Placement streak is important, as it establishes the status of a country in pageantry. The franchise-owner can flaunt it as a badge of honor. It shows that the owners are training their girls well and are making their selections deligently. It also speaks a lot about the trainers who are involved. Even the dress-designers can take pride in the same. Of course, the happiest are the fans of these countries! Can there be anything more fun than seeing your girls doing well everytime at this prestigious pageant?! I am just exagerating a bit here, but the point is that it is certainly a matter of pride for the fans. 🙂
This year 5 countries will be competing with the intent of maintaining their hard-earned placement-streaks – Philippines, USA, India, Brazil & Venezuela. Interestingly, all the five girls – Miss India Noyonita Lodh, Miss USA Nia Sanchez, Miss Philippines MJ Lastimosa, Miss Venezuela Migbelis Castellanos & Miss Brazil Melissa Gurgel are top favorites for the crown! Last year the streaks of Australia & France got broken. Only time will tell if these 5 beauties succeed in placing this year.
Philippines is the most successful country at Miss Universe for this decade. The girls from this country are cracking the Top 5 from 4 years in a row. Indo-Pinay beauty Venus Raj started the streak in 2010. Her beautiful body, excellent walk & striking presence helped her find a place in the Top 5. She finished 5th overall. In 2011, Shamcey Supsup again impressed the world with her beautiful face & cobra walk. Her body was quite feminine & her gown was shimmering and beautiful. Overall she finished 4th in the pageant. In 2012, Janine Tugonon came very well prepared and this time demonstrated the “Cobra” walk! Her answer in the final round was very strong; she explained how english need not be mandatory for a Miss Universe winner to do well. She finished as the 1st Runner-up. In 2013, Ara Ariella Arida made the cut through public vote. She topped the swimsuit round. Since the scores of swimsuit & evening gown rounds were combined to select the Top 5, she made the cut. She spoke about the importance of education and how it can help promote employment.
This year’s bet of the country is Mary Jean Lastimosa. She is bright, very fit and well-groomed. The hopes are very high from this beauty. The attention of Miss Universe Organization on the country is very strong. A pinoy judge (Manny Pacquiao), a half-pinoy performer (Enrique Iglesias) & a Pinoy web-presenter (Ara Ariella) will only strengthen the presence of the country in the finals. MJ can make the cut and there are good chances that she will be in the Top 5 too!
The United States of America
The United States of America has missed the cut only 4 times in the history of Miss Universe. One of these was in the year 2010 when Rima Fakih couldn’t place in the Top 15. In 2011 Alyssa Campanella, who was considered a huge favorite for the Miss Universe crown, managed to place in the Top 16. Her face was her biggest weapon. In 2012, Olivia Culpo won the hearts of the Americans by capturing the coveted crown after 15 years. She was a “Jack of all, master of none” kind of beauty who cracked the Top 5 and then won over the judges by her spontaneity. In 2013, Erin Brady cracked the Top 10. She was an intellectual beauty and had she cracked the Top 5, the crown would have been hers.
This year Nia Sanchez is eyeing the crown. She is the owner of a very commercial and gorgeous face. Her body is quite perfect and her personality is stellar. She is for sure a big contender for the Miss Universe 2014 title!
India was a power-house for Miss Universe pageant in the 90’s and early 2000’s. The country seems to be back on track after many changes in the national pageant. In 2012, the country’s long streak of absence from semi-finalists was broken by Shilpa Singh. This engineer made the cut due to her confidence & attitude. Last year Manasi Moghe again made her countrymen happy by placing. She was very charming during the prelims and her placement was expected. She even made it to the Top 10.
This year Noyonita Lodh of Bangalore is battling for the crown. Her unique looks & excellent ramp-skills have already made her a favorite. Pandits from different parts of the world are considering her a big crown-contender.
Brazil is another country which has been cracking the Top 5 since 3 years. The country sends modelesque beauties oozing with sex appeal and having very good bodies. In 2011, Priscila Machado was the home-country delegate and finished as the 2nd runner-up. In 2012, Gabriela Markus was the 4th runner-up. In 2013, Jakelyne Oliveira also finished as the 4th runner-up. She had an excellent body and was TGPC’s choice for “Best Body of the year” at Miss Universe 2013.
Melissa Gurgel of Ceare is representing the country this year. Her excellent cat-walk has already won many fans. She reminds many of Natalia Guimaraes (Miss Universe 2007, 1st Runner-up) due to her sex-appeal & on-stage attitude. She has a very fair chance of continuing Brazil’s success and placing in the Top 5!
After winning Miss Universe twice in a row, the country had a setback in 2010 when Marelisa Gibson failed to place. In 2011, Vanessa Gomez could place only in the Top 15 and for a country like Venezuela, anything less than Top 5 is not enough! In 2012, Irene Vesser brought life back into the hearts of Venezuelans. She was the Top favorite of the crown and she proved everyone why. She performed like a star in the finals. Until the final round, she was the clear winner. However, she bombed her final answer. In spite of that, since the winners are chosen by overall performance, Irene placed 3rd and the crown went to USA. In 2013, Gabriela Isler of Guarico was a silent favorite. She flaunted a very posh gown in the prelims and looked magnificent in the swimsuit. Her placement in Top 16 and then finally in Top 5 was no surprise. In the final round, her confident delivery won the judges and she was chosen as the winner. Everyone will remember the cute moment when the result was announced. Neither Gabriela, nor Patricia (Spain) understood who won. For about 20 seconds, both were confused. Then suddenly Gabriela realised that she won. Her reaction was priceless!
This year Migbelis Castellanos is competing for the second back-to-back of Venezuela. Stefania Fernandes did it in 2009 and proved it that it is not impossible. Migbelis is gorgeous & has everything that one can seek in an internatiaonl beauty pageant winner. Will she succeed in winning? Will Gabriela crown a Miss Venezuela as the Miss Universe? Time will only show!