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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Miss Universe 2014 Review: Singapore - Tanzania

The 63rd Miss Universe will be crowned on January 25 in Miami, Florida. 88 young women from all over the world are competing to become the next Miss Universe. The new winner will be crowned by outgoing title holder, Maria Gabriela Isler from Venezuela, with a brand new crown sponsored by DIC. The Miss Universe Organization seems to have hit hard times as they were unable to stage a pageant in 2014. Initially, it was announced that this edition will be Miss Universe 2014 but no one is really sure if there will be another pageant later in the year. The organizers have been tightlipped about this and so far all that is known is that this is the 63rd Miss Universe with no year being mentioned.

There were some protests when it was announced that the Doral government had to spend more than US$2 million to host the pageant. Later they released a statement saying that the funds will not come from the tax payers' pockets but from corporate sponsors instead. The contestants stayed in Miss Universe owner Donald Trump's Doral Gholf Estate and Hotel for the majority of the their time in Doral. The city, which has a large Venezuelan community and is also nicknamed Doralzuela, did not even have a venue large enough to accommodate the finals, so the nearby Florida International University Arena was chosen to host the final. The arena is a far cry from the luxurious venues of the past. Of course, the pageant has not been without controversy. Miss Israel's selfie with Miss Lebanon hit headlines around the world with the Lebanese beauty claiming that the Israeli delegate "photobombed" her. Technically the two countries are still at war.

After a long wait, we will have a new Miss Universe on Sunday. Despite complaints by fans that the quality of the events this year were an all time low, they are just relieved that the pageant will finally take place. Now on to the stars of this year's show, the 88 delegates. After following the pageant for the last couple of weeks, here are our thoughts:

****** Could be the next Miss Universe
***** Potential top 5 finalist, but will probably not win
**** Could go as far as the top 10
*** Could survive the first cut to make the top 15
** Likely to miss the cut
* Highly likely to miss the cut

Singapore: Rathi Menon ***

Rathi is the best Miss Singapore in years. I believe last time Singapore got so much buzz was in 2009. It's really also fantastic to see a different look coming from Singapore. Rathi was styled and trained by the legendary Ines Ligron... and yes, it showed. She had a killer wardrobe and lots of moves on stage. Will her unconventional beauty be appreciated by the Miss Universe judges?

Slovak Republic: Silvia Prochadzkova ****

I think Silvia is absolutely gorgeous. She is tall, sexy, and she commands attention. I was slightly underwhelmed by her preliminary performances, so it will be hit or miss for her. Still hoping to see her survive the first cut.

Slovenia: Urska Bracko *

Urska is unfortunately, for me, one of the weakest links this year. I  hope she had a great experience, but I don't see her making the cut.

South Africa: Ziphozakhe Zokufa ***

Zipho had to step in at the last minute when she had to take over the Miss South Africa title when Rolene Strauss was crowned Miss World in December. She literally had almost no time to prepare and I am amazed by how well she has done. She really embraced the experience and seemed to enjoy her time there. She's a true African queen and I love her voice and accent. I really enjoyed her swimsuit performance and she was elegant in evening gown. I just wish they gave her a better evening gown instead of that white sheet. It's a pity that when Werner Wessels isn't involved, the gowns are usually atrocious. Still I love Zipho and I think she could make it.

Spain: Desiree Cordero ******

Last year they came so close to winning the title, and many fans believe that they will go one step further. Desiree is a stunner and she has competed very strongly. She was amazing in swimsuit and gown, so don't be surprised to see her win the pageant on Sunday.

Sri Lanka: Avanti Page *

Avanti seems like a nice girl but stronger girls from her country have failed to make the cut in recent years.

St. Lucia: Roxanne Didier-Nicholas **

Even though I feel Roxanne is stronger than the typical delegate from her island, I don't see her making the cut. She was better in gown than swimsuit for me, probably because I think she is way too thin.

Sweden: Camilla Hansson **

Camilla kind of got lost in the crowd for me during the competition, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised during the preliminaries. She gave a credible performance during the evening gown road, and her swimsuit performance was quite good.

Switzerland: Zhoe Metthez *

This is the first year for Switzerland under new directorship and Zhoe was handpicked to represent Switzerland at the pageant. I hope their director puts on a show next year and finds a gorgeous Swiss beauty. Zhoe is striking but I don't think we will see Switzerland in the top 15 this year.

Tanzania: Nale Boniface **

Nale was actually the first runner-up to Miss Universe Tanzania and represented her country at Miss Earth 2014. She had to step in when the winner got injured. She did a good job, but I doubt that she will make it.

Photos: www.missuniverse.com

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