RESULTS REACTION: MISS SUPRANATIONAL 2017

The results of this year’s Miss Supranational was surprising to me.  Several supposed “sure things” were shut out, and at least three ladies who are outside the radar made the cut.  As it is I got 13 out of 25 correct.  Sure seven of the 12 I missed were in my “Bubbling Under” list and two were in my “Striking Distance” list, but I was shocked with three ladies who made it who were outside my radar.

Let’s start with Jamaica (Nicole Stoddard) and South Sudan (Anyier Teresa Yuoi).  Sure, they are worthwhile exotic choices, but there were a bunch of prettier faces and vibrant personalities that were shut out in their place.  I may have underrated Jamaica a bit, and South Sudan had some fans from her stint at Grand International last year, but still if you see the Top FIve contenders for the Ruth Ocumarez Award, you would wonder, these two over them?

Surprising and possibly underrated: Jamaica and South Sudan

But the big surprise was the high regard for Costa Rica (Nicole Alvarado).  Many pageant fans and pundits (including myself) feel her features are too angular, but yet she strangely won favor from the power-that-be, being prominently featured in pre-taped segments and advancing further to the Top Ten.  She’s the biggest headscratcher for me.

 

Most headscratching: Costa Rica

A surprising shut-out for me is Singapore (Lynn Teo) as she seems to possess the bubbly charm that this pageant seems to look for.  Wonder what made her fall short?  As such, she’s my fourth runner-up for the Ruth Ocumarez Award.

Ruth Ocumarez Award 4th runner-up: Singapore

Taking 2nd and 3rd runner-up for the Ruth Ocumarez Award are two European countries with apparently strong ties with this pageant that it’s a shock that they’re booted out when in other years weak contestants from these countries would still be allowed in.  Both Belarus (Olga Gribovskaya) and Slovak Republic (Michaela Cmarková) are polished great lookers who seemed to be shoo-ins but somehow the powers-that-be did not view them with favor for some odd reason.  Were they weak interviews or was something was up with their conduct?  Or in the case for the latter, perhaps punishment for the cold conduct of her predecessor?

Ruth Ocumarez 3rd and 2nd runner-up: Belarus and Slovak Republic

The Top Two ladies for the Ruth Ocumarez award are two Spanish-speaking stunners who were rated highly by many pageant fans and pundits.  So why did they miss out of the Top 25?  Issues of conduct or weakness in interview again?  The first runner-up is from the country that garnered the acfual first runner-up honors last year:  Venezuela (Geraldine Duque).  The winner for me was one of my favorites to win it all, Spain (Beatriz Balseiro Cendán).  Seriously, Costa Rica over these ladies?

Ruth Ocumarez winner and 1st runner-up: Spain and Venezuela

Though I know Korea (Jenny Kim) is worthy of making the Top 25 (and probably beyond), little did I know how beloved she is amongst insiders to bring forth her country’s first ever victory in a major international pageant.  Clinching the deal was the final Q&A in my opinion,  Though I’m slightly sad that the Philippines (Chanel Olive Thomas) didn’t make the Top Five, making the Top Ten is still an achievement worth celebrating as for the last three editions we failed to even crack that level.  I think the scenario that befell Rachel Peters also applies here–she did her very best but the judges deemed the five who made it too strong.  More on that when I post my full-fledged review of this pageant (after I complete posting my review of all the other major pageants).  For now, I salute all the ladies in the winners’ circle and salute Chanel’s sterling performance.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

Congratulations for a job well done, Chanel Olive Thomas!
The Winners’ Circle: 4th runner-up Puerto Rico (Larissa Santiago), 2nd runner-up Romania (Bianca Tirsin), Miss Supranational 2017 Korea (Jenny Kim), 1st runner-up Colombia (Martha Luz Martinez), and 3rd runner-up Ethiopia (Bitaniya Yosef Mohammed)

MISTER SUPRANATIONAL 2017: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

MYANMAR –  Htoo Ant Lwin.  He is surprisingly hunky and though he has some unflattering angles, there are angles where he exudes a handsome charisma.  And he possesses one of the buffest bods of this group.  If you ask me he deserves a slot in the Top Ten.

NETHERLANDS – Ferdi Çağlayan.  His name belies that he is of Turkish origin Isurname is pronounced Chah-layan).  The key to unlocking his appeal is to tame his unruly mop of a hairdo, which he does in formal wear and interview segments.  He could make the cut if he keeps his hair tamed.

NEW CALEDONIA – Bruno Charley Gislain.  He’s good looking but a tad less polished than most, so it will be an uphill battle for him to make Top 20.

PAKISTAN – Raffay Khan.  He’s surprisingly polished with a handsome face and buffed bod, and arguably he’s overshadowing Hamid Noor.  Would there be enough slots in the Top 20 for him and Hamid?

PANAMA – Alan Valdés.  He’s one of three black guys competing in this edition, and he’s the one most likely to advance as he has polish, buffness, charisma, and strong interview skills.  He can duplicate his predecessor Michael Piggott‘s Top Ten finish.

PERU – Franklin Joel Balarezo.  His very brown, native features are not to everyone’s taste, but he is polished and buffed enough to make a positive impression.

PHILIPPINES – Yves Campos.  Okay, he has a cute face and solid communication skills.  But his physique glaringly has little to no muscle definition unlike his other peers.  His best chances for advancing is winning the popular vote, but so far from the various official popularity polls conducted it’s INDONESIA that’s winning these.  Can we Filipino fans make a strong rally, or are the Indonesian fans simply too formidable and unstoppable?

POLAND –  Jan Dratwicki.  He will get vindication for his non-placement at Mister International earlier this year.  You cannot deny this kind of handsomeness, buffness, and charisma.

PUERTO RICO – Alexander Rivera.  Now, here’s one of the front-runners of this pageant.  His charisma and overall appeal is just too high that seeing him outside of the Top Five would be a big injustice.

ROMANIA – Mihai Pintilie.  This beefy, handsome lad is for me better than his predecessor, Catalin Brinza, who finished 4th runner-up last year.  But equaling Catalin’s showing is probably going to be a challenge, albeit still possible.

SLOVAKIA – Michal Gajdošech.  He already made a major splash four years ago competing in Mister International in Indonesia.  He officially placed seventh, just missing out of the Top Six.  Back then he was clean-shaven and renowned for his luscious lips.  Now that he grew some facial scruff, those lips were no longer that prominent but he still makes a strong impression and likely to duplicate or even exceed his previous Top Ten finish.  He was reported to supposedly also compete in this year’s Manhunt International, but he chose this pageant instead.  With the quality of that batch, he could’ve easily gone Top Five there, but deciding to compete here is still a great call, especially since his country hosted many preliminary activities for this pageant.

I find it interesting how in the distaff side, this country is identified by its more formal name of “Slovak Republic”, while here it’s identified by its shorter name, “Slovakia”.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around since “Slovakia” sounds feminine?

SPAIN – Alejandro Cifo.  This strapping tall guy is one of the big favorites to win this contest.  Besides his stunning height, he possesses a perfect handsomeness and buffness.  Extra points that even if during the preliminary swimwear competition they were all in regulation sponsored board shorts, for more informal occasions where the guys are free to wear any swimsuit handy, he wore the shorts that bare the most thigh–albeit it’s more modest than the tiny Speedos the Netherlands’ Rico Mallee wore last year, he’s the winner of this year’s skimpy swimwear award which I will name henceforth in Rico Mallee’s honor.

Rico Mallee Awardee

SRI LANKA – Jason ‘Pathum’ Subasinghe.  He’s cute, but his body is less-than-buffed, and he lacks polish.

SURINAME –  Arthur Da Nobrega Semoedi.  He’s more polished than his dud of a predecessor, but still he’s unlikely to make serious inroads into the Top 20.

THAILAND –  Aratch Wittayakorn.  To my eyes he’s the handsomest Asian in this year’s group, exuding a cosmopolitan flair with his seemingly Eurasian features.  But surprisingly his command of English is very weak, to the point that he needs to relay his thoughts via mobile phone and run a translation app (since no Thai interpreter is available).  Will the judges be able to overlook the language barrier and send him through, or will he be the recipient of the Lucas Malvacini Award?

UNITED STATES – Cody Ondrick.  This guy has a mixture of handsomeness and pluck and those qualities are likely to serve him well here and make the Top 20 with a possible play for the Top Ten and beyond.

VENEZUELA – Gabriel José Correa.  This fellow has drop-dead gorgeous handsomeness, a superbly sculpted body, a cosmopolitan gentlemanly sophistication, and an intriguingly strong charitable background that he looks like the man to beat in this year’s contest.  Yes, SPAIN and PUERTO RICO are nipping at his heels, but unless he stumbled somewhere, he’s most likely the chosen one.

As is customary I shall trout out my leadeerboard and here’s how I think the 34 contestants stand:

TOP CONTENDERS:  PUERTO RICO, SPAIN, VENEZUELA

SHOO-INS:  BELARUS, BRAZIL, INDIA, INDONESIA, JAPAN, MEXICO, PANAMA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA

LIKELIEST:  AFGHANISTAN, CHILE, CHINA, CZECH REPUBLIC, GERMANY, MALTA, MYANMAR, NETHERLANDS, PAKISTAN, ROMANIA, THAILAND, UNITED STATES

POPULAR VOTE FACTOR:  PHILIPPINES

INTERVIEW/ALTERNA-HUNK FACTOR:  GIBRALTAR

EXCELLENT:  CANADA

VERY STRONG:  BOLIVIA, JAMAICA, NEW CALEDONIA, PERU, SRI LANKA

STRONG:  ETHIOPIA, SURINAME

Here now is my “Fearful” Forecast:

WINNER:  VENEZUELA

TOP FIVE:  BRAZIL, PUERTO RICO, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN

TOP TEN:  INDONESIA, JAPAN, MEXICO, PANAMA, POLAND

TOP 20:  BELARUS, CHILE, CZECH REPUBLIC, GERMANY, INDIA, MALTA, MYANMAR, PAKISTAN, ROMANIA, UNITED STATES

BUBBLING UNDER:  AFGHANISTAN, CHINA, NETHERLANDS, THAILAND

STRIKING DISTANCE:  CANADA, GIBRALTAR, PHILIPPINES

Though I envision the title to be a battle amongst three Spanish-speaking gentlemen, I have to salute the Asian contingent for proving once and for all that Asian men can be desirable and can compete head-to-head with the handsomest fellows out there.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

The big two: Spain (Alejandro Cifo) and Venezuela (Gabriel Jose Correa)
Fun time at the Aquacity-Poprad with Spain piggybacking over Venezuela

MISTER SUPRANATIONAL 2017: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 1)

Despite mounting the grandest show amongst male pageants, this year’s Mister Supranational suffered a mild attrition from 36 to 34.  Even with the attrition, this is par for the level of many major international male pageants (Manhunt International and Mister World being the exceptions as they normally now attract at least 40).  Despite this concern, and the obvious cost-cutting in preliminary activities, the quality of this year’s contestants still reinforces this pageants’ status as one of the premiere international pageants, even if it’s only in its second year of existence.  What helps is that collectively the contestants from one continent has decisively shattered that old Western stereotype that the males from this area (barring the numerous pageants held in their turf) cannot be considered desirable or capable of competing head-to-head against the usual formidable hunks from the Americas and Europe.  Without further ado, let’s review these contestants starting with…

AFGHANISTAN – Hamid Noor.  He actually lives in Germany (and represented his adopted country at the recent Mister Grand International held here almost two months ago).  He was a standout there and became third runner-up, but here, though he’s a strong contender, he seems to be edged out by stellar guys out there and a Top 20 slot is far from assured (though still very possible).

BELARUS – Dzianis Alkhovik.  He’s a far-cry from his predecessor, Miss Supranational 2016 1st runner-up Sergey Bindalov, as I find him a tad on the plain and skinny side and his presentation style tends to be a bit over-the-top.  But there are factors working in his favor, such as Sergey being on hand judging the preliminary proceedings with the reigning Mister Supranational Diego Garcy, and well, the Belarus banner is a strong one in this part of the world.  To his credit, he has strong interview skills.

BOLIVIA – Ruben Herrera.  He’s a swarthy macho type that I find appealing, but may not win over the predominantly female panel.  He sometimes register as less-than-polished.

BRAZIL – Matheus Song.  This half-Chinese guy has undeniable charisma even if his predecessor, 3rd runner-up Bruno Vanin, was better.  Still, he could still make a play for the Top Five and is one of the sure bets for the Top Ten.

CANADA – Guillaume Carignan.  He’s a handsome fellow and a solid interview (albeit with a French accent as he’s from Quebec), but he’s very gangly and skinny.  I have a feeling that skinny frame may be a possible obstacle for him advancing to the Top 20.

CHILE – Alfonso Bernal.  Many pageant fans and pundits rave about his handsome swarthy looks, that many are hyping him as a possible front-runner.  I think he can make a play for the Top Ten, but I’m not sure if he can go further than that.

CHINA – Haitao Liu.  With his mustache and lean-but-buffed physique, he exudes a lot of appeal.   Not sure if that would be enough for him to make the Top 20, but he is a credit to all Asian guys out there.

CZECH REPUBLIC – David Jaček.  He’s a replacement for the original rep, but this guy is making a great impression with his boyish handsomeness and beefily buffed physique.  He can make a play for the Top Ten.

ETHIOPIA – Tewolde Kiflom.  He’s attractive and has a good physique, but he falls short on charisma to be a Top 20 contender.

GERMANY – Jan Laskowski.  Mister Grand International fans might wonder why couldn’t Hamid represent his adopted country?  Well, the German franchisee decided to take preference to this good-looking guy, whose surname hints that he’s of Polish descent.  With his good looks and strong interview skills, that decision is well-justified and he looks like a lock for the Top Ten (or even beyond).  Thank goodness Hamid can still compete here representing his country of origin.

GIBRALTAR – Felix Bothén.  He actually saw action at one of the fledgling international male pageants staged here in the Philippines, Man of the World, last June.  He didn’t make the final cut there but here, with his good interview skills and a predominantly female panel, his long-haired look may have traction and he could make the final cut.

INDIA – Altamash Faraz.  Lookswise he’s a high-quality follow-up to stellar 2nd runner-up Jitesh Thakur.  Some pageant pundits had concerns about his interview skills, but it seems he’s like a Mutya Datul here, as he seems to make a good impression in interview in this milieu.

INDONESIA – Gilbert Pangalila.  He may not be conventionally handsome but he exudes a lot of appeal with his buffed bod.  He already had pageant experience finishing third runner-up at this year’s extremely downsized Mister Universal Ambassador.  Shoring up his fortunes are that he’s often winning the popular vote.

JAMAICA – Franz Christie.  He’s attractive, but like ETHIOPIA, he seems to fall short of charisma.

JAPAN – Takanori Uekusa.  Like his Top Ten-finishing predecessor, Ricky Wakabayashi, this guy prides himself for being cosmopolitan and well-traveled, and indeed that could secure him another Top Ten finish for his country.

MALTA – Justin Axiak.  This guy has a classic handsomeness that could help him secure a Top Ten finish and even make a play for the Top Five.

MEXICO – Héctor Javier Parga.  I don’t expect him to duplicate Diego Garcy‘s win as I find him a bit too scruffy for comfort, but he is otherwise a top-notch polished competitor with good interview skills.  I’m divided about him sporting a cowboy hat during interview (and other occasions) but it does make him stand out and as such he will do very well here.

COMING UP:  MYANMAR to VENEZUELA plus the “FEARFUL” FORECAST