIGERIA, PORTUGAL, SWITZERLAND,
VERY STRONG: COSTA RICA, CROATIA, GREECE, LAOS, MONTENEGRO, TURKEY,
STRONG: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, NAMIBIA,
VERY GOOD: FINLAND, RUSSIA, SWEDEN
GOOD; NEW ZEALAND, TOGO
Now, my “Fearful” Forecast:
FINAL FIVE: BRAZIL, INDONESIA, MEXICO, PARAGUAY, ROMANIA
TOP 10: INDIA, POLAND, PHILIPPINES, PUERTO RICO, VIETNAM
TOP 25: AUSTRALIA, BELARUS, CANADA, COLOMBIA, DENMARK, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, JAPAN, KOREA, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, NETHERLANDS, PAKISTAN, UKRAINE, UNITED STATES, VENEZUELA
BUBBLING UNDER: ARGENTINA, CHINA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, FRANCE, GUATEMALA, HAITI, HUNGARY, ITALY, KENYA, MOLDOVA, NEPAL, RWANDA, SINGAPORE, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SURINAME, THAILAND
STRIKING DISTANCE: ALBANIA, BELGIUM, BOLIVIA, EL SALVADOR, ENGLAND, GUADELOUPE, JAMAICA, LEBANON, MALTA, MAURITIUS, NIGERIA, PANAMA, PORTUGAL, SWITZERLAND
This year’s pageant is one of the toughtest to call as there is no real consensus on the favorites to win. Lots of possibilities at play here and it is exciting how everything will end up. Good luck to all the ladies!