EQUATORIAL GUINEA – Djanet Ortiz Oyono. She’s good looking and generally polished, though her highlight thus far is making the shortlist in Sports as part of the Red team. She’s a worthwhile contender would could be considered underrated.
HUNGARY – Krisztina Nagypál. She’s a pretty lass with oodles of charm even with her limited facility in English. She only made one shortlist, Top Model, but still, she has the charm to win over the judges and make the Top 40.
MALAYSIA – Alexis Sue-Ann Seow. Lookswise, she may come off as plain, but she has an inside track to the Top 40 because of her unique BWAP project–Chance4Change, which deals with infant abandonment in her country. But even without that project she is a great interview so she has a foot in the door of the Top 40. Adding gravy is her shortlist in Talent.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – Tya Janè Ramey. She seems to be the Top Caribbean performer, as she already secured a slot in the Top 40 by winning this group and beating Group 2 winner IRELAND in the second round. Bolstering her cause is that she made the Top 10 in Top Model and placing third in Sports. As such, she could probably make the Final Five by virtue of being the top performer for her region.
UNITED STATES – Emmy Rose Cuvelier. She reminds me of TV morning talk show host Kelly Ripa as she has this relentlessly perky vibe and her hobbies related to Disney princesses could either be viewed as utterly charming or annoying. Still, she can still make a play for the Top 40. She figured in Sports as part of the Yellow team and Talent.
WALES – Gabriella Jukes. She’s a gorgeous, tall, honey-blonde lass who was a semifinalist for most recent edition of Britain’s Next Top Model. But interesting, she wasn’t shortlisted in Top Model but rather in Talent instead. At least she avoided being a candidate for the Holly Carpenter award. I want her ot make the Top 40, but I’m not certain if she will. I hope the judges look in favor upon her.
CHILE – Karla Ignacia Albornoz, Many have raved about her beauty but she has not figured in any shortlist, so she is a prime candidate for the Holly Carpenter award. Her lack of facility in English might make her path to that dubious distinction more likely.
CROATIA – Katarina Mamić. Being a journalism student she is more articulate than most representatives from her country. She made a very positive impression in the Head-to-Head challenge. She made the shortlist in Top Model. I’m not sure she generated enough impact to make the overall Top 40, but she’s a worthwhile contender.
FRANCE – Ophély Mézino. She has a great human interest story being a hearing child of deaf parents. That background spills over to her advocacy, and it’s so notable that she’s among the Top 10 BWAP projects. She also was a standout in other challenge events, placing 4th in Top Model (and also reportedly in Sports, as part of the apparently dominant and formidable Green team). She grew up in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe (which is in the Caribbean), and she has the exotic dark complexion and frizzy curls to show for that. She is likely considered the top performing European, and many are buzzing she could bring the second crown for her country. It will be nice if that happens, but there are a couple top performers standing in her way…
A piquant note–she shares a similar background to this year’s Supranational rep, Sheryna van der Koelen, as both were actually born in another island, Reunion (which is in the Indian Ocean) before growing up in Guadeloupe.
NEW ZEALAND – Lucy Rose Brock. She’s attractive and articulate, and she has a good advocacy, but she has not figured in any shortlist so right now she’s a possible candidate for the Holly Carpenter award. Can she win over the judges in interview to garner a Top 40 slot?
PARAGUAY – Araceli Bobadilla. Though many were betting FRANCE to win this group, this vivacious lady turned out to be the winner. She also secured her slot in the Top 40 by beating Group 13 winner GEORGIA. Her dance background helped her make the shortlist in Talent. She’s one of the few Latinas who chose to speak English, and she’s a great communicator in her second language. Now, it’s a challenge to see her make the next step and make the Top 12. Can she be a worthwhile refreshing surprise choice for that slot?
SCOTLAND – Keryn Matthew. Lookswise, she’s the weakest link amongst the British Isle representative. Like most of the British reps, she made the Sports shortlist (as part of the Blue team). Still, she is a great communicator so she might still win over the judges in interview.
CANADA – Naomi Rose Colford. She’s a great communicator. She figured in the “homely” fast-tracks, as she was shortlisted in Sports as part of the winning Green team and placed third in Talent with her singing skills.
CZECH REPUBLIC – Denisa Spergerová. Her official portrait was actually very unflattering as she’s way more gorgeous than that picture, and that gorgeousness helped her make the Top 10 in Top Model
INDONESIA – Princess Megonondo. We now expect that this country will perform strongly in this pageant, and this lady delivers in that aspect, with her exotic looks giving her a shortlist in Top Model, and her BWAP project made the Top 10, about a livelihood project for women and children in Kawungsari, West Java. She is also the winner of this group, but she was beaten by the formidable Group 10 winner, NEPAL. However, she seems to be a very secure to make the Top 40 and make a possible play for the Top 12.
PORTUGAL – Inês Brusselmans. She’s good looking, and made a great impression in the Head-to-Head challenge. She made the shortlist in Sports as part of the Blue team, but with her personality and looks, she can make a play for one of the Top 40 slots.
SIERRA LEONE – Enid Jones-Boston. She’s a worthwhile contender whose highlight is her shortlist in Sports as part of the formidable Green Team. She provided an emotional highlight in the Head-to-Head challenge as she relayed stories of tragedies in her country (civil war, Ebola, flooding) that led to severe mental health issues in her nation.
TUNISIA – Sabrine Mansour. She’s very vivacious and got a shortlist in BWAP for her dental caravan for remote rural areas. With that worthy project and her interview skills, she could make history as only the second representative from her country to make the cut in this pageant, after Jacqueline Tapia‘s 3rd runner-up finish 62 years ago.
COMING UP: GROUPS 10 TO 12