I thought Miss Supranational would be tough to call but in terms of the Top 25, I got 21 correct. But there a few twists amongst those I missed. For instance, I pegged RUSSIA (Guzaliya Ismailova) in my bottom five, but the judges seem to take a liking to her and let her advance. Her features are too angular for my taste, but well, somehow the Poles dug her–considering a similar result in the male counterpart, is it really a matter of taste, or is Poland, being one of those countires that elected a “populist” leader, is politically reverting back towards Russia, or could influence-peddling be at play? I could only speculate…
Two ladies from Africa were in my “Striking Distance” list and I probably should’ve been a bit more bullish on their prospects: MAURITIUS (Marie Anoushka Ahkeng) and NIGERIA (Daniella Orumwense) have merits, but I thought the ladies joining EQUATORIAL GUINEA (María Lucrecia Nve Maleva) would be KENYA (Ivy Marani) and RWANDA (Tina Pilot Tawase). I suppose it’s a matter of the judges’ tastes that they prefer those two ladies. MAURITIUS also ended up winning the Continental Queen title for Africa.
I still maintain that the likes of CANADA (Alyssa Boston), JAPAN (Yurika Nakamoto), and KOREA (Lee Eun-bi) are better than the three ladies I mentioned above, but well, we have to respect that the judges’ (and insiders) preferences will not always correspond with mine.
The clear winner of the Ruth Ocumarez award for this pageant is PARAGUAY (Ana Paula Cespedes). I think many were expecting her to rank high, but wonder if she rubbed any insider the wrong way that cost her a Top 25 slot?
I got seven of the Top 10, but only two of the Final Five. The two ladies I got right, INDONESIA (Wilda Octaviana Situngkir) and MEXICO (Diana Romero), ended up taking the rear of the Final Five as 3rd and 4th runner-up respectively. I did put eventual 2nd runner-up POLAND (Magdalena Bieńkowska) in my Top 10 and she was always poised to make the Final Five if somebody falls along the wayside, along with…
…the eventual Miss Supranational winner, PUERTO RICO (Valerie Vasquez). But one I way underestimated was UNITED STATES (Katrina Jayne Dimaranan). I underestimated how her outgoing personality and gift of gab can win over judges like the way she did at Binibining PIlipinas six years ago, and it seems the Poles love her exotic features. Anyway, the final Q&A was the deciding factor that proved the most convincing argument why these two ladies deserved their Top Two placements.
I’m generally pleased with the results of this pageant and Valerie will be a great winner worthy of being the 10th anniversary milestone winner for this pageant. Hope they continue with the generous multimedia sharing in future editions, that makes up for the embargo generated from the broadcast deals they have secured for various regions. Hope broadcasters would air this pageant sooner from the actual event.