Sunday, January 25, 2015

Miss Universe 2014 Review: Norway - Serbia

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

Norway: Elise Dalby **

Elise has a very interesting look but I think it's a look that's better suited for a catwalk than a beauty pageant. She is super tall, so she stands out. Her swimsuit performance was much better than her gown performance.

Panama: Yomatzy Hazlewood *

Yomatzy has overcome many hardships in her life to reach this point. She should be congratulated for making her dreams come true!

Paraguay: Sally Jara **

I liked her when she won her national pageant and had my eyes on her when she arrived. She looked really strong when she got there. Then came the preliminaries and WHAT ON EARTH was that gown? That's pretty much messing up your own chances. It's a pity because her swimsuit performance was great.

Peru: Jimena Espinoza ***

Miss Peru was never on my radar until the preliminaries. She was really impressive that night and I loved her in gown and swimsuit. Now I won't be surprised to see her name called out on Sunday night.

Philippines: Mary Jean Lastimosa ******

The Philippines is long overdue for a crown and this might be the year they get it. I am  not her biggest fan - I much preferred Venus, Shamcey, and Janine. However, you can't deny that Mary Jean will be fighting for the crown. She's worked hard and transformed herself (with a "bit" of help) into a formidable competitor. The MUO needs to keep their loyal fan base in the Philippines happy. Will MJ take it all tomorrow night? I will be happy for my Filipino friends, but I won't be jumping for joy! I want a Megan Young type of beauty to win the crown for them.

Poland: Marcela Chmielowska **

Marcela was quite solid during the entire competition. I just don't think she was that spectacular. But in the year where there are so many hits and misses, at least that's a great achievement. I do think she has a gorgeous face.

Portugal: Patricia Da Silva *

Portugal was actually a nice surprise. She was totally better than I expected. Will that be enough? I doubt it!

Puerto Rico: Gabriela Berrios ***

Never count Puerto Rico out, but I must say that they have been on a downward spiral. Where are the stunners of yesteryear? Gabriela did a solid job during the preliminaries and she did give it her all. I enjoyed her gown performance.

Russia: Yulia Alipova ****

There are times when I think Yulia is absolutely stunning, like in the preliminary competition. But then other times, I just find her beauty a bit harsh and plastic. She also doesn't exactly radiate warmth, so I am not really that impressed... but Russia has been loyal to the MUO, so she could be up there.

Serbia: Andjelka Tomasevic *****

Andjelka is one of the most gorgeous girls in this year's pagant and I have been a fan for a long time. I knew she would make an impact, and she did... then came the preliminaries. I expected so much more from her, so I was left disappointed. It almost looked like she thought this was another rehearsal. Still, based on beauty alone, she should be up there.



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