ARGENTINA – Judit Grnja. Her surname seems to be Slavic (possibly Czech or Polish) though her primary language is Spanish. Anyway, she is agreat looker who deservingly made the shortlist in Top Model.
BELARUS – Anastasiya Laurynchuk. This country has had a good year, garnering an element at Miss Earth and making the cut in Miss International. Last year this country got the Continental title for Europe, and this lady is a good follow-up to that and could make the cut here. She’s a great communicator. Sure she only made the shortlist in Sports, but it’s notable she won this group–though she has not secured a Top 40 slot as she was beaten by the very formidable NIGERIA in the second round but she’ll sstill be likely to make Top 40.
FINLAND – Dana Mononen. She gives me Lola Odusoga vibes as she’s obviously bi-racial (a Finnish father and an indeterminate African mother). Her striking looks and her passion for fashion helped her get shortlisted in Top Model. She is a good communicator, so I think it’s possible she can impress the judges enough to make Top 40.
KENYA – Maria Wavinya. Many are buzzing about her, and even if it seems to be a battle between NIGERIA and UGANDA, she can still pull through and make a splash. She at least made the shortlist in Top Model and Sports (as part of the Yellow team.
MACAU CHINA- Yu Yanan. She’s a strong communicator (as she spent time in the US for eight years) and made the shortlist in Top Model. Could be a sleeper possibility in the Top 40.
UKRAINE – Margarita Pasha. Though many people think BELARUS has the edge in communication skills and looks, this lady made the shortlist in three challenge events: Top Model, Sports, and Talent. Those achievements could not be ignored so she can still conceivably advance to the Top 40.
ARUBA – Ghislaine Mejia. If this were any other pageant, she could be considered the “Lizzo” of this group. But she proved that her thick frame is healthy as she got shortlisted in Sports.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Alba Marie Blair. She’s a pretty porcelain-skinned lass, which is actually atypical of the people from this Caribbean nation. Those looks helped her make the Top 40 in Top Model, but her strong interview skills may also give her a slot in the Top 40.
GHANA – Rebecca Nana Adjowa Kwabi. She’s “exotic”, though the British tend to prefer those from the Caribbean than her. She’s a good communicator, but other than that, she has not made any impact.
PHILIPPINES – Michelle Marquez Dee. Being the daughter of Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez and cousin of Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 Winwyn Marquez she has a tall order achieving the lofty achievements as dictated by her pedigree Anyway, though her speaking style may seem too low-key to the point that a casual listener may think she’s boring, it turns out there’s depth and strength of content in what she says and when you’re drawn in, you’ll be hooked. She’s the clear winner of this group, and she secured her slot beating TURKEY in the second round. She can make a play for the Top 12–though INDIA seems very formidable, she can still pull up an upset and maybe make a play for the crown.
RWANDA – Meghan Nimwiza. She is notable for her passion for agriculture. She’s a good communicator, but she has not shortlisted in any fast-track event, and there are more compelling Africans out there.
CAMBODIA – Vy Sreyvin. She’s cute but obviously not as prepared, as she doesn’t have an introduction video. It also doesn’t help she couldn’t speak English (and no one in production bothered to provide subtitles). .
MAURITIUS – Urvashi Devi Gooriah. Though to my eyes, she’s prettier than her predecessor, I don’t think she’ll make the same Top 12 impact like her predecessor.
MONTENEGRO – Mirjana Muratović. I find her features angular, but the people on hand running Top Model took a liking to her to make Top 40 in Top Model. At least she’ll have that as her highlight.
UGANDA – Oliva Nakakande. She’s as exotically striking with strong communication skills that she’s a great follow-up to her predecessor, who made a big breakthrough by becoming Africa’s Continental Queen. It seems she is in a rivalry with NIGERIA for this year’s Miss World – Africa title, with the latter having the upper hand. Still, she made a major splash placing 5th in Top Model, getting shortlisted in Sports as part of the Blue team, and winning this group. Yes, she’s beaten my MEXICO in the second round but she still seems a shoo-in for the Top 40 with a possible Top 12 finish.
VIETNAM – Lương Thùy Linh. She made a prominent splash placing 2nd in Top Model and Top 10 with her BWAP project building a road to connect remote mountain villages to more developed towns. She communicates her project well so a Top 40 placement is strong with a possible play for the Top 12.
ANGOLA – Brezana da Costa. She’s good looking and made the shortlist in Sports. That will probably be her highlight as she couldn’t keep up with the likes of NIGERIA and UGANDA.
BANGLADESH – Rafah Nanjeba Torsa. She’s the winner of this group as she’s clearly the best communicator in this group. It’s unfortunate she was then pitted against INDIA in the second round, so she couldn’t secure a Top 40 slot unless she shone in interview.
ETHIOPIA – Feven Gebreslassie. She’s your typical Ethiopian contestant–very pretty but a weak, tentative communicator. She also doesn’t have an introduction video.
KYRGYZSTAN – Ekaterina Zabolotnova. See ANGOLA, and she couldn’t really speak English unlike what her introduction video seems to suggest.
SENEGAL – Alberta Diatta. She was one of the very last to arrive and it’s possible her late arrival may have prevented her from making the Top Model shortlist as she has the looks for it.
COMING UP: THE “FEARFUL” FORECAST