MISS WORLD 2019: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

Now all 111 contenders are accounted for, let me trot out my Leaderboard:

TOP CONTENDERS:  FRANCE, INDIA, NIGERIA, VENEZUELA

POSSIBLE USURPERS:  NEPAL, PHILIPPINES, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

SHOO-INS:  BELARUS, BRAZIL, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CHINA P R, GUYANA, INDONESIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, MOLDOVA, MONGOLIA, PARAGUAY, RUSSIA, UGANDA, VIETNAM

BWAP FACTOR:  MALAYSIA, TUNISIA

LIKELIEST:  AUSTRALIA, BANGLADESH, BOLIVIA, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COOK ISLANDS, COSTA RICA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ENGLAND, FINLAND, GEORGIA, HONG KONG CHINA, HUNGARY, IRELAND, JAPAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KOREA, MACAU CHINA, MYANMAR, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NORTHERN IRELAND, PORTUGAL, PUERTO RICO, SLOVAKIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, THAILAND, TURKEY, UKRAINE, UNITED STATES, WALES

EXOTIC FACTOR:  ANTIGUA & BARBUDA, BARBADOS, GHANA

EXCELLENT:  ARGENTINA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, CANADA, CROATIA, ECUADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, GIBRALTAR, GUADELOUPE, GUINEA-BISSAU HAITI, ICELAND, ITALY, LAOS, NETHERLANDS, PANAMA, POLAND, RWANDA, SCOTLAND, SIERRA LEONE, TANZANIA, U S VIRGIN ISLANDS,

VERY STRONG:  ANGOLA, BELGIUM, CURACAO, MALTA, MAURITIUS, MONTENEGRO, PERU, SENEGAL, SINGAPORE, SLOVENIA

STRONG:  ALBANIA, BAHAMAS, BULGARIA, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, KYRGYZSTAN, LUXEMBOURG, SWEDEN

VERY GOOD:  ARUBA, BOTSWANA, CAYMAN ISLANDS, ETHIOPIA, GREECE, SAMOA, SRI LANKA

GOOD:  CAMBODIA

Now, my “FEARFUL” FORECAST:

TOP FIVE:  FRANCE, INDIA, NIGERIA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, VENEZUELA

TOP 12:  INDONESIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, MOLDOVA, PHILIPPINES, UGANDA, VIETNAM

TOP 40:  BANGLADESH, BELARUS, BRAZIL, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CHINA P R, COOK ISLANDS, CZECH REPUBLIC, ENGLAND, GEORGIA, GUYANA, HUNGARY, IRELAND, JAPAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KOREA, MALAYSIA, MONGOLIA, NEPAL, PARAGUAY, PUERTO RICO, RUSSIA, SLOVAKIA, SOUTH SUDAN, THAILAND, TUNISIA, UNITED STATES, WALES

BUBBLING UNDER:  AUSTRALIA, BOLIVIA, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, FINLAND, HONG KONG CHINA, MACAU CHINA, MYANMAR, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NORTHERN IRELAND, PORTUGAL, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, TURKEY, UKRAINE

STRIKING DISTANCE:  ARGENTINA, ANTIGUA & BARBUDA, BARBADOS, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, CANADA, CROATIA, ECUADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, GHANA, GIBRALTAR, GUADELOUPE, GUINEA-BISSAU, HAITI, ICELAND, ITALY, LAOS, NETHERLANDS, PANAMA, POLAND, RWANDA, SCOTLAND, SIERRA LEONE, TANZANIA, U S VIRGIN ISLANDS,

It looks like a race to the top for FRANCE (Ophely Mezino), INDIA (Suman Rao), and NIGERIA (Nyekachi Douglas).  All of them can make an indelible stamp in pageant history.  Who will the powers that be bestow this year?

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

MISS WORLD 2019: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 6)

GROUP 16

ARGENTINA – Judit Grnja.  Her surname seems to be Slavic (possibly Czech or Polish) though her primary language is Spanish.  Anyway, she is agreat looker who deservingly made the shortlist in Top Model.

BELARUS – Anastasiya Laurynchuk.  This country has had a good year, garnering an element at Miss Earth and making the cut in Miss International.  Last year this country got the Continental title for Europe, and this lady is a good follow-up to that and could make the cut here.  She’s a great communicator.  Sure she only made the shortlist in Sports, but it’s notable she won this group–though she has not secured a Top 40 slot as she was beaten by the very formidable NIGERIA in the second round but she’ll sstill be likely to make Top 40.

FINLAND – Dana Mononen.  She gives me Lola Odusoga vibes as she’s obviously bi-racial (a Finnish father and an indeterminate African mother).  Her striking looks and her passion for fashion helped her get shortlisted in Top Model.  She is a good communicator, so I think it’s possible she can impress the judges enough to make Top 40.

KENYA – Maria Wavinya.  Many are buzzing about her, and even if it seems to be a battle between NIGERIA and UGANDA, she can still pull through and make a splash.  She at least made the shortlist in Top Model and Sports (as part of the Yellow team.

MACAU CHINA- Yu Yanan.  She’s a strong communicator (as she spent time in the US for eight years) and made the shortlist in Top Model.  Could be a sleeper possibility in the Top 40.

UKRAINE – Margarita Pasha.  Though many people think BELARUS has the edge in communication skills and looks, this lady made the shortlist in three challenge events:  Top Model, Sports, and Talent.  Those achievements could not be ignored so she can still conceivably advance to the Top 40.

GROUP 17

ARUBA – Ghislaine Mejia.  If this were any other pageant, she could be considered the “Lizzo” of this group.  But she proved that her thick frame is healthy as she got shortlisted in Sports.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Alba Marie Blair.  She’s a pretty porcelain-skinned lass, which is actually atypical of the people from this Caribbean nation.  Those looks helped her make the Top 40 in Top Model, but her strong interview skills may also give her a slot in the Top 40.

GHANA – Rebecca Nana Adjowa Kwabi.  She’s “exotic”, though the British tend to prefer those from the Caribbean than her.  She’s a good communicator, but other than that, she has not made any impact.

PHILIPPINES – Michelle Marquez Dee.  Being the daughter of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez and cousin of Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 Winwyn Marquez she has a tall order achieving the lofty achievements as dictated by her pedigree  Anyway, though her speaking style may seem too low-key to the point that a casual listener may think she’s boring, it turns out there’s depth and strength of content in what she says and when you’re drawn in, you’ll be hooked.  She’s the clear winner of this group, and she secured her slot beating TURKEY in the second round.  She can make a play for the Top 12–though INDIA seems very formidable, she can still pull up an upset and maybe make a play for the crown.

RWANDA – Meghan Nimwiza.  She is notable for her passion for agriculture.  She’s a good communicator, but she has not shortlisted in any fast-track event, and there are more compelling Africans out there.

GROUP 18

CAMBODIA – Vy Sreyvin.  She’s cute but obviously not as prepared, as she doesn’t have an introduction video.  It also doesn’t help she couldn’t speak English (and no one in production bothered to provide subtitles).  .

MAURITIUS – Urvashi Devi Gooriah.  Though to my eyes, she’s prettier than her predecessor, I don’t think she’ll make the same Top 12 impact like her predecessor.

MONTENEGRO – Mirjana Muratović.  I find her features angular, but the people on hand running Top Model took a liking to her to make Top 40 in Top Model.  At least she’ll have that as her highlight.

UGANDA – Oliva Nakakande.  She’s as exotically striking with strong communication skills that she’s a great follow-up to her predecessor, who made a big breakthrough by becoming Africa’s Continental Queen.  It seems she is in a rivalry with NIGERIA for this year’s Miss World – Africa title, with the latter having the upper hand.  Still, she made a major splash placing 5th in Top Model, getting shortlisted in Sports as part of the Blue team, and winning this group.  Yes, she’s beaten my MEXICO in the second round but she still seems a shoo-in for the Top 40 with a possible Top 12 finish.

VIETNAM – Lương Thùy Linh.  She made a prominent splash placing 2nd in Top Model and Top 10 with her BWAP project building a road to connect remote mountain villages to more developed towns.  She communicates her project well so a Top 40 placement is strong with a possible play for the Top 12.

GROUP 19

ANGOLA – Brezana da Costa.  She’s good looking and made the shortlist in Sports.  That will probably be her highlight as she couldn’t keep up with the likes of NIGERIA and UGANDA.

BANGLADESH – Rafah Nanjeba Torsa.  She’s the winner of this group as she’s clearly the best communicator in this group.  It’s unfortunate she was then pitted against INDIA in the second round, so she couldn’t secure a Top 40 slot unless she shone in interview.

ETHIOPIA – Feven Gebreslassie.  She’s your typical Ethiopian contestant–very pretty but a weak, tentative communicator.  She also doesn’t have an introduction video.

KYRGYZSTAN – Ekaterina Zabolotnova.   See ANGOLA, and she couldn’t really speak English unlike what her introduction video seems to suggest.

SENEGAL – Alberta Diatta.  She was one of the very last to arrive and it’s possible her late arrival may have prevented her from making the Top Model shortlist as she has the looks for it.

COMING UP:  THE “FEARFUL” FORECAST

MISS WORLD 2019: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 5)

GROUP 13

AUSTRALIA – Sarah Marschke.  This blonde stood out with her background being a rugby player.  She seems to be the one who might be considered the best performer for Oceania with her shortlists in Top Model and Talent, but it seems there is this reported incident where she reportedly physically assaulted GREECE–you know this pageant frowns that sort of behavior so that honor, if bestowed, might go to COOK ISLANDS instead.

EL SALVADOR – Fátima Mauricio.  She’s attractive and a solid communicator (another Latina who opted for English) but she didn’t figure in any challenge event, and there are other stronger contenders out there so prospects making the Top 40 are slim.

GEORGIA – Nini Gogichaishvili.  It’s interesting that she’s the winner of this group.  However she didn’t secure her slot in the Top 40 as she was defeated by Group 8 winner PARAGUAY.  Her background as a TV presenter served her well as she proved to be a strong communicator.  She figured in the Sports shortlist as part of the Yellow team.  She can be a sleeper surprise for the Top 40.

GUINEA-BISSAU – Leila Samati.  She’s a surprisingly good communicator–partly because she lived in London for 14 years, working in a beauty salon run by her mother.

PUERTO RICO – Daniella Rodríguez.  She has a human interest being a cancer survivor, but she has other strong qualities that could make her make Top 40–like the looks to be shortlisted in Top Model.

SLOVAKIA – Frederika Kurtulíková.  She made the shortlists in both Top Model and Talent (with her dancing skills).  She is also a great looker and a good communicator, so she can be a Top 40 possibility.

GROUP 14

BAHAMAS – Nyah Bandelier.  She tugged heartstrings when she relayed the time when the Hurricane Dorian hit her country.  Otherwise, she is unlikely to make inroads into the Top 40.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – Ivana Ladan.  She’s a stunning looker so it’s not surprising she made the shortlist in Top Model.  She’s an adequate interview, but probably not enough to impress the judges.

BOTSWANA – Oweditse Gofaone Phirinyane.  Let’s just say her features are very exotic.  She is a good communicator but she has not made any impact otherwise.

HAITI – Alysha Morency.  She made the shortlist in both Top Model and Sports.  She’s well-spoken with a human-interest story surviving a drug-addicted mother.

INDIA – Suman Rao.  Many are buzzing she could bring forth India’s sixth crown from this pageant.  She has figured prominently in Top Model and BWAP (with her Pragati project uplifting the status of women in various communities) as she made the Top 10 in both and got shortlisted in Talent.  She secured her slot in the Top 40 by winning this group and beating Group 19 winner BANGLADESH in the second round.  I agree with the buzz, but I’m rooting for a FRANCE or NIGERIA win.

THAILAND – Grace Chadapattarawalrachoat.  She is notable for her extraordinarily long surname.  She’s a great communicator and exudes a lot of charm, but she didn’t figure in any shortlist, so unless she wins over the judges, she could be deemed a candidate for the Holly Carpenter award.

GROUP 15

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA – Taqiyyah Francis.  British tastemakers have very exotic taste, which explains why this unconventional Afro-sporting looker made the cut in Top Model.  She’s a good communicator but there are other ladies from her region that made a bigger splash.

BARBADOS – Ché Amor Greenidge.  She figured in Top Model, probably having exuded appeal that appeal the British people judging this event, and in Talent.  She’s an intelligent communicator, so she can still win over the judges to secure the Top 40 slot.

CHINA, P.R. – Li Peishan.  She’s a globe-trotting cosmopolitan lady, so it’s not surprising she won in this group.  But she was not able to secure a Top 40 slot as she was beaten by Group 3 winner VENEZUELA.  Still, she looks like she will still get that spot anyway–the question would be if she will be able to advance further to the Top 12.  The Asian group is that formidable.

GREECE – Rafaela Plastira.  She tugged heartstrings being a survivor of domestic abuse.  She’s pretty, but her story of note was an incident with AUSTRALIA that resulted in her brief hospitalization.

SAMOA – Alalamalat Lata Polamalu.  She has an interesting background being a security officer.  She’s solid as a communicator but she has not made much impact, otherwise.

SWEDEN – Daniella Lundqvist.  Normally this country rules the roost in pageants, but she’s overshadowed by her Nordic counterparts.  She’s a solid communicator with a good advvocacy about mental health,but

COMING UP:  GROUPS 16 TO 19