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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Miss Universe 2015 Review: Albania - Curacao

The 64th Miss Universe will be crowned on December 20 at the Axis Theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. This is the first edition under the ownership of WME/IMG and the pageant is being shown on FOX for the first time. 80 delegate from around the world will vie for the chance of being crowned Miss Universe 2014 by outgoing queen Paulina Vega from Colombia.
After following the events in Vegas for the last couple of weeks, here are my thoughts:

****** Potential winner of Miss Universe 
***** Potential top 5 finalist 
**** Potential top 10 semi-finalist 
*** Potential top 15 quarter-finalist
**   Unlikely to place 
*     Highly unlikely to place 


Albania: Megi Luka ***

Megi is young and fresh and might fit the new look the new owners of the Miss Universe Organization might want to go for. Her beauty does not fit the traditional beauty queen mold at all, so I’d be surprise to seer win, but no one is completely certain what they are looking for. She’s definitely photogenic and has the fashion model look, so if high fashion is what they are going after, then expect her to do well.
PRELIMINARIES: I thought she was quite solid. Horrendous swimsuit and looked a bit sleepy, but stunning in gown. 

Angola: Whitney Shikongo *

Her parents named her Whitney Houston Shikongo. Well, it seems like they were huge fans of the late singer or they hoped that she would achieve mega stardom. Angola has sent stronger delegates in the past, so I’m not anticipating another Miss Universe title for them.
PRELIMINARIES: Better than I thought she was, but still not strong enough to place. 

Argentina: Claudia Barrionueva ***

Claudia has an interesting look, but this is a very competitive year at Miss Universe. She was a worthy representative for her country, but it will be hard to follow in her predecessor’s footsteps.
PRELIMINARIES: Lovely surprise. Two solid performances, especially her sizzling swimsuit performance. 

Aruba: Alysha Boekhoudt *

There are so many extraordinarily beautiful women competing for this year’s Miss Universe title, that Alysha appeared to be one of the weaker links. Kudos to her for representing her country with pride though.
PRELIMINARIES: Not this year. 

Australia: Monica Radulovic ******

Monica is really beautiful, even though perhaps not the most gorgeous girl in the group, there’s something magnetic about her. She has that Jennifer Hawkins glow that could take her very far in this competition. I think she will put Australia back in the top 5. She has the looks, the vibrance, and the personality. Australia might get another Miss Universe this year.
PRELIMINARIES: Very very strong. Loved her in swimsuit. Wasn't crazy about her evening gown look. 

Austria: Amina Dagi ****

I almost did not recognize Amina. She has improved so much since her stint at Miss World 2012. She is older, more experienced and sexier. I would say that she is the best delegate that Austria has sent in a very long time. Let’s hope Austria gets a nod, because it would be lovely to see them do well at Miss Universe.
PRELIMINARIES: Loved her. Thought she did really well in both rounds. 

Bahamas: Toriah Nicole **

I am pretty much hot and cold with Toriah. At time, I think that she just can’t match some of the other delegates in terms of sheer beauty, but then I find her look so interesting and compelling that I can’t help but wonder if the new owners will appreciate her unique, modelesque look. The results this year will be telling about the direction the Miss Universe Organization is going in.
PRELIMINARIES: Very interesting look. 

Belgium: Annelies Torros ****

I love Annelies and I think she is the best representative Belgium has sent since 2010. She has one of the prettiest faces of the pageant and I really want her to well. The problem is that Belgium usually sends their delegates with horrendous evening gowns, so I hope styling issues do not keep her out of the top 15.
PRELIMINARIES: One of the most beautiful faces. Love her and want her to do well. 

Bolivia: Romina Rocamonje *

I am not feeling a placing for Bolivia this year. In fact, I would pretty much be floored if they place, because the field is so strong.
PRELIMINARIES: Not this year. 

Brazil: Marthina Brandt ******

Although not traditionally pretty in the doll-like sense of the word, Marthina has sex appeal and a unique beauty and vibrance that will likely take her far in the competition. It’s been quite a while since Brazil has sent a blonde and this time around they have sent one who could just as easily look great on the Victoria Secrets stage as well as the Miss Universe stage.
PRELIMINARIES: What a swimsuit performance. One of my favorites!!! 

British Virgin Islands: Adorya Baly *

At one point, I couldn’t find her photos on the Miss Universe site and it looked like she had withdrawn from the competition. Well, she Is still there, representing her island with pride. There have been reports in some gossip magazines that she was bullied during the pageant, and it would be a real shame if those reports turned out to be true, but I never really trust pageant gossip.
PRELIMINARIES: She gave it her all. 

Bulgaria: Radostina Todorova **

Bulgaria actually fielded a really good-looking contestant who held her own and looked well-groomed and competitive throughout. Radostina represented her country beautifully.
PRELIMINARIES: Pretty girl who destroyed her chances with the aunty hairstyle. 

Canada: Paula Nunez *

Canada has not been able to field delegates who were as competitive as the 2005 and 2006 representatives. Where have all the beauties gone? Paula is OK, but a far cry from the Natalie Glebovas and Alice Panikins that must be somewhere in Canada.
PRELIMINARIES: Not the best year for Canada. 

Cayman Islands: Tonie Chisholm *

I still think the girl who placed second at Miss Cayman Islands would have had a greater shot at making a bit of an impact at this pageant. In this group, Tonie was one of the weaker links.
PRELIMINARIES: Not strong enough. 

Chile: Maria Belen Jerez **

Belen is attractive and have had success in some other pageants, but this is Miss Universe and this year the group is quite strong, so I think she will have to be content with being a worthy representative for her country.
PRELIMINARIES: Pretty

China: Yun Fang Xue **

The Asian group is really strong and competitive. To me, China would be somewhere in the middle of that groups. She is cute, but I don’t think she is strong enough to place in the top 15.
 PRELIMINARIES: Pretty but not strong enough. 

Colombia: Ariadna Gutierrez ******

The reigning Miss Universe, Paulina Vega, brought the Miss Universe crown back to Colombia for the first time in 57 years when she won the title in January. Usually, a back to back is rare, but in this case it is definitely not impossible. Ariadna is very strong and if Paulina did not win the title last (read THIS) year, she would have been the clear winner. She is sexy and stunning and it seems like she has an amazing personality. She just needs to watch her styling to not come across as too harsh. Colombia waited for so long to get their second Miss Universe title, but they might not have to wait long at all to get their third title.
PRELIMINARIES: Might do back to back. Strong all around. 

Costa Rica: Brenda Castro *

Costa Rica was one of the countries that withdrew due to the Trump debacle back in July and after it was announced that the pageant was sold to WME/IMG, they announced their return. Brenda is not really as strong as some of the other ladies out there, so I’d be surprised if she places ahead of the likes of Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and even Argentina or Chile.
PRELIMINARIES: Nope. 

Croatia: Mirta Custan *

Mirta had to step in at the last minute when the original delegate got injured and could not represent her country. She pretty much just had 48 hours to get ready for the Miss Universe Pageant. Kudos to her for pulling that off.
PRELIMINARIES: It was quite evident that she had zero preparation. 

Curacao: Kanisha Sluis ****


I don’t find her drop dead gorgeous, but there is something so appealing about Kanisha that she is climbing higher and higher on my list. She is young and fresh and I would love to see Curacao do well at Miss Universe again. It could go either way for her, but I would not mind seeing her go all the way to the top ten.
PRELIMINARIES: Loved her in swimsuit. Didn't like her hairstyle for evening gown. 

Photos courtesy of Miss Universe Organization! 

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