65th Miss Universe: Fearless Prediction

We are now at the homestretch of the 65th Miss Universe pageant. After weeks  of exploring the Philippines, doing some charity works, photo shoots and rehearsals, another edition draw to a close on January 30.

It is refreshing to see the Miss Universe pageant outside Las Vegas and the US. This edition has been one of the best in recent years where girls actually got to explore the host country, and take part in various ancillary events including the well-executed fashion shows in Vigan and Davao. Above all, they were surrounded everywhere by the warm reception of the Filipinos, both pageant fans and non-fans alike. That is why the finals at the Mall of Asia Arena is set to be the most festive. And with this year’s batch of beauties, it is going to be one hot finale!

So before Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach takes her final walk in her home country and crowns her successor, here’s my take on who deserves to win the DIC crown and be named the next Miss Universe. All based on what I’ve seen in person, their media interviews and videos available on the net, preliminary competition performance and some gut feel.

Almost there

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AUSTRALIA, Caris Tiivel | I remember standing beside her at the buffet in Conrad the morning after the arrivals. She had minimal make-up on but still looks fresh! Caris has been moving under the radar. She had decent performance in the preliminaries but that evening gown doesn’t offer anything new or extraordinary.

PANAMA, Keity Drennan | In 2011, she was sent to Miss International where she finished 4th runner-up. Now back stronger than ever, Keity has been among the best dressed and most active ladies in the competition. She hasn’t lost the spark and her good prelims performance was proof of her pageant experience.

ARGENTINA, Estefania Bernal | I wasn’t a fan of this beauty during pre-arrivals, but my perception of her changed when I saw her in the flesh. She’s one of the most beautiful candidates in this edition. Despite the not-so-good evening gown during the preliminaries, Estefania’s beauty still shone through.

SOUTH AFRICA, Ntandoyenkosi Kunene | I have always thought Ntandoyenkosi was sent to the wrong pageant while she was in Miss World. After watching her at the Miss Universe prelims, I have to say this is indeed the pageant for her. She gave a solid performance in both rounds of the preliminaries. Her styling was on point, too.

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UKRAINE, Alena Spodynyuk | Alena has the face. Add to that the towering height and regal bearing, it won’t be a surprise to see her make the cut. Her preliminary swimwear performance was underwhelming but I have to say she had the best evening gown in this batch! Her red sequined gown was a showstopper.

ARUBA, Charlene Leslie | As one of the tallest girls in the batch, it wasn’t hard for Leslie to standout. But she always manages to make good impressions with her graceful demeanor and good styling. During the all-important prelims, She sealed the deal with a solid swimwear catwalk and a winning evening gown look.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Sal Garcia | I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan of Sal before the prelims. But she blew me away with her performance. Solid in both rounds, but it was her evening gown that she truly made a mark. Queenly, sophisticated – name it! Sal has become a contender.

The Top 13

USA, Deshauna Barber | Occupying the first of the 13 spots in my list is Deshauna. I have to say she was one of the girls who impressed me at the kick-off event last December. But it was a total turnaround during the arrivals. She was lacking the spark in the events, even looks dry. Her prelims presentation was just okay, although the red gown looked perfect on her. So why is she in the Top 13? Deshauna could bring the house down with her gift of gab.

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INDONESIA, Kezia Warouw | To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with Kezia when she arrived. Nothing really spectacular, even in person, but I have to say the height is truly an advantage. However, the preliminaries was a game-changer. She was very charming on stage despite that little trip during the evening gown segment. Indonesia has been placing in the last three editions and this could be their fourth. But winning the crown? That I’m not sure of.

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PUERTO RICO, Brenda Jimenez | Probably one of the most underrated ladies in the conpetition is Brenda. She’s actually better than some of the hyped candidates and her performance in both the swimwear and evening gown rounds of the prelims prove that. In person, Brenda exudes so much confidence and charm. She was a replacement to the original winner and I must say PR made a good decision.

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COLOMBIA, Andrea Tovar | The pre-arrival favorite from Colombia remains to be among the most anticipated ladies in the pageant. Despite issues and controversies about her attitude, Andrea remains a crowd and media favorite because she truly is one charismatic lady. She wasn’t as “perfect” as she was in her national pageant, but her safe performance during prelims could merit her a placement in the competition.

The Top 9

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FRANCE, Iris Mittenaere | France has been sending topnotch delegates since 2010 and this year is no exception. While Iris was below the radar prior to arrivals, her potential was undeniable. And the prelims was the perfect time for her to bring out her best, and she did with so much bravado. It is also worthy to note her impeccable evening gown.

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SPAIN, Noelia Freire | At the beginning, I have sidelined this lady to just a filler in the competition. But her appearance in each event made me notice her because of her effortless beauty. The preliminaries made Noelia a solid contender for the crown. I absolutely loved her during the swimwear competition with her svelte look. She could have worn a better gown but she graced the stage with pure elegance.

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MEXICO, Kristal Silva | I have to admit, when I saw Kristal in person I doubted her chances of making it. Facially, she wasn’t the most stunning, but her performance throughout the competition was remarkable. While most people went gaga over the other Latinas, Kristal silently but surely gave a flawless performance in the prelims. She’s a pro at this, after all.

The Top 6

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VENEZUELA, Mariam Habach | I wasn’t impressed with Mariam and her transformation prior to arrivals. But as they say, it’s different when you see the girl in the flesh. Her facial features are softer, her beauty very refreshing. Despite rumors about her attitude problems, it’s hard to ignore Mariam. She was the star of the preliminaries! That evening gown presentation was the best in the batch.

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THAILAND, Chalita Suansane | After breaking the drought last year, it looks like the Land of Smiles is set to follow the footsteps of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Chalita is one fine lady worthy of all the hype. From arrivals to preliminaries, her star didn’t dim. She was always at the top of her game, never willing to be overshadowed. And that is a true mark of a queen.

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NICARAGUA, Marina Jacoby | The biggest surprise of the pageant is this beauty from Central America. Marina departed from her country totally unnoticed but arrived in Manila and left an indelible mark. Her look that is not too sweet and not too fierce is refreshing! She gave solid performances in swimsuit and evening gown rounds. It would be a crime to waste her!

The Top 3

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NETHERLANDS, Zoey Ivory | I was a fan of this beauty since the day she was crowned Miss Nederland. And to finally she her in person and compete in Miss Universe was a dream come true. She might be wearing a “weak” sash, but her natural beauty, inimitable charm, towering height and alluring presence make up for it. Her prelims performance was satisfactory, but I’m pretty sure with her gift of gab she could nail her closed-door interview and make the first cut.

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PHILIPPINES, Maxine Medina | I remember telling before that Maxine is lucky to be competing in her home country, because she will have better chances of placing. But I ate my words after seeing her side-by-side the rest if the candidates and literally outshine most of the favorites. Maxine has great stage presence and her winning smile is one of her greatest weapon come finale. All she needs to do is nail her final question. And with an interpreter beside her, the back-to-back victory is within reach.

 

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BRAZIL, Raissa Santana | For the second year in a row, I’m sticking to my pre-arrival favorite. I’ve loved Raissa even before she won Miss Brasil. I loved her even more when I finally saw her in person. Her distinct look and fabulous hair make her a standout, but it is her charming and relatable personality that truly captures people’s hearts. Her prelims performance weren’t as solid at her Miss Brasil performance, it was enough to put her through to the first round. If the MUO is after a girl who embodies femininity, strength and beauty then Raissa is the best choice! Haraya

 

 

 

 

 

 

65th Miss Universe National Costume Show

The 65th Miss Universe candidates debut their National Costume on stage at the Mall of Asia Arena on Thursday, January 26, 2017.

The contestants have been touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in the Philippines. Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed on Sunday, January 29, live from the Philippines to see who will become Miss Universe. HO/The Miss Universe Organization

#65thMissUniverse photoshoot in Chinatown

Some of the 65th Miss Universe candidates at the photoshoot held January 15, 2017 in Chinatown, Philippines.

The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in the Philippines.

#65thMissUniverse candidates visit Boracay

The first pre-pageant activity of the 65th Miss Universe competition kicked off in Boracay Island on Saturday, January 14.

At least 16 candidates were chosen to go to the island: Miss Argentina, Miss Australia, Miss Belize, Miss Chile, Miss Costa Rica, Miss Ecuador, Miss Guyana, Miss Malta, Miss Mexico, Miss Myanmar, Miss Namibia, Miss Nicaragua, Miss Poland, Miss Turkey, Miss US Virgin Island, and Miss Honduras.

They were warmly welcomed by locals at the Geodofredo Ramos Airport in Caticlan within an hour’s flight from Manila and 15-minute boat ride to Shangri-la Boracay Resort and Spa.

Apart from a swimwear photo shoot, the delegates tried dragon boat-rowing, weaving and fishnet-making in the style of local indigenous Ati culture.

Kylie Verzosa is Miss International 2016

Kylie Verzosa bagged the Philippines 6th Miss International crown, during the finals held October 27 in Tokyo, Japan.

During the all-important speech round, 24-year-old Verzosa said she is ready to take on the responsibilities of being a titleholder.

“Three things come to mind when I think of Miss International – culture, education and international understanding. These three work together to make the brand of the Miss International Beauty Pageant relevant to the global community and to our time. If I become Miss International 2016, I will devote myself to cultural understanding because I believe that it is with developing in each of us sensitivity to other cultures that we expand our horizons, tolerate difference, and appreciate diversity. All these enable us to achieve international understanding. And I believe I’m prepared to take on this responsibility,” she said.

In an exclusive backstage interview with Missosology right after the pageant, Verzosa thanked all her supported. ” I can not believe it. I’m so happy!”

Asked for her message to Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, Bb Pilipinas chairman and the first Miss International winner from Colombia, Verzosa said: “Do you like my crown?”

Miss Australia Alexandra Britton was named first runner-up. Miss Indonesia Felicia Hwang placed second runner-up and was awarded Best Dresser. Miss Nicaragua Brianny Chamorro was third runner-up and Best in National Costume, while Miss USA Kaityrana Leinbach, placed fourth runner-up.

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The Top 5 of Miss International 2016

The rest of the 15 semifinalists were Miss Argentina Yoana Don, Miss Canada Amber Bernachi, Miss Dominican Republic Cynthia Núñez, Miss El Salvador Elizabeth Cader, Miss Finland Emilia Seppänen, Miss Japan Jyunna Yamagata, Miss Mexico Geraldine Ponce, Miss Poland Magdalena Bieñkowska, Miss Russia Alisa Manenok and Miss Thailand Pattiya Pongthai. PageantFocus

Man of the Year 2016: Fearless prediction

The inaugural Man of the Year competition will take place tonight in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. From 11 candidates around the world, only one will bring home the title.

Who will it be? Here’s my fearless forecast:

1 | PHILIPPINES – Karan Singhdole
Philippines
2 | LEBANON – Tarek Moaykel
LEbanon
3  | MALAYSIA – Edison Chua
Malaysia
4 | SPAIN – Antonio Pino
Spain

5 | INDONESIA – Meirizal Rifa’i
Indonesia

Check out the rest of the candidates here:

Photos: Missosology Male Pageants Section

 

Misters of Filipinas 2016 official candidates selected

From hundreds of applicants, only 35 returned during the grand callback held August 2. And from them, only 22 made it as official candidates of Misters of Filipinas 2016.

This year’s roster included last year’s runner-up AR Dela Serna and Misters 2014 finalist Ichin Daclan. Mister Culture Asia World titleholder Bob Royo and Issa Janda, resigned Mister United Continents Philippines 2016, also made the cut. Other candidates are viral gasoline boy CJ Querol, policeman Chris Comicho, Fil-Iranian model Richard Moico, San Pablo’s  Miguel Guia and proud Igorot Darryl Joshua Gomez.

The 22 candidates will be joined by eight others from regional screenings and Filipino communities abroad. They will be officially presented to the members of the press on August 28.

The Misters of Filipinas grand callback, organized by Prime Event Productions Foundation Inc (PEPPS)  was held at House Manila in Remington Hotel, Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.

The finals night is set for September 18 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila. The winners will represent the country in Mister International, Manhunt International, Mister Supranational and Man of the World pageants. Representatives to Man of the Year, Mister Southeast Asia and Mister Globe competition will also be selected.

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Manhunt International Philippines 2015-16 Don Mcgyver Cochico, Man of the Year Philippines 2015-16 Karan Singhdole and Mister International 2014 Neil Perez (Photo by Edmund Chua of FabManilaPh)

 

#MrWorld2016: Fearless prediction

I have a good record at predicting Mr World winners. Although I started only in 2012, I managed to correctly predict the victories of Francisco Escobar of Colombia in 2012 and Nicklas Pedersen of Denmark in 2014. Let’s see if I’ll make it three-in-a-row this year.

So a few hours before the new Mr World is sashed, let me present my fearless predictions:

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15. GREECE – Iraklis Kozas
“Mr World is a lifetime experience which can push my career to a higher level, if I win!
Iraklis, 26, works in fashion, appearing at shows and magazines across the world. He studied Economics at the University of Macedonia before moving to Serres. CrossFit, football, swimming and track & field keep Iraklis in peak physical condition, who also hopes to break out into the world of acting; Hollywood is his dream.

14. PUERTO RICO – Fernando Alvarez
“I would love to work with education in countries that don’t have resources to give schools or education to the children and the youth.”
Fernando, 21, is an Accounting student. Accounting is his plan, but acting is his dream and he is chasing both options, with acting lessons complimenting his studies. Staying fit is important to Fernando, who enjoys basketball, volleyball and spending the day at the beach.

13. EL SALVADOR – David Arias
“Welcome to El Salvador, the country of the eternal smile, where it’s people are the most important resource.”
David, 28, is an English teacher. His passion is teaching, and he hopes to initiate his own English language school in El Salvador in the future. Aside from teaching, David is a dancer and likes to hit the gym.

12. GERMANY – Oleg Justus
“I’m proud to represent Germany and I’m thankful for everyone who will be part of my experiences during the Mr World competition!”
Oleg, 28, is all about sports. Currently working as a personal trainer, he also studies at Cologne University, with ambitions of working in the fitness sector of a professional football team in the future. He isn’t just a football fan though, enjoying all kinds of sports and outdoor activities.

11. SPAIN – Ángel Martínez
“Words will touch your heart once they come from it.”
Ángel, 21, is cheerful and charismatic, enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Living in the Mediterranean city of Cartagena, Ángel works as a waiter, but is aiming to break into the fashion industry. Football, cycling, athletics and playing Spanish guitar take up the rest of Ángel’s time. His special talent is beatboxing.
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10 PHILIPPINES – Sam Ajdani
“Philippines is a beautiful country with great scenery and amazing people that can make anyone feel right.”
Sam, 26, is a fitness coach and model. Born in Iran, he moved to the Philippines aged 14 and has remained since. Family, fitness and friends are important to Sam, and his aspirations are to start his own business, potentially in the fitness industry. His proudest moment was getting a feature in Men’s Health USA & Philippines.

9 AUSTRIA – Fabian Kitzweger
“I would love to motivate others to live healthy and stay fit. Having an impact on other people’s lives is what makes me really happy.”
Fabian, 23, describes himself as an ambitious, goal orientated and friendly person. A Chemical Engineering student, Fabian also works part time as a personal trainer.

8 POLAND – Rafał Jonkisz
“I do my best workouts listening to electronic music – It gives me a better motivation and more energy to train.”
Rafał, 19,is a professional acrobat, competitive athlete and skilled dancer. His passion is all about moving, which has so far taken him to the quarter finals of Poland’s Got Talent, 4th place on Dancing with the Stars. His plans include building a presence in the world of modelling and continuing his charity work.

7 SCOTLAND – Tristan Cameron Harper
“Good Vibes!”
Tristan, 28, sees life as an adventure. A professional Ice Hockey player, he isn’t shy from a bit of danger, and when not on the ice can be found up mountains in caves or in the wilderness somewhere around the world. His ambition is to become a professional mountaineer, but he is also interested in building sustainable environments, and raising education and awareness wherever he goes.

6 MEXICO – Aldo Esparza
“I entered Mr World to be a better man.”
Aldo, 26, is an accomplished equestrian, and takes part in La Charreada, Mexico’s national sport. Soccer, squash and biking all keep Aldo in shape and he loves to eat tacos. An industrial engineer by trade, his ambition is to be his own boss and start his own company.

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5 MALTA – Timmy Puschkin
“Mr World is the most prestigious event that I can enter to help me reach my goals.”
Timmy, 23, comes from a large family living on the island of Malta. A part time model, full time graphic designer, he enjoys work on both sides of the camera, and has aspirations of developing in both worlds. A huge fan of sports, Timmy plays anything from water polo to American football, and keeps in peak condition at the gym.

4 SOUTH AFRICA – Armand Du Plessis
“South Africa, not just physically beautiful, but also a country rich in culture and diversity. I am proud to be an African.”
Armand, 27, hails from Johannesburg, where he is a Candidate Attorney. With two Law degrees, his ambition is to become an advocate, potentially for disenfranchised children. When relaxing, Armand loves to travel, revelling in new lands and new words, whilst giving him a chance to work on his photography.

3 DENMARK – Rasmus Pedersen
“My battle with cancer has been the most challenging and extreme thing I have ever done so far. It has taught me a lot about life. I’ve learned to appreciate every minute.”
Rasmus, 23, describes himself as an outgoing, smiling self-confident person, with a highly competitive mind. Aside from his modelling, Rasmus likes to keep fit, play soccer with his brother and travel. His favourite cuisine is Sushi, which is quite popular in Denmark.

2. India – Rohit Khandelwal
“Mr World is a purpose driven community that believes in empowering the younger generation, like us from diverse backgrounds and cultures to join hands for the sole purpose of serving the mankind.”
Rohit, 26, is an actor and TV personality. Describing himself as a dreamer and believer, he is intent on forging a successful career in front of the camera, but also plans on studying to move behind the camera and make his own films. Aside from his acting, Rohit loves to keep fit, play sports and travel.

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1 ENGLAND – Chris Bramell
“Life is a Roller Coaster. You can either scream every time you hit a bump or you can throw your hands up in the air and enjoy every moment, enjoy!”
Host nation representative Chris, 23, is a sportsman. Healthy living is key for Chris; wholesome foods, sunshine and lots of exercise. A sports development graduate, Chris has worked as a community football coach in Everton, and is a competitive footballer, golfer and hurdler. He hopes to inspire others and be a role model for future generations.

Puerto Princesa bet wins Miss Philippines Earth 2016

Miss Puerto Princesa Imelda Schweighart was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2016 at the conclusion of the Independence Day-themed coronation night held June 11 at the UP Theater in Quezon City.

The 21-year-old theater arts student and former Bb Pilipinas candidate bested 45 other delegated from around the country and Filipino overseas communities for the right to represent the country at the Miss Earth 2016 pageant. She succeeds reigning Miss Earth Angelia Gabrena Ong and will get a shot at winning the international title for the third consecutive year.

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The winning moment: Imelda Schweighart reacts after she is announced Miss Philippines Earth 2016 (Photo by Drew Francisco)

Kiaragiel Gregorio from London was named Miss Philippines-Air 2016 while crowd favorite Miss Laoag City Loren Mar Artajos bagged the Miss Philippines-Water 2016 title. Shannon Rebecca Bridgman from Rosales, Pangasinan and Melanie Mader from Vienna, Austria were crowned Miss Philippines-Fire and Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism 2016, respectively. Pageant Focus by Haraya correctly predicted the placements of Scweighart and Gregorio.

The rest of the 12 semifinalists were: Krissandra Marie Abel (Lobo, Batangas), Joanna Rose Tolledo (Caloocan City), Athena Mari Catriz (City of San Pedro), Maria Fatima Al-sowyed (Dumaguete City), Charinna Barro (Cagayan de Oro City), Jessica Zevenbergen (Murcia, Negros Occidental) and Bellatrix Tan (Zamboanga City).

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The top five winners (Photo by Drew Francisco)

This year’s Miss Philippines Earth introduced a new format to the Q&A round, where the girls were asked to pick a hashtag from a bowl and speak about that trending topic. Asked to give her thoughts on the hashtag #TunayNaDiwaNgKalayaan, Schweighart said that the true meaning of freedom is “opening up our minds”.

“First of all, we must open our minds and do our research about the world in order to find the solution to what is already happening to what is around us. Yes, there is a problem, but there is a solution as well. Let’s all fight together, because we are the people of now, and we will help each other to save the planet Earth,” she added.

The Top 5 finalists were asked a single question during the final round: “If you had the chance to talk one-on-one with president-elect Duterte, what assistance would you ask from him on your climate change advocacy?”

Schweighart replied: “My climate change advocacy is banning genetically modified organisms (GMO) and genetically modified seeds, because I believe in natural food in order to feed our mind, body, and soul. So if we really want to feed our minds and become smarter, let’s support banning GMO, [president-elect] Duterte. At the same time, I would like to encourage him to put bike lanes here in Manila, and I would take him to Puerto Princesa and I would show him how clean our place is.”

#MissUSA2016: Registration and Fittings

Miss USA 2016 contestants during Registration and Fittings at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2016 Miss USA contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss USA crown in Las Vegas. Tune in to the Fox telecast at 7:00 PM ET on June 5, 2016 live from the T-Mobile Arena to see who will be crowned Miss USA 2016. (HO/The Miss Universe Organization)