THE PREVIOUS year proved victorious for Asia and Oceania in Miss World. Five out of the top 15 semifinalists came from this region. Three of them moved on to the Top 7, with China PR eventually winning the crown.
This year, will Asia and Ocenia dominate the semis again? Will Wenxia Yu crown an Asian successor? Let’s study the possibilities.
Philippines, Megan Young What was once a dream for Filipino pageant fans to see actress-TV host Megan competing in an major beauty pageant has finally came true. She had barely two weeks to prepare, but by merely observing her actions, Megan is prepared for battle. True enough, Megan has been well-received by pageant enthusiasts around the globe. Different pageant sites now put her in their lists as among the girls to beat. In many betting sites ,she joins Misses Brazil and Spain as the top three girls who are most likely to win Miss World. She also ranks second in the Miss World App as of press time.
So far, Megan has only placed in the Top 11 of Beach Fashion but she is among the top favorites to challenge event. (Since 2003, winners of the said fast track event got no less than a semifinalist placement.) The Top Model event is yet to commence, but with her years background as a print and commercial model, she can surely ace this round. Her official Miss World – Philippines Facebook page is also one of the most organized, which in my opinion puts her as a strong contender for the Multimedia Award. Her posts in the all-important Safari tour are comprehensive: she provided videos of the tour, photos and descriptions of the endangered species as well as tips and guidelines on how people can help protect them. With her good communication skills honed by years of TV hosting experience, Megan will also be a good ambassador for Miss World.
A top favorite from the moment she was crowned in her local pageant, Megan is proving that she is indeed “one of the best Miss Philippines ever”, as how pageant guru Ines Ligron tagged her. With a super-beauty like her, the Philippines’ first blue crown is within reach.
Indonesia, Vania Larissa Miss World host delegates in the last six years achieved no less than a Top 5 placement (2007-China, Winner; 2008-South Africa, Top 5; 2009-South Africa, 2nd runner-up; 2010-China, Top 5; 2011-England, 3rd runner-up; and 2012-China, Winner). History proves that homecourt advantage is indeed an advantage in Miss World. And it seems that this year is no exception. Indonesia’s Vania has already made it as finalist in two challenge events. Despite being vilified by pageant fans online for her unshapely body, she was included in the Top 11 of Beach Fashion. Vania’s talent for singing made her win Indonesia’s Got Talent, so it’s no suprise she topped the Talent Finals held last Sunday. (And I must say, it’s no questionable victory. She has a golden voice!) Vania’s Beauty With A Purpose project is with the Elsafan Foundation for the Blind, and I must say, it is one of the most sincere BWAP video I have seen of the candidates.
These challenge events placements are already an indication that Vania will land a spot in teh Top 5. But the question is: will she be crowned Miss World? Will it be a repeat of last year wherein the host delegate won? The MWO for sure won’t risk crowning the homecourt girl AGAIN. But one thing is for sure, 17-year-old Vania is a sure semifinalist. And at this point in the competition, she is the biggest threat.
Australia, Erin Holland From one of the underrated beauties at the start of the competition, Erin is now moving into the spotlight as Miss World nears its finals. Studying voice at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music has paid off, as Erin was adjudged first runner-up in the Talent Finals. She was also chosen together with nine other ladies to talk about their Beauty With A Purpose initiative yesterday. Erin unarguably has one of the most compelling projects. With the help of Miss World Australia organization and her fellow candidates, she was able to raise $120,000 for the Indigenous Australian Outreach Program of the Lilla. She spent a week in central Australia to have a first-hand experience of the life of the aborigines.
China PR, Wei Wei Yu She’ has big shoes to fill, following her predecessor’s victory in Ordos last year. Wei Wei ‘s Top 11 placement in Beach Fashion came as a surprise. She is a downgrade in terms of facial beauty, and is no way near Wenxia Yu’s elegance. But Wei Wei’s greatest weapon in the competition is her BWAP project which was years in the making. In 2011, she volunteered as an art and music teacher in a primary school in the mountains of southwestern China, where she stayed for a few months. Armed with her learnings from her immersion, she made a documentary to draw attention to “the need for more teachers in remote schools”.
Japan, Michiko Tanaka Definitely one of the most beautiful Japanese delegates to have ever graced an international pageant. With her sweet, amiable demeanor, Michiko is hard to ignore. No wonder she made it in the Top 33 of Beach Fashion. Always looking fresh and appropriately dressed, it won’t be surprising to see her make the cut as well in the Top Model event. For her BWAP, she reportedly spent time in earthquake-affected areas in her county. We might see Michiko placing to appease the new license holder for Miss World Japan. But in all fairness, Michiko deserves to place.
India, Navneet Dhillon One of the biggest disappointments in the competition in terms of styling and performance. She hasn’t placed in any of the concluded challenge events. But given her country’s strong sash in Miss World, she shouldn’t be counted out just yet. Besides, she spent her post-crowning days gracing Indian fashion shows. This must’ve prepared her for the Top Model competition.
Hong Kong China, Jacqueline Wong One of the most refreshing, needless to say cutest faces in the pageant. She truly deserves her Top 11 placement in the Talent event.
Malaysia, Melinder Bhullar One of the most eloquent girls in the competition. I’m confident she can ace the interview rounds. But judging from her challenge event performance, It’s gonna be an uphill climb to the semis.
Vietnam, Thảo Lại Hương Last year, she was named queen of Asia Pacific in Miss Supranational, despite not making it to the Top 20. This pageant experience should have given Thảo an advantage, but unfortunately she’s hasn’t placed in any challenge event at the moment. She’s very charming, anyway.
Mongolia, Pagmadulam Sukhbaatar Another pageant veteran, Pagmadulam made it as one of the top 15 semifinalists of 2011 Miss Tourism International, where she was also adjudged Miss Talent. Most of the time, she looks over-accessorized. She should keep the simple, pony-tailed hair look especially in the Top Model competition. In terms of facial beauty, she is miles better than her predecessor.
Nepal, Ishani Shrestha Very underrated beauty, but with a very strong BWAP project. She embarked on Project Smile which aimed to educate people in a remote community about oral hygiene.