Sunday, January 29, 2017

65th Miss Universe Review: Sri Lanka - Vietnam

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 

SRI LANKA: Jayathi De Silva * 

Representing your country at the Miss Universe Pageant is a huge honor. I hope Jayathi treasured the experience and will leave the Philippines with new friends and loads of fond memories.

SWEDEN: Ida Ovmar * 

Just like Finland and Norway, Sweden has not been able to compete like in their glory days. Ida's choice of evening gown was very interesting. It did look quite costumey to me. I guess it did make her memorable.

SWITZERLAND: Dijana Cvijetic * 

Dijiana performed better than expected actually and I can see that she gave it her all. Sadly, I still think the competition is too strong. I do have to say that she photographs well and I really liked her glamshot.

TANZANIA: Jihan Dimachk *** 

Jihan was a total surprise to me. Of all the African delegates, I think she's the most gorgeous. She performed well in the preliminaries and her evening gown performance was one of my favorites. If she had a strong interview, she can pull a surprise and place ahead of other favorites like Sierra Leone, South Africa and Kenya.

THAILAND: Chalita Suansane ******* 

Chalita is another girl who can be considered a crown contender. She did her homework and showed up in the Philippines ready to fight for the crown. I can't really fault her on anything she did in the Philippines. If I have to point out one thing that I really didn't like, it would be her evening gown. It did nothing for her and might prevent her from reaching the top 6. I am pretty sure she will change it if she makes it that far.

TURKEY: Tansu Sila Cakir *** 

Tansu has gained more attention than any representative from her country in recent years. (I know they placed in 2012, but that was considered to be a shock.) Her captivating beauty made her stand out from the crowd during her stay in Manila. I do feel that she might be more photogenic than telegenic. Poor styling might also have hurt her chances.

UKRAINE: Alena Spodynyuk ***** 

Alena has a lot of fans out there and there are some fans who consider her to be the European most likely to win. I think she's gorgeous, but I missed some energy and spark from her during the preliminaries. She looked stunning, but I didn't feel that WOW factor. Despite this, I do think she can go far in the competition.

URUGUAY: Magdalena Cohendet *

Magdalena looked like she was having loads of fun on stage during the preliminaries and that is always nice to see. She's facing some tough competition, so I am not expecting a placement for her this year.

USA: Deshauna Barber ***** 

Deshauna's win at Miss USA came as a bit of surprise to many. I won't go into the details of the reaction to her win and IMG's vision for the Miss Universe Pageant. Let's focus on her performance in Manila. I wasn't always blown away by her, but when it came to the preliminaries, she delivered. She was really polished in both rounds. She carries one the, if not THE, strongest sashes at Miss Universe, so I'm expecting her to make it. If she makes it, she should really drop those red earrings if she wears the same gown. They were overkill.

US VIRGIN ISLANDS Carolyn Carter ** 

Carolyn is a pageant veteran. This will be her last pageant, so I hope she had the time of her life. She did well and represented herself and US Virgin Islands really well.

VENEZUELA: Miriam Habach ***** 

We have learned yet again: NEVER COUNT VENEZUELA OUT. So, I think Miriam is really striking, but would I crown her Miss Universe? The answer is no. I want Pia's successor to be someone who I will enjoy following as much as I did in her case. I know everyone went crazy about her evening gown. Revolutionary, yes! But also incredibly gimickey. And if you have to resort to the smoke and mirrors during the preliminaries, it says a lot. Her body is sick though! Just perfect.

VIETNAM: Dang Thi Le Hang *** 

I think Miss Vietnam is really pretty and I think she has a good shot at making the top 13. I wasn't blown away by her in the preliminaries. She was stronger in evening gown than in swimsuit. I thought she looked a bit uncomfortable in the swimsuit round. Well, I guess anyone who must follow Venezuela will be uncomfortable.

Photos: Miss Universe Organization


  1. I loved Sweden's gown it was so different. I am fed up with evening gowns and high heels so 1990's why not call it evening wear then there could be cocktail dresses and smart trouser suits, much more up to date!

  2. When I watched the Preliminaries I was blown away by the transformation by Miss Venezuela and I do see her a strong contender to win. But there are so many like Puerto Rico, Thailand, Brazil, Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia just to name a few who were amazing too!!! The USA lost her spark she had during Miss USA and hopefully if she makes it through the first cut, she will be able to get that spark back!!!