All the Miss Universe contestants are pretty. Most of them are prepared. Most of them are ambitious and powerful. All of them are national winners. How to stand out in such a pool? One way that sort of works is by having some aspect of you that makes you interesting in a different way. Many believe that a contestant placed in 2002 because of rumors about her being a trans-person. Many believe that Indonesia placed in 2005 largely due to demonstrations in her country against her participation and wearing a swimsuit on stage. Of course, Deshauna Barber and Kara McCullough achieved successes at Miss USA, with major roles played by their academic/occupation backgrounds. Even Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh, who won Miss Universe 2017, was talked a lot about before the pageant due to her kidnapping. Thus, having a back-story or interesting background certainly helps a girl, to gain attention if not placement and it’s important too.
Here are our picks for the 10 most “interesting” contestants of Miss Universe 2019. Of course, these are subjective choices and we have added a bit of clarification to explain our choice.
- Bangladesh – Shirin Shila from Bangladesh is the first Miss Universe Bangladesh winner and the first delegate from her country. She is youthful, tall, striking and is near the top of this list of favorites. She was crowned by Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen, who was also Shirin’s age when she won. She too was tall, striking, youthful and a “Bengali”.
- Belgium – Angelina Pua is a pilot and of Filipina descent. We don’t have many pilots at Miss Universe, do we? And of course being a Filipina-descent beauty will help her gain fans too.
- India – Vartika Singh has a master’s degree in public health and worked as technical advisor in quality assurance for the world bank! Of course, she was also 2nd runner-up at Miss Grand International 2015.
- Sierra Leone – Marie Bangura arrived late for Miss Universe 2018 and had to watch the finals without being a participant. She did not give up and is now a part of Miss Universe 2019 (as a contestant). Certainly a great example while teaching your kids about being on time?
- Puerto Rico – Madison Berrios is active in various social causes and has a long history of pageant participation. She has been runner-up in Miss Florida USA and Miss Florida Teen USA pageants and received a lot of flak when she competed for Miss Puerto Rico. She even admitted not having Spanish as her first language and of course the criticism just grew. She was also a runner-up at Miss Grand International and of course, let’s not forget – Puerto Rico always wins after Thailand hosts Miss Universe! Strengthens the case for Madison.
- Australia – Priya Serrao is a beauty of Indian descent and works as a Policy Advisor for the Victorian government. She has tertiary degrees in Politics, International Studies, and Law!
- Germany – Miriam Rautert can very well play the “body diversity” card like Siera Bearchell. She is a full-time petite model with the campaign #heightisnotanissue.
- Panama – Mehr Eliezer was born in India, brought up in the Philippines and now lives in Panama. She is well-educated and works as an intern at the Americas regional office of the United Nations Office for Project Services. There was a minor controversy when she posted an altered picture of Miss Dominican Republic and removed it immediately with an apology for misunderstanding.
- Iceland – Birta Abiba is the first biracial delegate from Iceland and has already written a novel! She advocates for diversity and cultural awareness being taught in Icelandic schools. She also sports a really cool hairstyle.
- Ireland – Fionnghuala (Fig) O’Reilly is a NASA datanaut and director for NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge. Enough said. Easily an outstanding profile not just for this year but perhaps for the whole decade! This alone should be enough for the judges to consider her for a placement at least.
Of course, being “interesting” by having a story or strong background can only help you find attention. Then it depends on the beauty, presentation skills and personality. Let us see how many of these shine in the finals!
Images: Miss Universe