I was expecting this year’s Mister Supranational to be a battle of the “giants”–meaning the winner is a hunk who is taller than the reigning champion Gabriel Correa. Indeed a “giant” won, but not the one I was expecting.
I can pat myself on the back that I got 17 of the Top 20 correct. However, there was one who for me qualifies as a “headscratcher”: RUSSIA (Mikhail Baranov). Sure he has an outgoing personality and a buffed bod, but his look is just so off-putting to my taste that I placed him in my bottom four. As I mentioned in my Miss Supranational reaction article, there might be several factors at play on why he managed to make the cut.
I didn’t know that there is a popular vote fast-track and I should’ve taken that when assessing MYANMAR (Ellis Lwin)‘s prospects. I have a feeling like the way we won a popular vote last year to secure a slot in the Top 20, this guy would probably officially ranked 20th in the Top 20.
I should’ve been more bullish towards THAILAND (Kevin Dasom) as I only pegged him in my Bubbling Under list. Turns out with his personality and facility with English won over the Polish judges that he got to go very far in the competition, to the point of ending up 3rd runner-up.
Now, let’s discuss the guys I thought would make it but didn’t. I thought COLOMBIA (Andres Mejia) would be the “little cutie that could”. But well, with MYANMAR getting a fast-track slot and that surprise favoritism towards RUSSIA, he was yanked out of the roster.
I thought EQUATORIAL GUINEA (Jesus Dikuasa) with his supremely beefy buffed bod would be the African most likely to secure a slot in the Top 20. But I suppose the judges felt he lacked spark (on top of the fact he was a late arrival) and not only did he miss the cut, the continental title for Africa went to TOGO (Kwassy Adjamah) instead.
But the biggest shock is that VENEZUELA (Jeudiel Condado) missed the cut even if the reigning champion was from his country. Yeah, he tends to look a tad too rough, but still I thought the Venezuelan banner has luster to make people over look that quality, as he’s still a good looking guy. So he’s the winner of the Lucas Malvacini award.
Now let’s talk guys who somehow fell short of their expected showing. First, I was expecting MALTA (Benoit Bartolo) and MEXICO (Alejandro Garcia Torres) to figure in the Top 10 but they didn’t pass beyond the Top 20. Admittedly this is a highly competitive year so these kinds of mini-upsets are expected.
I only got one out of the Final Five correct as it turned out the ones I was betting to be in that court somehow fell below expectations. I thought PHILIPPINES (Marco Poli) should’ve been a Top 10 shoo-in but he didn’t garner enough favor with the judges and insiders that he missed the Top 10. I think when the organization releases the rankings of the Top 20, I would have toconsole myself that Marco should rank above 17th place (our best showing from the inaugural edition). In retrospect after watching the chit-chat videos, I can understand why one of my big favorites to win, SPAIN (Fabian Perez Fernandez) fell short of the Top 10–though he exuded more charisma here than in his unremarkable stint at Mister Global earlier this year, he just lacked spark and simply making the cut is achievement enough for him.
The other two big giant favorites to win, SLOVAK REPUBLIC (Jan Palko) and UNITED STATES (Nicholas Kostelas), perhaps they fell short of the Final Five by very little. I wonder if those artistic nudes that SLOVAK REPUBLIC did hurt his ultimate prospects and the judges deemed him a tad too sexy to win, I wonder? I think he can’t help it that everything about him oozes sex appeal. And the classic Superman features possessed by UNITED STATES may have its adherents, but perhaps may be considered a tad too bland for today’s tastes?
I think there was a battle of the clean-cut Latinos between MEXICO and DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Daniel Sicheneder) with the latter deemed to have more spark. Hence it was DOMINICAN REPUBLIC who made the Top 10 instead of the one more favored by most pageant fans and pundits.
No doubt SRI LANKA (Tymeron Carvalho) has oodles of charm and personality that this is key for him to go as far as he did, all the way to the Top 10. His showing is deemed a refreshing treat and makes a point that long-haired guys like him can look great and exude charisma.
I may have penalized NETHERLANDS (Ennio Fafieanie) severely for that brief “dumb” moment in his chit-chat video as the judges and insiders still favored him very highly that he ultimately ended up as 4th runner-up. I can’t begrudge him that as he has charisma and handsomeness for miles.
It’s always a possibility that POLAND (Jakub Kucner) and BRAZIL (Samuel Costa) would make a play for the Final Five if any of my Final Five choices fell by the wayside, and indeed that happened, and these guys ended up as 1st and 2nd runner-up respectively. Jakub is expected to see action at the upcoming Mister World pageant, but it looks like with muted news or publicity the pageant is further postponed from the scheduled 27 January 2019 final–hopefully the postponement wouldn’t be that long as I’d like to see if he can pull off the hat-trick delivered by England’s Christopher Brammell, who finished in the Final Five in Mister World 2016, Manhunt International 2016 (2nd runner-up) and Mister Global 2017 (also 2nd runner-up).
At first glance, I presumed INDIA (Prathamesh Maulingkar) is in the same “rough” category as VENEZUELA with his hirsute appearance and tattoos. But he wins people over with his superbly chiseled bod and his engaging, outgoing personality, and ultimately that helped him become the “last giant standing” and ultimately win.
I’m a tad surprised at the reversal of fortune for several of the hunky giants in this year’s contest, but still there are strong merits for the guys that ultimately garnered the Final Five honors and that still, a charismatically hunky and sexy giant is still declared the winner. Looking forward for future editions of this pageant as this is now serving as a beacon on how to conduct a great male pageant.