After another cut, we get two parades again. This time, there is a Top 10 swimsuit segment featuring the Top 10 in black swimsuits and shawls from the Self Collection, strutting to “Perfect Strangers” by Jonas Blue featuring JP Cooper.
The Top 10 then switched to evening gowns of their own choosing, performing their catwalks to “You Are the Reason” by Calum Scott & Leona Lewis. Just when you think that would be it, the non-finalists then emerged and they also got to strut in their chosen evening gowns to “Diamonds” by Rihanna. As practiced in Miss Universe, the non-finalist portion tends to begin the sequence, not end it as in here, but I think many actually appreciated this switch.
I only predicted six of the Top 10–not bad, but it could be better. Let’s discuss the Top 10 starting with:
10TH PLACE: PANAMA – Krysthelle Barretto Reichlin. I only pegged her in my Striking Distance list but for some odd reason she was highly favored by the judges so much that they let her place this high over the like sof ICELAND and NETHERLANDS. I feel she doesn’t really deserve to belong in this level, but well the judges are entitled to their choices.
9TH PLACE: VIETNAM – Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Châu. Now her placement at this tier was very much expected, and in my reckoning, truly worthy and unquestionable.
8TH PLACE: COLOMBIA – Yaiselle Tous. I was expecting her to be securely in the Top Five, but it seems the judges’ regard for her is not as high as most fans have perceived. Still a Top 10 finish is nothing to sneeze at as this is a very competitive batch.
7TH PLACE: UNITED STATES – Regina Gray. I’ve noticed that many Europeans have a taste for the exotic, and that might have come into play with the stronger-than-expected finish fo this lady. But anyway, she is worthy of belonging here, as on top of strong stage presence she probably also shone on interviews in the prelims.
6TH PLACE: CZECH REPUBLIC – Hana Vágnerova. I may have had a preference for certain other ladies but this lady is always in contention to make a play for the Top 10 so this finish is not really that surprising to me. Her presence in the Top 10 is deserving.
I got three of the Final Five right. With the exception of one, I find the choices of the Final Five totally acceptable. The Final Five are then subjected to the final question, where each were asked a question that were submitted by fans on this pageant online.
4TH RUNNER-UP: VENEZUELA – Gabriela Isabel de la Cruz. I think she’s hampered by her lack of English skills though her charisma was too undeniable to be deprived of a FInal Five slot. At least this provide a showcase for co-host Anita Nneka Jones’s Spanish skills. In Spanish, Aneka asked her about what she is most proud of as a woman. She expressed both in Spanish and then translated her own answer in English, about being authentic to herself, and responsible and disciplined to work to achieve her dreams. It’s actually a very strong answer, come to think of it, so she also probably deserved a higher place.
3RD RUNNER-UP: PERU – Janick Maceta. I pegged her as the main rival for the big favorite’s path to the crown, so I was shocked by her relatively lowly showing. And to my opinion, this is an injustice. She was expectedly charismatic onstage and on-point in all segments, and the question asked of her about how can men empower women in a male-dominated world was actually appropriate: “As a woman that works in a male-dominated field as audio engineer, I still get those looks, I still get people surprised when they see me. Why? I want to empower women by leading an example, by talking to them and showing them that we can do whatever we want, we live in an era that WE…CAN…DO…IT! We don’t have to be quite, we don’t have to stop doing whatever what we want to do. We are women, we are powerful, we are beautiful, we can do everything whatever we need.” Admittedly she kinda missed the point about the role men can play in helping create a society that empowers women (which might be the reason she was penalized to this position), but seriously, is her answer better than…
2ND RUNNER-UP: INDONESIA – Jesica Fitriana Martasar. Yes, she’s great looking, but to rank as high as she did? To be honest, I find her final showing overrated. She was asked the classic Miss Universe 1994 final question, the essence of being a woman. “I think being a woman it means to be strong because woman can empower each other, and we are here as Supra-sister, we are here from different state of the world and unite into one. And we are here to bring the world to be in peace to give a change to the world and make positive impact to others.” There are good ideas in her answer, though they are your shop-worn “world peace” responses that if you ask me, should’ve releageted her to 4th runner-up (or even outside of the Final Five) instead of this high a rank. Is this again a matter of exotic tastes?
1ST RUNNER-UP: NAMIBIA – Jesica Fitriana Martasar. She has the gorgeousness to be Top Five worthy, and even if I didn’t include her in my Top Five list, I always sensed that if one of my predicted Final Five missed it, she would be one of the likeliest to get that slot. And indeed she got it, and delivered this lofty finish. For the final Q&A she was asked about the role of a beauty queen in the age of social media. Her answer: “I believe as an inspiration and as a role model, whatever you do you must do it with your heart and with passion. Of course you need to make a difference in the lives of people, and if you can do that, then you’re already….” and her thought trailed off. Even with that lapse in thought at the end, it’s still a strong message about being an inspiration by doing things, which is appropriate and implicitly social media is a good platform to showcase this.
MISS SUPRANATIONAL 2019: THAILAND – Anntonia Porsild. As expected she competed at a top-notch high level, channeling that Shamcey-meets-Megan charisma and never letting go. Yes, even in the final question when asked about what is the biggest challenge her generation is facing and what can be done about it. Her answer: “I believe a challenge we are facing is the challenge that we are not kind enough to one another. We are constantly judging each other based on our other appearance and we are not taking the time to get to know one another on the inside, and that is the quality that really counts. And if we can encourage each and inspire each to look into those aspects of one another, the world would be a much better place and everybody can be happier.” Indeed her answer was the best besides delivering the strongest overall onstage performance overall that her win was fully deserved, even if for some people considering the prize package include a couple of Thai residences may leave a little bad taste in the mouth. It’s simply her win was totally unquestionable.
Miss Supranational is headed into a more cerebral direction judging from this year’s results and the conduct of the proceedings. It’s a welcome development, but I hope they don’t lose sight on what make them distinctive in the first place. Still, we have an excellent winner and for most part the results are fair and worthy of this very high caliber group of ladies. Congratulations on a job well done.