RESULTS REACTION: 12TH MISTER INTERNATIONAL

I’m pleased with the results of this year’s Mister International.  I got 13 of the Top 16 correct, with two of them in my “Bubbling Under” list, plus six of the Top 10 and three of the Top Five.  I didn’t make a Top Three forecast, but I would’ve gotten two of the three correct.  Even if I pat myself in the back for a generally good record, there were a few surprises…

First, out of my radar was Netherlands (Jeremy Lensink), as he has a plain face and one of the least defined physiques in this batch.  But reportedly his outgoing personality (he happened to win Mister Congeniality) and strong interview helped him secure a slot over arguably hansomer choices…

 

Headscratcher: Netherlands’ Jeremy Lensink

As the host Michael Bristol was getting the crowd pumped up as he announced the Top 16, the host contestant from Myanmar (John Ko Ko) presumed his country was already announced when Michael was simply addressing the audience as the country. It was the only major gaffe of the night. Though I thought there would be a token slot set out for him, I’m actually glad merit prevailed and he didn’t make it.

Merit prevailed: Non-finalist Myanmar (John Ko Ko)

There is one clear winner of the Lucas Malvacini award, and it’s gone to the country where Lucas is from, Brazil (Leonardo Nobre).  There are people who felt he lacked spark that is why he missed the cut.  At least he got the consolation of winning Mister Photogenic.

Lucas Malvacini Award: Brazil (Leonardo Nobre)

I was expecting the “Little-Cutie-That-Could” honor would go to Singapore (Marvin Soh), but instead, they went a bit on the scruffier route, and it’s actually a great choice–the honer went to Nicaragua (Elvis Murillo) instead, whose scruffy handsomeness and rippled body are too undeniable.  Elvis delivered an auspicious debut for his country in this pageant as he made as far as Top 10.

Little-Cutie-That-Could: Nicaragua (Elvis Murillo)

I was expecting Lebanon (Michael Khoury) and Spain (Ruben Castilleros) to make a play for the Top Five, but they failed to advance to the Top Ten.  I did notice Lebanon tends to be subdued and reticent and I have a feeling those prominent limb tattoos on Spain proved to be not to the judges’ liking.

From front-runners to mere Top 16 finishers: Lebanon (Michael Khoury) and Spain (Ruben Castilleros)

Exceeding most forecasts is Japan (Taizan Matsuura)–I pegged him as a “Bubbling Under” choice but he went far into the Top 10.  I admittedly found him plain at first, but I’m starting to appreciate his vaguely Eurasian features and he does have flattering handsome angles.

Exceeding expectations: Japan (Taizan Matsuura)

With Lebanon and Spain blocked from advancing to the Top Ten, this made room for Philippines (Raven Renz Lansangan) and Puerto Rico (Joseph Didier) to advance.  I’m mighty pleased with both their showings.

Welcome Top 10 fi9nishers: Philippines (Raven Renz Lansangan) and Puerto Rico (Joseph Didier)

I’m slightly shocked that the judges shut out Venezuela (Ignacio Milles) out of the Top Five to make way for Vietnam (Minh Trung)–wonder if the white jacket he sported was the cause?  It also seems Venezuela’s loss is Colombia (Manuel Molano)‘s gain as Colombia provided a perfect consolation over the Venezuelan shut-out.  Admittedly I underrated Colombia a bit–I was on the fence on whether I should include him as a front-runner or not as his charisma and spark were undeniable throughout his stay in Myanmar–I should’ve included him as a front-runner instead of Lebanon in hindsight.  Anyway, I’m very glad at Colombia’s high placement, and pleased despite a weak translation the judges get that he delivered an eloquent answer to the question given.

Front-runner swap: Venezuela (Ignacio Milles) and Colombia (Manuel Murillo)

Though there were many observers who noted Korea (Seunghwon Lee) seems relatively subdued, his charisma is so undeniable, and the topical North-South Korea peace talks helped bolster his profile and led to a satisfying and well-deserved win.  Congratulations!

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

Mister International 2018: Korea (Seunghwon Lee)

All images courtesy of Drew Francisco for Missosology

 

12TH MISTER INTERNATIONAL: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

Visiting Mary Chapman School for the Deaf

PERU – Juan Herbert.  There are fans who rave about his handsome face.  But there is an issue as his physique is bulkier and less defined than his peers.  His prospects for advancing in the Top 16 may depend on his ability to play the Siera Bearchell card.

PHILIPPINES – Raven Renz Lansangan.  There are pageant fans and observers at the venue who noted this guy tends to be quiet and reticent.  But I have a feeling when it counts he can turn on the charisma–he registers very well in his photos.  Besides, wasn’t Neil Perez also similarly quiet, and he won the 9th Mister International pageant?  Lookswise he’s one of the strongest guys we fielded in this pageant, and I’m optimistic he’ll make the Top 16.

POLAND – Arkady Zadrozny.  After two boyish, handsome guy, they bring on the manly swarthiness with this guy.  He looks like a shoo-in for the Top 16 and beyond.

PUERTO RICO – Joseph Didier.  With that swimsuit portrait and his penchant for tight pants (like in his national costume), he hands down win the Dino Nicolina award.  He actually has handsomeness and charisma, but I’m a bit concerned that his otherwise fit bod doesn’t have the rippled definition exhibited by his peers, but I’m still hopeful his good looks would be enough for him to secure a slot in the Top 16 and beyond.

SINGAPORE – Marvin Soh.  His face is relatively more attractive than most of his predecessors that he can qualify as a cutie.  He also has a relatively polished presence and an enviably buffed bod.  He’s also one of the shortest guys in this competition, but I have a feeling he’ll take the “Little-Cutie-That-Could” title and secure a Top 16 finish.

SOUTH AFRICA – Dwayne Geldenhuis.  Amongst the contenders of European ethnicity this year this guy is the most polished and he could make a play for the Top Five, or as some fans might believe, even a win.

SPAIN – Ruben Castillero.  Some pageant fans and pundits may be put off by his tattoos on both his arms and his right leg.  But he has one of the most outgoing personalities, a sterling charisma, a superbly rippled bod, and he cuts the most dashing presence in formal wear.  He can make a play for the Top Five and even a possible win, in my opinion.

SWITZERLAND – Alessio Costantini.  After sitting out last year, this representative looks like a great follow-up to 2015 winner (and new dad) Pedro Mendes.  He’s another one who can make a serious play for the Top Five.

THAILAND – Paran Pitijirakun.  I actually find his brown complexion and swarthy features highly appealing but I find it surprising that Thailand fielded this type of guy instead of their traditional clean-shaven Asian types.  He and India are the darkest skinned contestants in this year’s contest, which paints a sad picture of the inherent biases Asian cultures have towards dark skin that this year there are no African contestants and the US is fielding a Latino this time.  Will Asian biases prevail and shut off this guy, or will more open-minded people be able to give this guy a fair shake?

U S A – Nelson Rivera.  He has a boyish Latino handsomeness and possessed one of the beefiest, most rippled physiques in this pageant.  It’s possible this might be the time that this country could make the cut in this pageant.

VENEZUELA – Ignacio Milles.  Amongst the fierce Latino contingent he is the one with the brightest charisma.  He was for me the favorite to win it all in the early goings, but quickly buzz as been focused towards KOREA.  Still, his classic good looks are just too undeniable to ignore that he can still clinch that win.

VIETNAM – Minh Trung.  After KOREA, this is the most charismatic and best looking Asian in this year’s batch (who’s third?  Our countryman, of course).  He can make a play for the Top Ten, with a possibility for the Top Five.

With all 36 contestants accounted for, let me now trot out my leaderboard to see how they all stack up:

TOP CONTENDERS:  KOREA, LEBANON, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, VENEZUELA

SHOO-INS:  BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES, VIETNAM

LIKELIEST:  CHINA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, GUAM, HONG KONG, INDIA, JAPAN, MEXICO, NICARAGUA, POLAND, PUERTO RICO, SINGAPORE, U S A

HOST COUNTRY FACTOR:  MYANMAR

EXCELLENT:  BELGIUM, EL SALVADOR, MALTA, PANAMA, THAILAND

VERY STRONG:  BOLIVIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS, PERU

Now, here’s my “Fearful” forecast:

TOP FIVE:  KOREA, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, VENEZUELA

TOP 10:  BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, INDONESIA, LEBANON, VIETNAM

TOP 16:  MYANMAR, NICARAGUA, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, PUERTO RICO, SINGAPORE

BUBBLING UNDER:  CHINA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, GUAM, HONG KONG, INDIA, JAPAN, MEXICO, U S A

STRIKING DISTANCE:  BELGIUM, EL SALVADOR, MALTA, PANAMA, THAILAND

It’s nice to see at least these guys get to enjoy the sights Myanmar has to offer and even do some charity work on the side.  I wonder if Myanmar will deliver a great show tonight.  Anyway, it looks like it’s either the K-Pop charisma of KOREA (Seunghwon Lee) or the classical handsomeness of VENEZUELA (Ignacio Milles) for the win, with LEBANON (Michael Khoury), SOUTH AFRICA (Dwayne Geldenhuis), SPAIN (Ruben Castillero) and SWITZERLAND (Alessio Costantini) nipping at their heels.  Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds tonight.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

Who will win? Korea (Seunghwon Lee) vs Venezuela (Ignacio Milles)
Other possible winners (top to bottom, left to right): Lebanon (Michael Khoury), South Africa (Dwayne Geldenhuis), Spain (Alberto Castillano) and Switzerland (Alessio Costantino)

All images courtesy of Drew Francisco and Ameer Gamama for Missosology.

 

12TH MISTER INTERNATIONAL: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (PART 2)

Visiting Mandalay.

INDIA – Dharasing Kurana.  He does have a swarthy charisma to make a play for the Top 16, but for me, it’s not a sure thing he can sustain last year’s strong finish.

INDONESIA – Alvalina Kasenda.  He has an Asian boy-next-door charisma about him to accompany his superbly chiseled body.  He can make his nation recover from last year’s rare non-semifinalist placement.

JAPAN – Taizen Matsuura.  Though I’m on the fence regarding his facial handsomeness, he does have a super buffed bod and polish to make the cut, though he doesn’t quite have Masaya Yamagishi‘s sex appeal and charisma to equal his first runner-up showing.

KOREA – Seunghwan Lee.  Many people are buzzing about him being the favorite to win and I can see why–this guy possesses the charisma of a K-Pop or K-Drama idol, and he has an enviably beefy buffed bod to boot.  Especially with a racial slur incident directed at him by Mexico and Dominican Republic, there is a sympathy factor at play here too.

LEBANON – Michael Khouri.  He is of the same high caliber as his stellar predecessors ahead of him.  He offers a less swarthy version of Lebanese handsomeness.  Though I don’t think he’ll duplicate his predecessor’s win, he looks like a lock for the Top Five.

I have to note that the reigning winner, Paul Iskandar, will not make it to hand over his title to his successor, as there were issues with scheduling and visa arrangements.

MALTA – Malcolm Camilleri.  He has swarthy smoldering features and a rippled bodybuilder’s bod.  So it’s a tad jarring to hear his light voice, and compound the fact that this pageant rarely goes for bodybuilder types, I’m not bullish on his prospects making the Top 16.  Insiders do report he has a very pleasant personality, which some observers would say cannot be said about…

MEXICO – Armando Osuna.  He actually has the looks and the bod to be a shoo-in for the Top 16 and beyond.  But an incident during the swimsuit shoot may have put a spanner in the works, as he (and instigated Dominican Republic to do the same) stretched his eyelids to approximate the look of Asian people, like the way the Spanish basketball team did prior to flying to the Beijing Olympics ten years ago.  There were also other reports of “politically incorrect” behavior from him that perhaps his chances of making te cut may have dimmed, unless he can demonstrate that he doesn’t mean any offense with his gestures.

MYANMAR – John Ko Ko.  For me, the host contestant falls short on the charisma department, but there might be a slot assured for him for the mere fact his country’s hosting.

NEPAL – Sajid Alam.  See BOLIVIA, albeit he didn’t see action in any international pageant prior to this.

NETHERLANDS – Jeremy Lensink.  Like most Dutch men, he’s tall, but he’s unlikely to duplicate his predecessor’s Top Six finish last year as he doesn’t quite have the handsomeness or charisma.  It is interesting though that he looks kinda Asian–does he have an Indonesian mother, perhaps?

NICARAGUA – Elvis Murillo.  This country is rarely buzzed about in pageants, but this year it can pull off a sleeper success with this swarthily sexy fellow.

PANAMA – Husam Ahmad.  He can be classified as handsome, but he seems less polished than the ferocious Latino contenders in this year’s group–for instance, his national costume is basically his country’s football uniform.  Some fans may also find his tattoos a tad off-putting, but well, we have to face it that the majority of millennials would have some kind of skin art on their bodies.

All images courtesy of Drew Francisco and Ameer Gamama for Missosology.

COMING UP:  PERU to VIETNAM plus the “FEARFUL” FORECAST