The Green Team features the guys from CZECH REPUBLIC to KAZAKHSTAN, a pretty eclectic mix of guys, with some stepping up as crown contenders. They seem to have a very complete roster compared to other teams, but weirdly, SIERRA LEONE became part of this team during the Extreme Sports challenge, even if otherwise it seems he belongs to the Blue Team.
CZECH REPUBLIC – Jakub Kraus. I had wished he competed in the previous edition, if you read my prologue on Mister World 2016. So I’m so chuffed to learn this Mister International 2015 4th runner-up is seeing action in this pageant. He still delivers on the charm and the athleticism, figuring in Top Model and Sports, though I think making the brutal Top 12 spot is getting to be more challenging as the days wore on. But reports that they will be announcing an initial cut of a Top 24 gladdened my heart as there would be room for this worthy guy to be saluted, at the very least.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Alejandro Martinez. In many pageant activities I’ve seen he proved to be a thoughtful, well-spoken communicator. He has a heads-up in the advocacy game as his stint in Mister Universal Ambassador 2016 required him having one, and he figured in the Top Five in that pageant then (the only grand edition of that pageant with 48 contenders as all other editions thus far only attracted less than 20 competitors). He made a big splash in Top Model as he made Top Five there, and I and most other pageant pundits feel he is on the path of making Top Five in this pageant, possibly even becoming the winner.
ECUADOR – Daniel Vallejo. There are pageant pundits who feel he has an inside track to the Top 12. He has proven his mettle in athletics as he’s a reserve in Sports and made the shortlist in Extreme Sports. Yes, he has appealing swarthy good looks but for me his best bet is a Top 24 finish.
EL SALVADOR – David Pivaral. There was early hype prior to his arrival that he’ll outdo his predecessor’s Top 10 finish. He does have the personality worthy of outdoing David Arias, but the level of this year’s competition is of an extremely high level that this is far from assured. Still, his placement in the Sports challenge is worth celebrating and the expanded Top 24 roster will surely have room for him.
ENGLAND – Jack Anthony Heslewood. This Manhunt International 2018 Top 15 semifinalist turns out to have pageant pedigree–turns out his sister, Kristy Rose, is Megan Young‘s batchmate, and she delivered a strong Top 10 performance back in 2013. He looks like the guy who mastered all the challenge events, as he made the shortlist in Extreme Sports, Top Eight in Sports, Top Five in Top Model and Top Three in Talent (for his drumming). I have a feeling he also fared highly in Multimedia and I would’ve pegged him as the possible champion, but a few hours ago, another person was announced as winner of that event–he probably only missed the Top Three in that challenge by very little, judging by his extensive multimedia output. It seems the Mister World 2019 title is pointing his way, and although I find him handsome and likeable, and his background as a rocket scientist would bolster his cause (along with the factor that this year’s Miss World will be held in London), the prospect of him winning the whole thing doesn’t really excite me that much. I respect his worthiness, it’s just that though I appreciate his wholesome boy-next-door looks, there are other guys who took my breath away..
I have to note he was originally first runner-up in his national pageant, as the winner then was Jack Eyers, who was noted for his human interest story as he has only one leg (due to a rare congenital condition that made him elect to have his right leg amputated at age 16). He reportedly had to pass the right to compete in this pageant as he had commitments with his canoeing team as he’s training to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Yes, he’s shown to be undeniably athletic, but it makes you think–would England fare as well as it is currently doing if he was the one here instead of Heslewood? His human interest story is undeniably compelling but can he keep up with what turned out to be truly grueling athletic challenges, and how can one personal trainer keep up cerebrally with a certified rocket scientist?
EQUATORIAL GUINEA – Joselayt Ebana Miko. Another fierce member of the African contingent, he made a splash in the athletic events of Sports and Extreme Sports.
ESTONIA – Henri Keskküla. For those decrying the dearth of Nordic guys, well, this blond might help assuage your thirst, although his country is not really considered Nordic. But he’s overshadowed by another blond…
FINLAND – Tino Kantonen. This guy has a more outgoing vibe and has at least figured as a reserve in the Sports challenge. There is one pundit who is pegging him as having an inside track to the Top 24–I don’t quite see it, but he could be a sleeper hit, indeed.
GHANA – Bright Ofori. He may not make waves in any challenge event, but he has a lively, likeable, fun personality that befits his name, as demonstrated with the birthday song he offered for the reigning Mister World, Rohit Khandelwal.
GREECE – Thomas Tzekos. His handsomeness garnered heavy attention amongst the pageant press, and he’s definitely more outgoing and personable than most of his predecessors. But in a sterling batch like this one, he could barely make any inroads, as his only highlight being a designated swimmer in the Sports challenge.
GUADELOUPE – Luigy Manyri. He deservingly garnered some compliments as he’s undeniably good looking and has some charisma, but his highlight so far is making the Sports challenge shortlist.
HONDURAS – Dario Paredes. Like EL SALVADOR, he has a swarthy handsomeness, strong communication skills and an outgoing personality. But he has not figured in any challenge event, so he is likely just to be considered a worthwhile contender.
INDIA – Vishnu Raj Menon. When he won his national pageant, there are some pageant fans and pundits criticizing his selection as there were more appealing choices out there. But then some photos with him with facial hair appeared and there is hope he can make inroads. But when he arrived in Manila, he ditched the facial hair and some pundits found him looking rather ordinary. It’s hard to tell with his dark complexion if he’s trying to make up for that misfire and grow his facial hair back, but it does seem to cost him as he didn’t feature in any challenge event–except in Multimedia (which is this country’s traditional wheelhouse, so to speak) as reportedly he made Top Three there. At least many have admired his enviably buffed bod and perhaps that and his charitable work can help him make the Top 24.
INDONESIA – Radityo Senoputro. He’s the closest thing to being the “Little Cutie That Could” in this pageant as he has these boyishly Asian-cute features. He also has great communication skills and an outgoing personality, and he made the Top Five in Talent with his magic act. I thought he would’ve won it, but the powers that be favored other acts (and let’s say, the bias towards singers is back).
IRELAND – Wayne Walsh. He has a ruddy handsomeness that I find appealing though I know others may not. With his win in the Extreme Sports challenge, he already secured a spot in the Top 12. But he also made a major splash in Sports, as he placed third.
ITALY – Marco D’Elia. Well, he’s a major standout with his long hair, and yes, that helped him secure a shortlist in Top Model. A Top 24 finish is also likely as he seems to also have an outgoing personality.
Just like ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, and ENGLAND, he’s not the original winner of his national pageant. That honor went to Mirko Prividore, who is more my type of hunk than Marco, but he opted not to compete to pursue his studies (and modeling career, reportedly).
JAPAN – Kenta Nagai. He may not have figured in any challenge event (except as a designated swimmer in the Sports challenge) but he is actually a strong contender in my reckoning, just overshadowed by the wealth of standouts out there.
KAZAKHSTAN – Adilbek Nurakayev. He exudes a likeably geekily goofy vibe. His highlight is figuring in the Extreme Sports shortlist.
COMING UP: The YELLOW TEAM
Official swimsuit portraits courtesy of Alain Lababit; Press presentation photos courtesy of Joy Arguil for Fab Philippines; Barong and summer wear photos courtesy of Miss World Organization; and Top Model Bench underwear photos courtesy of Drew Francisco for Missosology