Category Archives: Pageant Reviews

RESULTS REACTION: MISS WORLD 2017

This year’s Miss World may have some results that could be deemed very satisfying to a certain extent.  Since we know 23 of the 40 quarterfinalists beforehand, so how well did I do with the remaining 17 slots?  Not bad–11 out of 17.  Five out of six I missed out were in my “Bubbling Under” list, and one in my “Striking Distance” list.  I may have faltered a bit with my Top 15 prediction, with eight out of 15, but I came roaring back with Top Ten (six out of ten) and most importantly the Top Five (three out of five).

Let’s talk about that one in my “Striking Distrance” list:  I actually liked Korea (Ha-Eun Kim), but I thought her lack of social media presence would turn her into the prime candidate for the Holly Carpenter award.  But it turns out she’s more headed towards the Sabrina Houssami / Micaela Reis direction, and that the Miss World Organization insiders dug her so much that she made it all the way to the Top Ten, and even end up with the Miss World – Asia (since starting last year, continental titles are accorded to those who did NOT win the overall title).  I don’t really mind her going as far as she did and pipping the more highly touted Indonesia (Auchintya Nilsen) out of that honor.

Though I put them in my “Bubbling Under” list, never in my wildest dreams did I expect  Japan (Haruka Yamashita) and Sweden (Hanna Haag) to make the Top 40, with the former even going further to the Top 15.*1  But I’m glad to see them make the cut as I like these ladies and rooting for them to succeed.  Of course I didn’t want them to take slots at the expense of our bet the Philippines (Laura Lehmann) in the Top 15, but well, we have the consolation of being co-winner for Beauty with a Purpose (BWAP) and the Head-to-Head challenge win to secure our Top 40 placement.  I, like the rest of the Filipinos, would wish she fared higher, but sometimes those are the breaks…

*1 I think Haruka’s Top 15 placement was a way for Miss World insiders to atone for miscrediting Vietnam (Do My Linh) as the ballet performer during the Talent show on Facebook.  The information on Wikipedia is correct (but still no pictures of Trinidad & Tobago’s performance).

Refreshing gems: Japan (Haruka Yamashita) and Sweden (Hanna Haag)

Differing pageant fans would differing choices for the Holly Carpenter Award this year.  My personal choice for this would be  Chile (Victoria Stein)–yes, some pageant pundits found her a tad grating, but I like her spunk and her superb communication skills and I don’t think she’s pageant patty at all.  In fact, I think she has a similar personality to previous Miss World Stephanie del Valle.

Two buzzed-about ladies from Oceania are strong runners-up for the Ruth Ocumarez Award: Australia (Esma Voloder) & Fiji (Nanise Rainima).  Both have strong BWAP projects, are strong communicators, and both made such a big splash that many assumed they are shoo-ins for the Top 40.  Unfortunately it turns out they fell short and ultimately missed the final cut that counted, and as a result are outpipped by New Zealand (Annie Evans) for the Miss World – Oceania honors.   In this case, it helped that Annie has Chinese heritage and skills speaking the language (and translating for her fellow peers).

Ruth Ocumarez runners-up: Australia (Esma Voloder) and Fiji (Nanise Rainima)

But I have two co-winners for the Ruth Ocumarez Award:  Spain (Elisa Tulian) and Thailand (Patlada Kulphakthanapat).  Both made significant splashes on the fast-track events, the former possessing beauty, athleticism and dancing talent to figure in Top Model, Sports, and Talent, and the latter ranked very high in Top Model (second, in fact) and was shortlisted for BWAP.  I wonder if the Miss World insiders found Elisa a tad too spicy for comfort, and Patlada’s weak English skills a hindrance?  For Thailand, there is also a side of me that wished this country won the Head-to-Head challenge instead as it turns out we could’ve secured the Top 40 by winning the BWAP anyway.  It’s sad that these two worthy ladies were shut out.

But ulitmately many pageant fans and pundits agreed that this pageant selected the correct Top Two, with both the eventual winner India (Manushi Chhillar) and 1st runner-up Mexico (Andrea Meza) both being big favorites from the get-go.  I think the Miss World judges were almost about to generate a perfect Top Three royal court but unfortunately one faltered during the final question, leading the way for lesser regarded England (Stephanie Hill) to snag 2nd runner-up.  I’ll discuss more about that in my full-fledged Miss World review this December.  For now, I salute and congratulate Manushi’s win as it was well deserved and a job well done.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

The royal court: 1st runner-up Mexico (Andrea Meza), Miss World 2017 India (Manushi Chhillar) and 2nd runner-up England (Stephanie Hill)

 

MISS WORLD 2017: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

GROUP 19:

KOREA – Ha Eun Kim.  She’s pretty and well-spoken, but it’s weird she doesn’t update much on her social media.  She also didn’t figure in any fast-track event, so she’s a candidate for the Holly Carpenter Award.

Team Asia Blue Team: Japan, Myanmar, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines.

LEBANON – Perla El Helou.  Though many fans are expecting Korea (due to Asian fan votes) or the United States to win this Head-to-Head challenge, it’s this lady who emerged the victor instead.  She’s a refreshing choice of a winner, as she has the looks and a straight-to-the-point communication style that made a great impression.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – Chandini Chanka.  Beauty queens from this country are strong communicators and this one is no exception.  But would she make a strong enough impression to secure one of the 15 judges’ interview slots?  With the presence of the United States that is uncertain.  Some sources are also reporting she was shortlisted in Talent but we couldn’t glean any photo of her performing on the Talent show–wonder what happened?

PANAMA – Julianne Britton.  She has a good human interest story surviving a tough childhood and she was shortlisted in Top Model.  But would that be enough for her to make Top 40?

UNITED STATES – Clarissa Bowers.  Many pageant fans and pundits touted her as the one to win it all but as the days wore on and she failing to figure in any of the fast-track events, and not even winning this Head-to-Head challenge, one might wonder–is she heading towards Holly Carpenter-dom?  But her overachieving medical background and her superb interview skills are just too compelling for her to end up in that path.  Many pageant fans are still betting on her to place high, so perhaps her trajectory is more towards Sabrina Houssami and Micaela Reis, ladies who also failed to figure in any fast-track back in 2006 and 2007 respectively but still managed to become runners-up.

GROUP 20:

CAYMAN ISLANDS – Kristin Amaya.  She made a good impression in the Head-to-Head challenge as a strong communicator.  This is probably as much impact as she’ll probably make, though, as arriving late has disadvantages.

CAPE VERDE – Cristilene Dos Santos.  She has a charm about her, but the most she can be is a worthwhile contender.

ZAMBIA – Mary Chibula.  She’s the most eloquent communicator of this group, and she has a dignified bearing about her.

KAZAKHSTAN – Gulbanu Azimkhan.   No doubt she’s the best looking of this group of latecomers, and she has the voting support to win the Head-to-Head challenge for this group.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – Helina Hewlett.  She’s the one who made the biggest splas amongst the latecomers, finishing second in the Sports fast-track.  She’s one of the rare ladies who took her country away from being the traditional cellar dweller in international pageantry.

Now that all 118 countries are accounted for, let’s trot out my leaderboard:

TOP CONTENDERS:  FRANCE, INDIA, INDONESIA, MEXICO, RUSSIA

CHALLENGE WINNERS:  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, NIGERIA, MALTA, MONGOLIA, ITALY, ARGENTINA, NEPAL, COLOMBIA, BANGLADESH, MACAU, MOLDOVA, GUATEMALA, LIBERIA, VENEZUELA, PERU, PHILIPPINES, VIETNAM, LEBANON, KAZAKHSTAN

SHOO-INS:  AUSTRALIA, JAMAICA, BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, CHINA, ENGLAND, FIJI, POLAND, THAILAND, SPAIN, UNITED STATES

LIKELIEST:  AUSTRIA, COTE D’IVOIRE, ISRAEL, CHILE, COOK ISLANDS, BOTSWANA, CANADA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, KENYA, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, ARUBA, GHANA, NETHERLANDS, DENMARK, HONG KONG, UKRAINE, CROATIA, NEW ZEALAND, SWEDEN, GUYANA, JAPAN, SLOVENIA, TANZANIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, SCOTLAND, MYANMAR,

EXCELLENT:  ANGOLA, BOLIVIA, BELGIUM, CAMEROON, GUINEA, EGYPT, PARAGUAY, PORTUGAL, GUAM, ICELAND, CYPRUS, IRELAND, FINLAND, HUNGARY, SENEGAL, SLOVAKIA, MONTENEGRO, NORWAY, SERBIA, TURKEY, WALES, ZIMBABWE, KOREA, PANAMA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, ZAMBIA

VERY STRONG:  BAHAMAS, ETHIOPIA, HONDURAS, BULGARIA, GREECE, LAOS, ROMANIA, URUGUAY, NICARAGUA, CAYMAN ISLANDS, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CAPE VERDE,

STRONG:  GUADELOUPE, ALBANIA, GERMANY, GIBRALTAR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, RWANDA

VERY GOOD:  GEORGIA, MAURITIUS, ARMENIA, SINGAPORE, TUNISIA, SOUTH SUDAN,

GOOD:  CURACAO, SEYCHELLES, SRI LANKA, LESOTHO, BELIZE

FAIR:  MADAGASCAR

Here is my “Fearful” Forecast:

TOP FIVE:  FRANCE, INDIA, INDONESIA, MEXICO, RUSSIA

TOP TEN:  CHINA, VIETNAM, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, BRAZIL

TOP 15:  JAMAICA, MONGOLIA, PHILIPPINES, THAILAND, UNITED STATES

TOP 40:  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, NIGERIA, MALTA, ITALY, ARGENTINA, NEPAL, COLOMBIA, BANGLADESH, MACAU, MOLDOVA, GUATEMALA, LIBERIA, VENEZUELA, PERU, LEBANON, KAZAKHSTAN, AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, FIJI, POLAND, CROATIA, KENYA, NEW ZEALAND, NORTHERN IRELAND, SCOTLAND

BUBBLING UNDER:    AUSTRIA, COTE D’IVOIRE, ISRAEL, CHILE, COOK ISLANDS, BOTSWANA, CANADA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, ARUBA, GHANA, NETHERLANDS, DENMARK, HONG KONG, UKRAINE, SWEDEN, GUYANA, JAPAN, SLOVENIA, TANZANIA, MYANMAR

STRIKING DISTANCE:  ANGOLA, BOLIVIA, BELGIUM, CAMEROON, GUINEA, EGYPT, PARAGUAY, PORTUGAL, GUAM, ICELAND, CYPRUS, IRELAND, FINLAND, HUNGARY, SENEGAL, SLOVAKIA, MONTENEGRO, NORWAY, SERBIA, TURKEY, WALES, ZIMBABWE, KOREA, PANAMA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, ZAMBIA

Let’s see how everything unfolds tonight.  Good luck to all the ladies!

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

 

MISS WORLD 2017: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 6)

GROUP 16:

MEXICO – Andrea Meza.  She is emerging as one of the big front-runners for the crown, making a splash in three fast-track events:  Sports, Top Model, and a fifth place finish in Talent with her singing.  She also secured a win in the Head-to-Head challenge.  She is also a strong interview and possesses stunning looks so she can go far, and even perhaps bring forth that long elusive win for her country.

NORWAY – Celine Herrgarden.  She’s a pretty girl, but she is most likely one of the candidates for the Holly Carpenter award.

With Sweden, Lesotho, Philippines and Vietnam at the Top Model event.

SRI LANKA – Dusheni Silva D.H.I.M.  She’s not that polished and even if in real-world standards she can be considered attractive, she falls pretty short based on stratified pageant standards.

SCOTLAND – Romy McCahill.  This blonde lass made an impact in Sports and Talent, just like her co-constituent UK colleague, Northern Ireland.  I think she and Northern Ireland will secure slots from the judges’ interviews.

NICARAGUA – America Monserrath.  She joins Ethiopia in the wild mane club.  She can be considered a worthwhile contender even if she failed to figure in any fast-track event.

NORTHERN IRELAND – Anna Henry.  See SCOTLAND, but she’s brunette and prettier.

GROUP 17:

TURKEY – Asli Sumen.  She was originally designated to go to Miss Universe, but as the original winner was dethroned for social media posts comparing her period to the blood shed by coup plotters planning to oust the Prime Minister of her country, she is bumped up to this pageant.  Anyway, she made an impact as her dancing skills were strong enough to be showcased in the Talent show.  She’s also a worthwhile contender as her communication skills are suprisingly stronger than what you expect from a delegate from this country.

In the middle flanked by Africans (plus one South Asian) at the Top Model event: with Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

THAILAND – Phatlada Kullaphakthanapha.  Just like France, Russia, Brazil, and India, she is shortlisted in both Top Model and Beauty with a Purpose, placing second in the former.  She may not have won the Head-to-Head challenge in what was probably a fierce fan battle with perennial Southeast Asian pageant rival Philippines, but it looks like she will securely make the cut and score high with the judges’ interviews.

LESOTHO – Mpoi Mahao.  She doesn’t stand out unlike several of her African colleagues so she is unlikely to make any impact.

MYANMAR – Ei Kyawt Khaing.  Being lumped in the same group as Philippines and Thailand did not give her as much room to shine as she would’ve otherwise, as obviously those Filipino and Thai fans are ravenous and she ended up being relatively minced meat.  Even if she failed to figure in any fast-track, she deserves salute as a more than worthwhile contender, arguably the best fielded to this pageant thus far.

SERBIA – Andjelija Rogic.  She may not figure in any fast-track, but she’s a worthwhile contender.

PHILIPPINES – Laura Lehmann.  I’m glad she secured her slot thanks to winning this Head-to-Head challenge.  But even if the Thai fans outstrip us and the tables are turned, I’m confident Laura would still secure a Top 40 slot because she is a likable, spontaneous communicator.  Being one of the five best Beauty with a Purpose projects may also bolster her chances (well, there’s also the national-director-in-the-judging-panel factor, too).  I know she’ll not sustain the two-year Multimedia win streak as although she brought out engaging, quality content, the output of the likes of Mongolia (the multimedia winner), Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Venezuela, and even Mexico are just more prolific and stronger.

GROUP 18:

WALES – Hannah Williams.  I found her prettier than England and Scotland, but it is appearing that among the UK contestants, she’s the relative weakest link as she failed to figure in any fast-track event and though her communication skills are solid, the other three UK girls were more compelling than her.

VIETNAM – My Linh Do.  She’s most likely the one shortlisted in Talent instead of Japan and cast a spell with her ballet performance.  But she’s strongest in Multimedia and Beauty with a Purpose, where she figured in the Top Five in both.  She secured her place as she won this group’s Head-to-Head challenge.  Now, the question is if she wins Beauty with a Purpose, who will assume her Head-to-Head slot?

SOUTH SUDAN – Arual Cyerdit.  Unlike her predecessors, she seemed reticent and doesn’t make an impact at all, even if she is good looking.  Her only chance to make inroads is if Vietnam wins Beauty with a Purpose, which opens up an opportunity for her to take over her Head-to-Head slot, like the feat Liberia as pulled off in Group 13.  Unless the Africans instead choose…

With Tunisia, Seychelles and Myanmar.

ZIMBABWE – Chieza Mhosva.  I would rather choose her as the African-most-likely-to-take-Vietnam’s-slot, as she is more outgoing and gregarious and she was shortlisted for Beauty with a Purpose to boot.

BELIZE – Renae Martinez.  She’s actually the last person to arrive in China, and she’s supposed to be in the Red Team, but she’s lumped into this group instead (interestingly separated from the latecomers’ group, Group 20).  The only thing I can say is making it is already achievement enough for her.

SPAIN – Elisa Tulian.  She’s a much more impressive performer than most pageant fans and pundits expected, as like Mexico she figured in three fast-track events, Sports, Top Model and Talent.  She also made a great impression in the Head-to-Head challenge that even if I’m rooting her to take Vietnam’s place instead of those Africans, she’ll still secure a Top 40 slot thanks to the judges’ interview with a likelihood to advance further to the Top 15 and beyond.

With Honduras, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela.

COMING UP:  GROUPS 19 TO 20, PLUS THE “FEARFUL” FORECAST