Sunday, September 11, 2011
Miss Universe 2011 Predictions
Having said that, my selection of the Top 16 delegates wasn't that difficult - to me there were more or less around 18 contestants who truly deserved a quarterfinal spot, and narrowing that down to 16 didn't prove too tough for me.
Predicting who would reach the semifinals and finals, mind you, was a real challenge. And even now I'm not 100% happy with my selections. As such, these are my initial predictions - I'm reserving the right to change my mind in the next 24 hours!
So here goes… As you'll see I've made some pretty controversial decisions - no Latinas in the Top 5 and three Asians in the finals, harking back to 1988 when four of the Top 5 were from the far east.
|My Top 5 (L to R): Philippines (MU), Malaysia (1st RU), France (2nd RU), China (3rd RU), Greece (4th RU)|
1st runner-up - Malaysia (Deborah Henry): She could absolutely take it all if her beautiful delivery produces a memorable answer to the final question. Deborah would make a fantastic Miss Universe and a wonderful spokeswoman for its causes.
2nd runner-up - France (Laury Thilleman): Such a breathtaking, natural beauty. I'm not a huge fan of the evening gown but she's so radiant I expect her to cruise into the Top 5. If she were to win it would make up for a disappointing 6th place for the lovely Chloé Mortaud in 2009.
3rd runner-up - China (Luo Zilin): I know a lot of people have tapped China as the winner but I worry that she'll be let down in the final question, if she chooses to speak English, that is. She's stunning in so many ways but judging by her online interview she may do better with a translator. It certainly didn't hurt Estefania or Ximena!
4th runner-up - Greece (Iliana Papageorgiou): For many the biggest surprise from the prelims, her styling was immaculate and very fashion-forward. I think a Top 5 placing would be more than justified, though I think her manner may be a little subdued for her to dazzle during the final question.
|My Top 10 (L to R): Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Venezuela|
Australia (Scherri-Lee Biggs): My countrywoman has definitely presented well during the pageant but has probably lacked the buzz of her most recent predecessors Rachael Finch and Jesinta Campbell. Her evening gown performance was somewhat clumsy, but if she can step it up she might be able to sneak into the Top 5.
Colombia (Catalina Robayo): I previously doubted whether Catalina would make the first cut but the controversy over her alleged panty-free escapades and her eye-catching tights-and-gown all but bumped her into the Top 16. It would certainly make for good TV - the gown, that is!
Costa Rica (Johanna Solano): That gorgeous, fit body should see Johanna sail into the Top 10 but the gown is slightly weak so I don't see her going any further if she chooses to wear the same dress on Monday night. Nonetheless great to see CR back in the running for the first time in seven years.
Puerto Rico (Viviana Ortiz): I've not really been a fan of Viviana but she certainly performed well in prelims, softening her facial features and opting for a white gown that's turned many heads. I think a Top 10 finish would be more than enough.
Venezuela (Vanessa Gonçalves): It really hasn't been a memorable year for the Latin delegates, with a number of them presenting well but not amazingly. Venezuela should definitely make the cut after last year's undeserved shut-out, but I don't see Vanessa reaching the Top 5.
|My Top 16 (L to R): Angola, Brazil, Kosovo, Panama, Spain, USA|
Angola (Leila Lopes): Earlier on I briefly entertained the idea that Leila might take the crown but she's kind of fallen flat in recent weeks. Her video interview was just so-so and her preliminary presentations lacked a certain something. Nonetheless she's by far the best African delegate for me this year.
Brazil (Priscila Machado): My heart goes out to Priscila, who would've justifiably been thrilled at the thought of representing her country on home soil. But from the moment she was crowned Miss Brazil the disapproval of her compatriots began. It even manifested itself during the preliminaries - I think this might be a sympathy selection.
Kosovo (Afërdita Dreshaj): For someone whom I thought might win it all a while back Afërdita has been somewhat disappointing. Her styling has been up and down and her presentation during prelims was a little robotic. Nonetheless her beauty and height should give her a deserved Top 16 placing.
Panama (Sheldry Sáez): I've been undecided about Sheldry all pageant but I think she nailed her looks during prelims - I, for one, loved the bold red lipstick and earrings matched with the white and silver evening gown. A gorgeous woman who should hear her name called on Monday.
Spain (Paula Guilló): Upon her selection as Miss Spain I thought Paula might be a real contender, and while she's generated some buzz in Sao Paulo she's not lived up to my expectations. I think a Top 16 finish would be deserved, but probably not much higher.
USA (Alyssa Campanella): For someone whom many predicted had this title in the bag it's rather a shame to place Alyssa so far down my predictions. I'd not been entirely sold on her claim to the crown, but seeing her so gaunt and thin in the video interview and in the preliminaries - definitely thinner than during Miss USA - made me sad more than anything else.
So, that's about it. Having picked the winners of both USA and Universe in 2010 and USA this year the pressure's really on. I don't feel as confident about my selections this time around, so you may see another last-minute post before the pageant kicks off!