This might not be the strongest batch of Miss Universe in recent years, but there were number of standouts and on the other hand there were few who disappointed me as well. Without further a do, I present to you my final predictions for Miss Universe after watching preliminary competition. In the new WME/IMG format, here are my Top 12 bets!
FRANCE – Iris Mittenaere (Winner)
Iris was a heavy favourite in almost all the pre-arrival pageant prediction lists, but post her arrival she was left out behind. She might have not shone during the pageant activities, but she did shine at the important time of the competition. The moment she entered the stage in her lovely pink Yamamay bikini, she was just flawless from head to toe. Each and everything was on point! She glided the stage and set it on fire with her aura. Then came the evening gown round. I must say a great choice of the gown by Hoang Hai, the lovely mustard color gown which complimented her body so well by showing her beautiful figure. I would definitely give her 9.8/10.
BRAZIL – Raissa Santana (1st Runner-up)
She is the best black girl of the whole competition; she is really the black barbie for me. I was expecting more from her during swimsuit round; so it was where I questioned myself. “Did I really overhyped this girl?” Maybe I expected her to perform better in the swimsuit segment. She played safe. Then came the evening gown segment. Hand’s Down Brazil gives their candidates the most awesome gowns. Raissa’s gown was beyond fabulous! She went for the perfect hairstyle and the makeup to go with it. She slayed it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brazil walks away with the crown as, well, she is deserving.
PHILIPPINES – Maxine Medina (2nd Runner-up)
I salute this girl, the host nation girl! The crowd went gaga over her when she entered the stage. Back to back is not easy, still she excelled under pressure. I didn’t like the hand movements in the swimsuit round, but overall she gave a cute performance. I am sure the judges loved it! The way her gown was “dancing” all around… the lovely emarald green fringes added life to the gown! They added extra grace to the performance and helped her increase the score. I am happy that she will be using interpreter during the interview round. Winning seems improbable, but I would love to see her in the Top 3!
COLOMBIA – Andrea Tovar
Colombian beauties have set the bar high in the last two years. People have had herculean expectations from Andrea, but did she meet them? Till an extent she did. However, we have seen her doing better than her preliminary performances. Her swimsuit performance was one of the best! However, her evening gown performance was let down. The color was life-lifeless! The gown wasn’t my cup of tea. Still her performance in the round was strong.
VENEZUELA – Mariam Habach
Mariam has been doing great since her arrival. She has been winning hearts of the sponsors. She may best girl among the 86 delegates, but I not putting her in Top 3. I don’t see her winning the 8th crown for Venezuela! She will grab a high placement and might even come close to winning the title. She was best in swimsuit and she stole the show in evening gown round. At first glance, I was like “What the hell is she wearing!” And then the magic happened and everyone went wild! Her performance was treat to watch. My only problem is that she might face difficulties in Q/A portion.
THAILAND – Chalita Suansane
Chalita is the best from Asia along with Maxine! I wasn’t happy with her gown choice but she proved me wrong. She knows how to play with the gown. The execution and presentation were impressive. Loved her swimsuit performance too. It was elegant and classy, nothing OTT. My concern is her weak communication skills. Hence I don’t see her winning. She will be using interpreter but she sounds rehearsed. I think she won’t go beyond Top 6 but I would be glad if she proves me wrong by making it to the Top 3 or even winning!
NICARAGUA – Marina Jacoby
Marina is the face of the competition! She can win the Miss Photogenic Award. She walked like a PRO. She nailed the swimsuit segment. In evening gown segment, she wore a beautiful red gown with thigh-high slit (similar to the gown of Nia Sanchez). I loved the presentation – the way she played with the gown while walking.
INDONESIA – Kezia Warouw
Kezia is the lady with best transformation! In Puteri Indonesia, she was shy and diffident. Now she is confident. I didn’t like her choice of swimsuit. She could have chosen something like the bikinis of Misses Thailand and Philippines. She was flawless in the evening gown round. But then she had a bad day. She tripped in the gown and this may affect her scores. It wasn’t her fault, the gown got stuck on the stage. But I do feel that she could have managed the situation more elegantly and shouldn’t have muttered on the stage.
MEXICO – Kristal Silva
Kristal was Top 8 in Miss Earth. She nailed the swimsuit round. I loved her sexy walk and the shimmering silver gown in the evening gown round. Her beautiful national director was sitting in the audience, cheering for her. This added more confidence in her performance I believe!
CURACAO – Chanelle de Lau
Chanelle was a surprise that night! She came from nowhere and owned the stage like a queen! She was never a favorite but came into limelight in the fashion show few days before the presentation show. Her evening gown performance was standout for me. The color was risky but it suited her. The way she worked with the skirt was commendable – full of confidence and no room of error.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Rosalba Garcías
Last year Dominican Republic sent a beautiful angel who couldn’t go beyond the Top 10. Rosalba Garcia is not as good as Clarissa but she did her best in the presentation show. Her gown was a master-piece! I loved the beautiful, classy white gown with beautiful touches of shimmering stones on it. Her walk wasn’t good in the swimsuit round, but her performance in the evening gown round can help place in the semi-finals.
INDIA – Roshmitha Harimurthy
Don’t be surprised to see Roshmitha in the list! I don’t understand why is she neglected. She has been shining in the pageant. She did well in the fashion shows. Expectations from her were high. She played it safe in the swimsuit round. She wasn’t OTT. She didn’t imitate the latinas. She chose to be herself! Her evening gown performance was PERFECT! Thankfully she didn’t go with the tippy-top nude chinese laundry heels. She wore beautiful sandals which complimented her gown well. She wore one of the best gowns in recent years by India in any international pageant. I hope we see more of her performance in the finals. I wish she doesn’t care about the surrounding and allows herself to have fun on the stage. Walk with more confidence, Roshmitha!
ICELAND – Amazing evening gown performance! Weak sash though.
AUSTRALIA – Looked like a Victoria’s Secret Angel during the swimsuit round!
MALAYSIA – Elegant but safe performance. Hope she has done well in interviews!
PANAMA – Loved her in swimsuit round! But she was OTT in evening gown round.
UKRAINE – She can win Miss Photogenic! Loved her gown and the styling! I doubt her communication skills though.
USA – Dissappointing! Such a retrogress from her performance in Miss USA.
NETHERLAND – KENYA – ARUBA – JAPAN – SIERRA LEONE – TURKEY
Author: Daniel DSouza
Images: Social media channels of Miss Universe