Sunday, January 29, 2017

65th Miss Universe Review: Paraguay - Spain

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 

PARAGUAY: Andrea Melgarejo * 

In a strong competition where only 12 (or is it 13) can make it, sometimes just being part of a wonderful experience is an honor. I think Andrea will leave the competition with loads of new friends and wonderful memories.

PERU: Valerie Piazza *** 

Valerie did very well in the competition. It's a tough group to stand out in, but I must say that she held her own. She looked relaxed, confident and radiant. I especially liked her evening gown performance. She might be a surprise inclusion in the top 13.

PHILIPPINES: Maxine Medina ******

There was a lot of pressure on Maxine. For starters, she's from the country of the reigning queen and then she's also the host delegate. I am sure most of you will agree that she handled herself really well and it did not seem like she was fazed by the pressure. She seemed to thrive under the pressure and looked radiant throughout the competition. Her choice of gown was a bit interesting, but she worked it and she just nailed the swimsuit round. I think she can make it on her own merit and can go as far as being a runner-up.

POLAND: Izabella Krzan ** 

Izabella is a striking young woman. Even though she was outshined by a lot of other delegates during her stay in Manila, I do think she made a positive impact during the preliminaries. Her evening gown performance was just lovely. She chose a very flattering gown and it was her best look of the whole competition.

PORTUGAL: Flavio Brito ** 

In a less competitive year, Flavio would have been one to watch. She is really pretty, but at this pageant the field is just way too strong.

PUERTO RICO: Brenda Jiminez ***** 

Brenda is quite underrated actually. Yes, she might not have the wow factor of the top group of factors, but she's extremely well prepared and super polished. She was absolutely flawless during the preliminaries. I'd be happy if she makes it to the top 13 and goes even further than that.

ROMANIA: Teodora Dan * 

Teodora seemed quited raw and it was clear that she was not that comfortable on stage. I hope she enjoyed her time in Manila though and made the most of the experience.

RUSSIA: Yuliana Korolkova ** 

There are many fans who are raving about Yuliana, so I guess I must be missing something. Yes, she is striking and has got an interesting look, but I don't find her to be nearly close to being one of the stronger contenders. She was solid, but definitely not spectacular during the preliminaries.

SIERRA LEONE: Hawa Kamara *** 

This is the first time that Sierra Leone is competing at Miss Universe and they sent the lovely Hawa to be their first ever delegate. She's got the most amazing bone structure and reminds me of Flaviana Matata and Lupita Nyong'o. For the longest time I considered her the African most likely to make it, but I was not sure about preliminary performances. She was quite safe and I wasn't the biggest fan of her gown. I'll still be happy if she makes it, though.

SINGAPORE: Cheryl Chou ** 

It's always nice when Singapore sends a competitive delegate who can hold her own. Cheryl is just that and she looked like a beauty queen throughout her stay in Manila. I do hope that they will keep sending girls like her and train them well.

SLOVAK REPUBLIC: Zuzana Kollarova *** 

Zuzana is absolutely gorgeous. In fact, she's probably one of a few delegates who could be considered beautiful, sexy and smouldering hot. Sadly, she lacked some presence on stage (as the Eastern Europeans tend to do) and her evening gown did not really compliment her at all. If it's based on sheer beauty along, she'll be up there.

SLOVENIA: Lucija Potocnik * 

Slovenian girls tend to fade away at Miss Universe and Lucija also fell into this category. The competition was just too strong for her. I hope she had a great experience though and walks away from this with some friends for life.

SOUTH AFRICA: Ntandoyenkosi Kunene *** 

Ntandoyenkosi is a radiant young women. I would like to commend her for reinventing her look completely from when she competed at Miss World a few weeks ago. She came to Miss Universe with a different look, but the same level of enthusiasm. I think she will score same serious points in the interview round and she gave strong performances in swimsuit and evening gown. Don't be surprised if she gets called into the next round.

SPAIN: Noelia Freire *** 

I didn't take much notice of Noelia during the run-up the preliminaries, but after her preliminary performances, she has joined my very long list of girls who could make it. This year is going to be interesting and I think there will be quite a few surprises in the top 13.

Photos courtesy of Miss Universe Organization!


  1. Although Maxine nailed it in swimsuit, I find her evening gown as one of the least attractive gowns and lacked the sophistication of the gowns like Brazil, Indonesia, France, and Venezuela just to name a few. I hope she changes her gown to something more beautiful and complimentary to her stage presence because I believe her gown is what will hold her back to winning Miss Universe!! Good luck Maxine!!

    But I am most impressed from this list is Miss Puerto Rico.... And Miss Slovak Republic looks so much like Sandra Bullock!!! Tight race here!!!

  2. You say that the MU organisation is trying to move away from the Trump era, but that was said last year and although I love Pia it was the same old lot. Do they tell the judges they are looking for something different? I doubt it, having won an award for being natural inside and out, when we all know they have plastic surgery means Venzeula will be up there. Lots of Latins and Asians, though I'd be happy with Indonesia and 1 or 2 eastern Europeans and Australia, the same old sash factors.

    Oh what joy if the top 6 /3 what ever were totally different, and Sierra Leone would be a great choice. If the MU organisation is going to move forward they need to get rid of Paula and bring new blood in. Just as I feel MW needs to bring in new blood.

    1. I feel that Miss Universe 2015 was the first step on moving away from the Trump era due to the questions that was given in the Top 5 along with the Delegates being able to vote for their winner in the Top 3. However, if I am not mistaken the Miss America Organization was the first to have the eliminated delegates to vote on who they want to win too!!!