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Saturday, January 28, 2017

65th Miss Universe Review: British Virgin Islands - Denmark

The 65th Miss Universe Pageant will be remembered as one that brought back much needed glamour and excitement to the pageant. Apart from the fact that the organizers could not manage to have Miss Universe 2016 in that year and the pageant had to be moved to the following year for the second time, having pageant crazy Philippines as a host was a brilliant move. For the first time in years, the girls were treated like stars. The schedule was hectic and several of the 86 delegates fell ill during their stay in the country, but this is the first time in years that the schedule looked like something befitting of Miss Universe. I don't even want to start thinking how hard it will be for them to find a host that can match the Filipino magic... or just a host at all. This year, they also have a competitive group and the as the new owners WME/IMG are trying to move away from the Trump era, expect some surprises. They have changed the format and instead of a top 15, only 12 beauties will survive the first cut. The owners have made it clear that they want a woman of substance and it almost seems that they have taken a look how Julia Morley reinvented the Miss World Pageant. Early Monday morning, the Philippines own Pia Wurtzbach will crown the 65th Miss Universe. Who will she be? After keeping an eye on what was happening in the Philippines for the last two weeks, here are our thoughts:

******* Crown Contender - might be the 65th Miss Universe 
****** Could be a runner-up  
***** Possible top 5 finalist 
**** Could reach the top 9 
*** Could reach the top 12
** Unlikely to survive the first cut 
* Highly unlikely to survive the first cut 

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: Erika Creque * 

Being a delegate at Miss Universe is huge honor, and I do hope Erika made the most of the experience. Her choice of evening gown was really interesting - I have actually never seen anything like it before. Good or bad - it made an impact.

BULGARIA: Violina Ancheva ** 

Violina is a bit of a suprise for me. She was much better than I thought she was going to be. Bulgaria rarely features at Miss Universe, but I felt that she held her own and I commend her for giving it her all and representing her country exceptionally well.

CANADA: Sierra Bearchell *** 

Sierra was the runner-u
p to Miss Supranational 2015 and in this pageant outing, she hit the headlines for a perfect response to body shamers. There's no doubt that she's a well-rounded woman. Whether her shape is appreciated by pageant fans or not, her confidence and sense of self-belief must be commended. She will do well in interview and hitting the headlines for the right reasons might just help her to advance.

CAYMAN ISLANDS - Monyque Brooks * 

Monyque also competed at Miss World in December. I feel that she was more suited for that competition and seemed a bit more out of her depth at Miss Universe.

CHILE: Catalina Cacares ** 

Catalina is really striking, I don't think she's most gorgeous of the bunch, but she does command attention. Her performances during the preliminaries were definitely interesting - could also been read as over the top.

CHINA: Li Zhenying *** 

Zhengying is from Shanghai, the city I currently reside in. I was not sure about her, because I did not notice her as a standout during her time in Manila. She performed better than expected in the preliminaries, and if she had a strong interview, she could be a surprise in the top 12.

COLOMBIA: Andrea Tovar ***** 

Andrea was one of the hottest favorites, if not THE hottest favorite, before the pageant started. She has since faded a bit for me, but the preliminaries proved that she's not just going to give up. This girl is gorgeous and she will fight her way to the top. I liked her in swimsuit and loved her in gown.

COSTA RICA: Carolina Rodriquez ** 

Carolina is beautiful and she gave two solid performances in the preliminaries. In a less competitive year, she would have been in with a shot, but if she makes it this year, I'd feel that she'd be robbing someone of a spot.

CROATIA: Barbara Filipovic ** 

Extremely beautiful... yes. Devoid of stage presence... sadly, also yes. Barbara has one of the most beautiful faces of the group, but at this level, we are expecting so much more. I feel that she could be a bit too raw, still, and if she had waited a few years, she would have been in with a more realistic shot.

CURACAO: Chanelle de Lau ****

I think Chanelle is stunning and just like last year's delegate who made the top 10, she's really strong. She's got the beauty and she seems to have the personality. She was a bit OTT in the preliminaries, so if she does get called, I hope she tones it down a notch or two.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Andrea Bezdekova ** 

Initially, I did not pay much attention to Andrea, but when she came out during the preliminary swimsuit competition, I was surprised. She looked lovely. A poor gown choice must have hurt her chances though.

DENMARK: Christina Mikkelsen ** 

If Denmark sends someone like their Miss Earth delegate, they might be in with a chance. Christina is a lovely young lady, but I feel the competition was too strong for her this year.

Photos courtesy of Miss Universe Organization 

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