Saturday, January 24, 2015

63rd Miss Universe Review: Indonesia - Kosovo

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

Indonesia: Elvira Devinamira ****

I think Elvira is beautiful and she has done even better than last year's delegate who made the top 15. I loved all her professional photos and her preliminary performances were quite good. I thought she was great in swimsuit and had an amazing gown - I just didn't like her hair in the evening gown round. She could go all the way to the top 10 and with a bit of luck even make the top 5.

Ireland: Lisa Madden **

Lisa is definitely sexy and that was what made her stand out during the preliminaries. She's even more telegenic than photogenic and does remind me of Rosanna Purcell who made the cut in 2010. She did a good job during the preliminaries but it also seemed like she didn't really want to be there.

Israel: Doron Matalon **

Miss Israel made the headlines for the selfie controversy. Personally I don't think politics should interfere with beauty pageants but I won't say too much about that. Doron is a pretty girl. She did well in this competition, but I didn't find her preliminary performance spectacular.

Italy: Valentina Bonariva ***

Valentina has been getting a lot of hype after the preliminaries. She did come alive on stage, especially in the swimsuit round. I am still not on this bandwagon though. Her look is a bit too mature for my taste and I find her features sharp.

Jamaica: Kaci Fennell *****

I love Kaci and I think she's a breath of fresh air. Her short hair makes her stand out and she's just naturally gorgeous. I was interested in seeing her during the preliminaries and she didn't disappoint. She gave two very memorable performances and was one of the best on the night. Could Jamaica sail all the way to the top 5?

Japan: Keiko Tsuji **

I wasn't a fan of Keiko when she won her national pageant, but she's come a long way since then. I didn't notice her at first but started doing so during the second week of the competition. She was one of the nice surprises during the preliminaries. I enjoyed her evening gown performance a lot and she looked good in swimsuit too.

Kazakhstan: Aiday Issayeva ***

I have always liked Aiday and was disappointed when she decided not to compete at Miss World. But I think she held her own at Miss Universe. Her two memorable performances in the preliminaries have put her in line to be one of the top 16. I hope she makes the cut.

Kenya: Gaylyne Ayugi *

Many fans have compared Gaylyne to actress Lupita Nyong'o and I can see a slight resemblance. That made her stand out and she looked like she was having fun during the preliminaries. I hope it was a memorable experience.

Korea: Yoo Ye-Bin **

I liked Miss Korea before the start of the pageant and was also quite impressed when I saw her after her arrival in Doral. I especially liked that black gown she wore for the gown photos. I must say that I thought she was a bit blah in the preliminaries, so I don't think she'll make the cut.

Kosovo: Artnesa Krasniqi **

Artnesa is not on the same level as some of their delegates in the past. This year I am quite disappointed by Albania and Kosovo. Just like Albania, she was also pretty inconsistent. She looked great at times and just OK other times. Her preliminary performances were also just average.

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