MISTER GLOBAL 2019: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

Official group portrait

PORTUGAL – Angelo Amaro.  He straddles the divide between attractive and plain.  In other words, unlikely to make a serious play for the Top 16.

PUERTO RICO – Edgar Irizarry.  His formal wear portrait made me recall the cover of the late James Ingram‘s 1990s greatest hits album.  Otherwise his features are, shall we say, an unconventional sort, and he’s not exuding much charisma at all.

SOUTH AFRICA – Marcus Max Karsten.  This country has been doing really well in this pageant, as it had two consecutive runner-up finishes thus far.  Though actually I find those two guys better than him, I think he is the country’s best bet to secure a win.  He exudes a bright personality and has a bod that can hold its own with the rippled physiques of other guys out there.  His interview skills might be the key that can help him clinch the win.  By the way, he’s runner-up behind Fezile Mkhize, who made his country proud by becoming 1st runner-up at Mister World last month.

SPAIN –  José Luis Navarro.  He has a lean but defined physique, suitably tall height (but not the tallest unlike last year), and a classic boyish handsomeness.  Most of the time that could be enough for this country to make serious inroads but last year, they missed the cut as the guy lacked that “spark”.  It seems this time, they have a guy with “spark” as he’s lively in photos taken of him so he can be one of the frontrunners in this year’s pageant.  Let’s see how this all pans out…

SRI LANKA – H. Maduranga Dilshan.  He looks like PANAMA’s taller, leaner brother.  There is a heavy buzz about him making the cut, and I wouldn’t be that surprised if that happens.

SWEDEN – Sebastian Jonsson.  Like MALAYSIA, he exudes a mature vibe, but he possesses an appealing handsomeness to help offset those mature features.  He is also as tall or almost as tall as CHINA, and that could be his ticket to make the Top 16.

SWITZERLAND – Kenan Murseli.  Here is a more conventionally handsome fellow.  Now, the question is, does he have enough “spark” to make an impression with the Thai judges?  Remember those upset decisions last year…  I also have a feeling he and NORTH CYPRUS are managed by the same director as his name sounds Turkish.

TAIWAN – Kevin Chang.  He actually made a strong positive impression earlier this year when he competed at Mister International and he’s still making a great impression here, too.  Will there be room in the Top 16 for him?

THAILAND –  Jeerawat Vetsakol.  Boy, Southeast Asia is loaded with boyish cuties this year, and the host contestant fits in that mold too.  Though my favorite boyish cutie amongst them is my countryman, I have a feeling this guy will rank high in the finals.

TOGO – Kwassy Adjamah.  Though he might be dinged for his lack of height and his “fabulousness”, this Mister Supranational 2018 veteran might indeed become the “black-man-most-likely” as he’s the one with the brightest spark amongst the black contestants–tis was the factor why he got the African continental title at Mister Supranational.

TUNISIA – Houssem Saïdi.  There are people who find his beefy and swarthy features highly appealing and pegged him as a likely Top 16 possibility.  Me, I’m not that bullish as I don’t see a spark in the way he projects.

U S A – Branden Cruz.  Yes, he’s buffed and good-looking so on paper he’s a good follow-up to the reigning Mister Global, Dario Duque.  But like his stint at last year’s Men Universe Model, he has an inconsistent spark.  It’s still very likely he’ll make the cut, but no way he can pull off a back-to-back.

VIETNAM –Nguyễn Hùng Cường.  Like HONG KONG and JAPAN, he may not be conventionally handsome, but he has a spark and charisma to make inroads into the Top 16.

With all 38 contestants all accounted for, let me trout out my personal leaderboard to share how I think they all stand:

TOP CONTENDERS:  BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN

SHOO-INS: CHILE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, INDONESIA, KOREA, NORTH CYPRUS, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, THAILAND,

LIKELIEST:  EGYPT, GUAM, HONG KONG, INDIA, JAPAN, MEXICO, PANAMA, SRI LANKA, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, TAIWAN, U S A, VIETNAM

EXCELLENT:  CUBA, MYANMAR, NIGERIA, TOGO, TUNISIA,

VERY STRONG:  CHINA, CZECH REPUBLIC, MALAYSIA, NEPAL, PERU, PORTUGAL,

STRONG:  HAITI, LAOS, PUERTO RICO

With my leaderboard in mind, here is my “Fearful” Forecast:

FINAL FIVE:  BRAZIL, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, NORTH CYPRUS, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN

TOP 10:  CHILE, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, THAILAND

TOP 16:  KOREA, MEXICO, SRI LANKA, SWITZERLAND, U S A, VIETNAM

BUBBLING UNDER:  EGYPT, GUAM, HONG KONG, INDIA, JAPAN, SWEDEN, TAIWAN

STRIKING DISTANCE:  CUBA, MYANMAR, NIGERIA, TOGO, TUNISIA

i have to respect the fact that this year’s batch featured consistently buffed and/or fit bodies–none of them could be considered “out-of-shape”, not even the thick PERU.  Even if I peg the three likeliest to be BRAZIL (Gil Raupp), SOUTH AFRICA (Marcus Max Karsten), and SPAIN (Jose Luis Navarro), there actually is no runaway leader that I have observed, that upsets may indeed abound.  Looking forward to see how this all unfolds.  Good luck to these “inspiring gentlemen”!

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

My Top Three in traditional Thai outfits, from L-R: SPAIN (Jose Luis Navarro), BRAZIL (Gil Raupp) and SOUTH AFRICA (Marcus Max Karsten).

MISTER GLOBAL 2019: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 2)

At the Thai boxing shoot

JAPAN – Kodai Hata.  His physique seems to be the most defined or “shredded” amongst this year’s batch.  Like HONG KONG, he’s not conventionally handsome but he is highly appealing, so a Top 16 finish is possible for him.

KOREA – Kim Jong-woo.  He has a hint of K-Pop/K-Drama appeal about him that he seems to have an inside track into the Top 16.

LAOS – Kiengkai Xouansouandao.  He can be classified as a cute Asian boy, but he’s obviously not as polished as other contenders out there.  To his credit though, he is in great shape.

MALAYSIA – Chris Chan.  His face exudes a mature vibe that might not be to the Thais’ liking, but we have to give him credit for having a buffed bod, and he does exude a manly appeal.

MEXICO – Manuel Duarte López.  See CHILE.  Some fans and pundits are hyping him as a shoo-in, but I’m not seeing as much charisma from him–or maybe was I spoiled rotten by the stratospheric charisma of his Mister World counterpart Brian Faugier?

MYANMAR – Thiha Kyaw.  He’s definitely a more polished boyish Asian cutie than, say, LAOS, but this batch has a sea of that archetype so I’m not sure if there would be enough room for him to make the cut.

NEPAL – Aryan Sitaula.  He has a unique pompadour hairstyle that I think requires a lot of product and time to maintain.  He is attractive, but not enough of a standout to make serious inroads into the Top 16.

NIGERIA – Triumph Moses.  He seems good looking and appealing, but I don’t seem to see a spark or charisma about him.  I’m getting a bit fretful that we have a black shut-out on our hands this year.

NORTH CYPRUS – Süleyman Mullahasan.  If you read world history, in 1974 Turkish forces invaded the northern portion of Cyprus and a government was set up there, and since then Cyprus is a divided island.  This country is unfortunately not recognized internationally but well, it’s still a welcome treat to see this entity represented, just like TIBET last year.  This guy seems to be making a standout impression that he could conceivably make a play for the Top Five.

PANAMA – Kenny Guerra.  I find him highly appealing with his dusky complexion and his superbly buffed physique–I would have DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, JAPAN, and this guy as the three best bodies in this year’s batch.  I also find him handsome, but I’m not sure how the Thais take to his features, especially as he resembles someone taller representing an Asian country.

PERU – Miguel Millasaky.  Something about his facial features register as Filipino for some odd reason.  He possesses a bulky bodybuilder’s physique, which is not that highly appreciated in a male pageant milieu.  He can easily be considered the poster child for body positivity for this group, but we have to note there is definition in his thick physique.

PHILIPPINES – Ricky Gumera.  He’s also a boyish cutie and I’m optimistic he’ll sustain a semifinalist finish four our country in this pageant–now the question is if he can make it further to, say, Top 10.

POLAND –  Michal Jan Grudzień.  It’s almost a guarantee this country fields great-looking men, and this guy is no exception.  I see him as a Top 16 shoo-in with a possible play for the Top 10 and beyond.

COMING UP:  PORTUGAL to VIETNAM, plus the “FEARFUL” FORECAST.

MISTER GLOBAL 2019: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 1)

At the sashing ceremony

I think I was so spoiled rotten by the heady heights of the recently concluded Mister World that at first glance viewing this batch of Mister Global 2019 contestants seemed like a steep letdown.  It didn’t help that when revisiting last year’s batch and comparing those guys to these and I have to be blunt and say last year’s guys were stronger.  But readjusting my lenses later on, I have learned that there are still lots to appreciate about this year’s batch.  I’ve noticed this year, they have a tagline to describe their pageant:  “Inspiring Gentleman”.  I think Mister World has collared the market for this, but let’s see if this pageant delivers on that tagline.  I’m  glad that there is no overall attrition in the roster*1 after the rough hiccups involving the finals last year, and it seems so far things are running smoothly.

*1 Yes, 13 countries are missing from last year, but it made up with 13 new or returning countries competing, preserving the overall roster of 38.  Interestingly in both batches, there is a disputed entity that is not recognized internationally competing.

Without further ado, time to review this year’s batch starting with…

BRAZIL – Gill Raupp.  His arm tattoo and facial scruff may make an impression of roughness, but there is something compelling about his rugged looks and his handsome features underneath that I find him compelling–he oozes with hefty sex appeal–and I think he’s one of the front-runners of this pageant.

CHILE – Nelson Caceres.  He is part of the Classic Latino trend that alongside his buffed bod, he could make serious inroads into the finals.

CHINA – Chen Ruihu.  If this guy was sent to Mister World, I wouldn’t have had serious objections with his country placing like the way it happened last month.  I can see justification about his lanky but buffed build, even if his facial features are among the plainest in this pageant.  He also happens to be the tallest contestant this year, probably towering at about 6’4″.  But interestingly, two “renegade” areas that this country administers or has a claim on have more charisma and appeal to my eyes.

CUBA – Rubert Arias.  Something about his eyebrows remind me of a young Isko Moreno, the current mayor of Manila, during the time he was a fledgling actor doing beefcake shots.  I actually find him appealing and his buffed physique is enviable, but I have a gnawing feeling the Thais may not look upon him with favor–but then again, I think he might still have a chance to make the cut.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in his younger days

CZECH REPUBLIC – Thanh Tung Cao.  Yes, he’s not your traditional Czech native judging from his very Asian features and his name.  It seems his parents migrated from Vietnam to this country.  He’s cute in a real-world sense but there are better options, Asian and European out there.  His only chance to make it is if the Thais like the novelty of an Asian representing an otherwise lily-white European country.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Braulio Encarnación.  He turns up the steam with his enviably beefily buffed physique and features that resemble Aquaman star Jason Momoa.  Wonder if that film did well in Thailand as he can parlay that resemblance to a possible Top Five finish.

Jason Momoa with short hair

EGYPT – Adam Hussein.  He has his luscious full long curly locks and lean, sinewy bod to make an impression, but facially I find him plain.  Yes, I understimated his predecessor who ended up as 1st runner-up last year, but that tall guy has a handsomeness and that height going for him.  Still, he can make the cut because of his unique looks.

GUAM – Jonathan Onedera.  He’s not that heavily buzzed about but I find him very appealing and along with all the other contestants this year, his bod is enviably buffed.

HAITI – Tcholo Medastin.  With his ebony complexion, he has the potential of being the “black-man-most-likely”.  But he has a couple of strikes against him–first is that unfortunate red hair coloring, and the fact he’s the shortest contestant in this batch.

HONG KONG – Chace Cheng.  I don’t find him conventionally handsome but there is something appealing about his features that a Top 16 finish is possible.

INDIA – Rishabh Chaudhary Kumar.  Unlike last year’s dud, this guy has handsomeness and features that you typically associate with a Northern guy from his country.  He’s a step in the right direction, but it will be a challenge for him to advance to the semifinals.

INDONESIA – Herman Yosef Cahyono.  He has cute boyish features and a buffed bod, but I don’t quite get the hype that he could be a Top Three contender.  I think he can be a shoo-in for the Top 16 and can go beyond that to the Top 10, but not sure about him making the winners’ circle.  We’ll see how it all unfolds.

COMING UP:  JAPAN to POLAND