Miss Earth 2014: My fearless predictions

PicMonkey Collage

The 14th installment of the annual Miss Earth beauty pageant saw 85 contestants vying to become the next ambassador for environmental awareness and conservation. This year’s batch of Miss Earth contestants will surely go down in history as one of the most competitive, as there really is no single front-runner.

Aside from the usual swimsuit, resorts wear and evening gown competitions, the ladies also promoted the pageant’s earthly causes. But before Alyz Henrich of Venezuela crowns her successor, here’s a rundown of my best bets for the crown:

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Gold, Best Teacher
Gold, Talent

16: US VIRGIN ISLANDS Esonica Veira has joined a number of local and international teen pageants, but her first taste of Big 4 pageant was in 2011 when she finished as a Top 15 semifinalist in Miss World. Two years after she placed 4th runner-up in Miss Supranational 2013. Now in Miss Earth, Esonica has humbly made her presence felt through her exotic charm and elegance.

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Silver, Swimsuit
Bronze, Cocktail Wear
Bronze, Evening Gown

15: ZAMBIA I have to admit I was never a fan of Cartier Zagorski, but I just couldn’t deny she performed pretty well in the competition. She managed to win medals despite those tacky outfits, but when she starts to talk, you couldn’t help but listen. This girl has charisma!

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Gold, Swimsuit

14: COLOMBIA Alejandra Villafañe for me is underappreciated in the competition. She was taking the backseat at the start but made a mark during the swimsuit competition. Not the best face, but definitely knowledgeable about Miss Earth’s causes. Another one to keep an eye out for possible surprises.

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Silver, National Costume

13: CHILE Many thinks she is overrated, but I find Catalina Caceres an underrated beauty. This girl can walk and definitely can talk. She might have only won one medal, but I have a strong feeling this girl will pull off a surprise in the finale.

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Silver, Resort Wear

12: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Would you believe that Mayte Brito didn’t aspire to become a beauty queen when she was a kid? It was only when she was 18 that she decided to try her luck in pageants. Four years after, she joined Miss World Dominican Republic and won the Miss Earth DR title. She was expected to compete next year but her predecessor Cheryl Ortega decided to withdraw to focus on her studies. With Mayte’s good presentation skills and her winning smile, we might just see a victory from her.

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Silver, Resort Wear
Silver, Swimsuit
Top 10, Eco-Beauty Video

11: BOLIVIA My sentimental favorite! I was so glad Eloisa Gutierrez finally got noticed in two events where she got to show off her strength: her HOT body! She may not be perfectly pretty but she knows how to work her angles. Aside from that, she is a diva on stage. Would love to see her break past the Top 16.

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Gold, Evening Gown
Gold, Best Teacher

10: BRAZIL Leticia Silva has been modeling for 9 years now, so no wonder she carried that red dress with ease during the evening gown competition. But her beauty, for me, is bordering boring and lacking in spark. However, Brazil seems to have mastered the art of placing in Miss Earth so still expect her to be in.

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Bronze, Darling of the Press
Bronze, Cocktail Wear
Bronze, Resort Wear
Top 10, Eco-Beauty Video

9: PUERTO RICO She joined the Miss Mundo Puerto Rico pageant twice, in 2013 and 2014, but ended up as first runner-up in both editions. But this year, the runner-up gets sent to Miss Earth, giving Franceska Toro the chance to showcase what she’s got on the international level. Her commanding presence and charisma adds to her good chances at finally bringing Puerto Rico back to the Miss Earth semis.

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Gold, Swimsuit
Gold, Cocktail Wear
Silver, Resort Wear
Top 10, Eco-Beauty Video

8: THAILAND It seems Sasi Sintawee’s pageant training in the Philippines has paid off because this girl’s presentation skills really improved from her Miss Grand Thailand stint. I’m not a fan of her heavy make-up, so it was refreshing to see her photo during the no make-up judging. She is not facially perfect, but her bubbly personality makes up for that.

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Gold, Cocktail Wear
Gold, Resort Wear
Silver, Best Teacher

7: PARAGUAY “Beautiful without trying” is the best phrase to describe Sendy Cáceres. She might have a weak sash, but she shouldn’t be ignored given her good performance in the activities. With that fit body, pretty face and sweet personality, she could pull off upsets come finals night.

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Silver, Darling of the Press
Silver, Cocktail Wear
Silver, Evening Gown
Silver, National Costume
Bronze, Resort Wear

6: VENEZUELA Despite having only barely a week to prepare for the pageant, Maira Alexandra Rodriguez is a threat in the competition with five medals under her belt. Venezuela has placed in the Top 4 seven times in the last nine years and it looks like the streak will continue. However, I think Maira lacks the star appeal that her predecessors had.

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Gold, Evening Gown
Silver, Miss Photogenic
Silver, National Costume
Bronze, Swimsuit
Top 10, Eco-Beauty Video

5: INDIA After winning the crown in 2010, India has not made the cut despite sending stunning and well-prepared candidates. This year, Alankrita Sahai is ready to end the drought. She is the complete package and is very eloquent. It would be a crime to waste this Indian beauty!

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Gold, Evening Gown
Silver, National Costume
Bronze, Cocktail Wear
Top 10, Eco-Beauty Video

Miss Fire: RUSSIA Anastasia Trusova is peaking at the right time and who knows, we might just see that crown on her head on Saturday night! I have to admit that I underestimated this girl but she has proven her worth throughout the competition. Her styling and wardrobe are good, no wonder she bagged the gold in evening gown. She seems well-versed in ME causes, too. Definitely she’s a top four material.

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Gold, Resort Wear
Silver, Best Teacher
Silver, Swimsuit
Bronze, Evening Gown

Miss Water: USA Prior to joining Miss Earth, Andrea Neu represented the country in Miss International 2013 where she placed in the Top 15. I was never a fan of her beauty but she keeps on proving me wrong each segment of the Miss Earth competition. Winning a number of medals are proof that Andrea is definitely one of the best girls in the batch. This lady definitely deserves to give the USA its best placement in ME yet.

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Gold, Swimsuit
Gold, Resort Wear
Silver, Evening Gown
Bronze, National Costume

Miss Air: SPAIN Zaira Bas is one of the best bets to win the Miss Earth title, and this is no surprise as she is a “total performer”. She has the best balance for a pageant contestant. She has a naturally beautiful face and a to-die-for body. But the understated elegance that she exudes is what makes her standout from the rest of the girls.

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Gold, Darling of the Press
Gold, Cocktail Wear
Silver, National Costume

MISS EARTH 2014: PHILIPPINES As the host delegate, you always have to prove you deserve to make it as one of the semifinalists without the news being met with raised eyebrows. But Jamie Herrell for sure will make it on her own merits. She might have not won medals in swimsuit and evening gown (she was sick at that time) competitions, but those are no indication that Jamie has lost her luster. She is already working hard as the reigning Miss Philippines Earth, especially in promoting the “Think Twice” campaign that encourages people to find alternatives to protect and help Mother Nature. I seldom put Miss Philippines as my winner (except for Megan Young who was the obvious choice in Miss World last year), but this time, I’m following my gut feeling. Jamie is the prettiest Miss Earth delegate the Philippines had since 2009. In my opinion the time is ripe for another ME title for the country.

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