This article first appeared on Rappler.
IT’S THAT time of the year again when the most beautiful women in the planet strap on their heels for the worthy cause of preserving and saving Mother Earth.
The 13th edition of Miss Earth is proving to be an exciting season. Aside from the traditional evening wear, national costume and swimsuit competitions, the candidates also engaged in environmental awareness and conservation activities to showcase their knowledge of the organization’s causes.
But before the 89 beauties battle it out on December 7, here is a list of candidates to keep an eye out.
POWERHOUSES. These countries seem to have mastered the art of placing in Miss Earth after dominating the top four in the last two years.
Brazil, Priscilla Martins. This year’s delegate of the winningest country in Miss Earth is proving why Brazil is a force to reckon with in the competition. Early on, she was adjudged second-best in National Costume among delegates from the Americas. But just last night, she won a silver medal in the Swimsuit competition. This didn’t come as a surprise because she’s got a toned and pageant-ready body. She’s well-prepared for this and her Eco-Beauty video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5sxNTysbYI) is a testament to that.
Philippines, Angelee delos Reyes. Her placement in challenge events (Third, Evening Gown; Top 15, Swimsuit; Top 15, Resorts Wear; Second, I Love My Planet Challenge; Third, Most Child Friendly candidates; Second, National Costume; and Third, Miss Photogenic) may be partly attributed for being the host country’s delegate. But it can be safely said that Angelee made it on her own merits. She is good on the ramp. She is always styled well. Simply put, she knows exactly what she is doing.
Venezuela, Alyz Henrich. Alyz has been an early favorite since her crowning as Miss Venezuela Tierra. Winning five awards from pageant sponsors and three medals from challenge events just solidifies her status as a front-runner. Her gold and silver medals in the Evening Gown and Swimsuit competitions are no shocker. She looked very regal in her heavily pailletted silver strapless gown. Also, it can’t be denied she has one of the best bodies in the competition. If the coronation night will be held today, Alyz could win it hands down.
SURPRISES. Underrated, but are proving to be real contenders for the crown.
Ukraine, Anastasia Sukh. Anastasia is the most pleasant surprise in the competition. This serene beauty is cementing a spot in the semis after winning the gold medal during the Swimsuit competition. She also placed second in Resorts Wear competition and was third Most Child Friendly candidate in her group. With a face that could launch a thousand ships and a to-die-for body, there’s no doubt Anastasia is a strong contender for the crown.
Nepal, Rojisha Shahi Thakuri. She’s nowhere to be found in pageant sites’ pre-arrival lists, so Rohisha surprised everyone by snatching a silver medal in the Evening Gown final competition. Her blue mermaid cut gown was bordering pageant patty, but her presentation skills was superb. She was also chosen as one of the Most Child Friendly candidates. More than that, she has good understanding of environmental issues, as proven by her profile in the ME website.
FAVORITES. They are darlings of the pageant aficionados.
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Vera Krneta. Vera is an effortless beauty that exudes so much sweet aura, so it really is disappointing she isn’t excelling in pre-pageant activities. Just when she was about to go unnoticed, Vera was awarded Miss Casino Femme. It’s not over ’til it’s over for this underrated girl.
Costa Rica, Mariela Aparicio. It comes as a surprise that this girl with a sweet face and queenly aura isn’t given much attention. She has a good body, no wonder she made it top the Top 15 of the Swimsuit competition. Mariela may not be heavily favored, but she could also pull off an upset. After all, she was a semifinalist in Miss International 2010.
Serbia, Andjelka Tomasevic. Andjelka is the face of the competition, in my opinion. Her beauty is unassuming. Her shapely body merited her spots in the Top 15 of both the Swimsuit and Resorts Wear competitions. The sophistication that she exudes makes her standout from the rest of the girls. She would definitely be a perfect ambassadress for Miss Earth.
EBONIES. The black beauties are here to prove they are the true warriors of Mother Earth.
Martinique, Rani Charles. She may have not won a single medal so far, but this doesn’t mean Rani’s chances of placing are slim. In fact, she made it to the Top 15 of the Talent and Resorts Wear competitions. Her natural charisma blends well with her winsome smile and positive aura. Her styling needs improvement, but thanks to her presentation skills she was able to give justice to her mediocre evening gown. She may have a weak sash, but that didn’t stop her from becoming the most talked about black delegate this year.
South Africa, Ashanti Mbanga. Two gold medals for Ashanti for the I Love My Planet School Tour Challenge and National Costume competition are enough to prove she shouldn’t be taken lightly. She has rigidly prepared in almost all aspects of the competition. No wonder she was adjudged Best Teacher early on in the competition because she is well-versed in environmental issues. With her impressive communication skills, this girl for sure will ace the interviews. So-called front-runners need to watch out for this girl might give them a run for their monies come coronation night.
AVENGERS. Some of the candidates from these countries were heavy favorites during their time but failed to place.
India, Sobhita Dhulipala. India has failed to make the cut after winning its first Miss Earth crown in 2010. This year, Sobhita is determined to end the drought and it seems she is on the right track. She made it in the the Top 15 of both the Talent and Resorts Wear competitions. She also won Miss Photogenic, after receiving the most number of likes on Facebook. She has one of the best Eco-Beauty videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soIYlozXKeQ) and her environmental advocacy of providing water purifiers in Indian communities with no access to safe drinking water is really commendable. Aside from that she’s a natural charmer and a good speaker.
Thailand, Punika Kulsoontornru. With barely two weeks to prepare for the pageant, Punika is surprisingly very well-rounded. She was awarded Most Child Friendly candidate and was third in National Costume among Asian candidates. She also made it in the Top 15 of the Talent competition, but her biggest moment was when she was named Best in Resorts Wear. Aside from that, she has also bagged three special awards from sponsors. It seems Thailand is ready to win its first Miss Earth crown after surprisingly missing the cut last year after five consecutive placements.