Miss Universe 2018: TGPC’s Final Hotpicks

There are battles going on in groups of fans every now and then, comparing Miss Universe and Miss World. But the fact is that Miss World has never managed to engage it’s followers prior to the finals, the way Miss Universe does. Miss Universe is the most entertaining pageant in the world and there is no doubt about it. Having followed the pageant for more than a decade, our experts have a good understanding about the way it works and in recent years, we have successfully predicted winners, except in 2015 when Pia was 2nd on our list.

Check out our favorites for Evening gown competition

Check out our favorites for National costumes

Check out our favorites for Portrait shots

Here are the choices of our experts for Miss Universe 2018.

Top 20 Placements

20: Great Britain

Great Britain didn’t particularly shine in the prelims. However, she has a good profile considering her achievements in sports and more importantly, Europe is a weak zone!

19: Spain

Spain is certainly one of the most popular delegates this year. She has been in news almost always. Her prelims performance was decent. Her speaking skills, controversy around her and again, the weakness of Europe as a region will help her place. First transgender contestant can very well become the first transgender semi-finalist too!

18: Malta

Malta pulled off an above-average performance in the prelims. Europe is a weak region and we feel this might just help the country in achieving it’s first ever placement in Miss Universe. In fact, it can be the first ever placement in any major international pageant apart from Miss World.

17: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan gave a good performance in the prelims. That walk, the confidence and overall energy were good! She is putting her best foot forward and may end up getting the first Miss Universe placement for the country! Again, the weakness of Europe as a region can help her chances. (The country falls in Europe as well as Asia.)

16: Mexico

We are disappointed with Mexico. She isn’t in her best shape and her gown choice didn’t flatter us either. However, she has the face and we believe her personality will also help her at least place.

15: Curacao

Best thing about Miss Universe is that even countries with weak sashes get chances to shine out if they pick the right girls. This has been true for Curacao in past and it can be true again this year. Curacao has done a good job in the prelims.

14: Ireland

Ireland is the best girl from Europe when it comes to performance in the prelims. She has a sorted walk, good confidence levels and nice stage presence.

13: Japan

Japan is one of the less popular girls (among global fans) in our list and we are okay with that. She did a nice job in the prelims and, has the beauty and aura to do well overall.

12: Indonesia

Indonesia performs when it matters and this year is no exception. Every year when the pageant begins, some fans don’t leave a chance to say that this year Indonesia will not place but often they end up eating their words. This has happened a lot in recent years and may happen this year too.

11: Thailand

Anyone who followed Miss Universe 2005 can say what a shocker it was to see Thailand out of Top 15. She was given Best in National Costume and it looked like a consolation prize. This year we don’t expect the same to happen. Thailand is now considered among the pageant-crazy countries and this was clear during the prelims. Miss Thailand received huge applause the moment she appeared on the stage. She gave a decent performance overall, has a good profile and speaks really well.

Top 10 Placements

10: USA

Fine, we accept that she was just average in the prelims. But she speaks well and the first cut from Top 20 to Top 10 is based on speech. She has perhaps the strongest sash of the pageant, along with Thailand. And of course, it seems she is being unnecessarily dragged in controversies and the history proves that Miss Universe has often gave attention to controversial beauties.

9: Barbados

Barbados is probably one of our unpopular (among global fans) choices but we can’t do injustice to her strong performance in the prelims. She was a delight to watch in both rounds.

8: Nigeria

We loved this girl in the prelims. She did really well in both rounds and we feel she can repeat what Agbani did in 2001.

7: Venezuela

Now she doesn’t have many fans. As per rumors, even the national director isn’t really helping her out. But still, Venezuela did well in the prelims and seems to be a strong lady.

6: Ecuador

Ecuador is tall, striking. The ones present in Thailand praise her physical beauty a lot. She did well in the prelims and we feel she will be up there in the finals too!

Top 5 Placements

4th Runner-up: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico did well in the prelims, if not outstanding. We still hope she can glide through the two major cuts and place high in the finals. She has always been among the major favorites of the contest.

3rd Runner-up: South Africa

South Africa created a huge buzz the moment she was crowned as Miss Universe South Africa. She has the looks and the profile. She speaks well. But then she looked a little dull (energy-wise) at moments in prelims. We hope she ramps up her game and does well in finals! She is still in our eyes one of the top delegates of the year.

2nd Runner-up: Philippines

People are going gaga about her turn in the swimsuit round and we liked it too. She did a nice job in evening gown. She is from the pageant-crazy country Philippines and of course has a Top 5 placement at Miss World in her CV. She is a strong girl overall and it makes sense for any pageant organization to seriously consider her for the winner spot. Choosing her can ensure full-on attention to the pageant for the rest of the year. But then again, Catriona isn’t flawless and she isn’t really standing out the way Demi-Leigh or even Pia did.

1st Runner-up: Canada

Canada won in 2005 when the pageant happened in Thailand. But that is of course not the reason why we put her at this high spot. She has the beauty and the glamour quotient that a Miss Universe must have. She did a great job in the prelims and speaks well too. We don’t see her out of Top 5.

Winner: India

When Sushmita Sen won in 1994, she wasn’t a favorite from day 1. Gradually she won her place in the hearts of everyone. This girl, Nehal seems to be doing the same. Her national pageant victory was well-covered among global pageant fans and she was rather received positively. However, she didn’t make much noise in Miss Universe 2018 until the national costume competition where she was identified as a star for her performance on the stage. She re-affirmed her stardom in the prelims where she did an outstanding job in both rounds. She walks like a dream, has an amazing stage presence and of course is totally ready for the crown in every possible way. Her story, her profile and her confident communication skills have been admired by many over the past few weeks. We see her as a perfect symbol for the tag “Confidently Beautiful” and we are not the only ones because many pageant followers have her at their 1st spots too!

Close-shots: Vietnam, Australia, Namibia, Bolivia, Cambodia

Don’t agree with our choices? OKAY! We are not looking for our clones. Sameness isn’t fun. Let’s hope the best one wins! 🙂

Images: Miss Universe