Jul 31 2012
By Ed Dominguez
Global Beauties Co-Owner
I’ve been covering the Miss World competition for Global Beauties since 1999, when the pageant took place in London. It was the golden era of India’s Femina beauties. It was the last year with Eric Morley as the CEO. A lot of things have changed during the past 13 years.
When you follow an event as unique as this one, you learn to know about taste, about the type of girl they like, about the selection criteria.
This year has got to be one of the strongest Miss World groups in history. Trying to make a list with 15 favorites is difficult, if not impossible. Imagine making a top 30 list, which is what I tried to do.
Having said that, I would like to share my point of view about this year’s contestants and who I think has some chances (remember this is my personal taste, I am not a judge, and if reading other people’s opinions give you eczema you might consider medication or counseling, as we have gotten insults just for publishing a leaderboard)
1. Wales, Sophie Moulds: She is my absolute favorite for the title. Tall, impressive, stunning. A mixture between princess Kate Middleton and former Miss Universe Natalie Glebova. You name it, those eyes cannot be overlooked and whenever I see that girl, she just screams “winner”.
2. Colombia, Barbara Turbay: People wonder if the recent controversy involving the incarceration of Miss World Colombia owner Edgar Botero might hurt her chances. I don’t think so. She is one of the most complete contestants regarding beauty, presence, charisma and spark. Would not be surprised to see her crowned Miss World come August 18th. She is in the league of former Miss World runner-ups Carolina Arango (1996) and Natalia Peralta (2002).
3. China PR, Wenxia Yu: In virtually every pageant held in China (could say about 90%), Miss China ends up as 2nd runner-up. But I am not putting Wenxia in this spot because of that, but because she is strong enough to get into the top 3. Will she follow Zhang Zi Lin’s footsteps?
4. Australia, Jessica Kahawaty: She represented Lebanon in Miss International 2008, where she was a semi-finalist. She comes back with a vengeance and better than ever: Jessica owns every picture, not only with her contagious smile but with her fashion sense. This woman is here to win… and is showing everybody that.
5. Mexico, Mariana Berumen: I’ve liked this girl since her national competition and she will definitely make up for the participation of the last 2 years. After all, Mexico has become a Miss World powerhouse in recent years! Mariana could win the title, or end as runner-up. The only thing I am sure mexicans wouldn’t like, is her finishing as 1st runner-up (after Dafne Molina and Perla Beltran, the audience could not take another 2nd place).
6. Seychelles, Sherlyn Furneau: When you think of the Seychelles, you think of beach, sun and paradise; and now of beautiful women. Sherlyn has impressed me in every way. This girl, for me, is reminiscent of Emma Wareus (Botswana 2010). She has the beauty, the candor and the height. In my book, she would definitely make the top 7.
7. France, Delphine Wespiser: The improvement of this elegant young woman since her Miss France victory is astonishing. Some fans over the internet criticize her constant change of image. I’d rather call it, being a “chameleon”. Delphine has a quality to her that not anybody has: timeless elegance. If she does well in interview, she would definitely contend for the title.
Getting there… to the Top
A second group of girls in my opinions are also strong contenders. But heck, I cannot say that ‘everybody is a winner’. Cliches are not my thing. But they are good enough to fight for the big prize and have catched my eye in every way.
Poland, Weronika Szmajdrinzka - Brazil, Mariana Notarangelo - Jamaica, Deanna Robbins - Nepal, Shristi Shrestha - Netherlands, Nathalie Den Dekker - Spain, Aranzazu Estevez - Israel, Shani Hazan – South Sudan, Atong Demach
Yes, narrowing these 116 women to 15 was even harder. Shoot me now if you want, it’s still my opinion.
Poland has impressed with her youthful beauty and model-looks. Winner smile. Brazil, with lots of pageant experience, wins every pageant she enters; she has a charisma and light impossible to describe. Jamaica reminds me of Lisa Hanna (Miss World 1993) not only physically, but also with her intelligence and spark.
If there is any year Nepal deserves the semi-finals, this would be it, as Shristi Shrestha is just exquisite. Well prepared, and stunning. Netherlands’ Nathalie Den Dekker has that timeless beauty queen look that judges usually agree on. One of the faces of this year’s pageant, she is in it to win.
Then we go to tall, statuesque Miss Spain Aranzazu Estevez with a pair of eyes that can hypnotize any camera-man… she commands the stage and her innocence is an asset.
Israel’s Shani Hazan entered the competition as one of the top favorites, but she is still there.. Tall, real, outgoing and funny. A true woman of today. Then we have South Sudan’s Atong Demach: Experience internationally, not to mention incredibly exotic, humble and funny.
Based on last year’s system (the leaderboard) I am obliged to pick 15 more girls, who could very well enter the top depending on the taste of the judges. They are:
Guadeloupe, Paraguay, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Ukraine, South Africa, Chile, Slovenia, Greece, Belgium, Venezuela, England, Indonesia, Portugal, Philippines, Russia, Panama, Turkey, Vietnam, Aruba, Nicaragua, Austria, Slovakia…
See? I could not even pick 15. I had to name.. 23? I could go on…
Once again, this was even harder that narrowing to a top 7 or 15. Because I also like a lot (and I mean a LOT) of the girls not on this list… but had to narrow based on objectiveness.
The competition keeps advancing and we are in for a lot of surprises. These is what has impressed me so far. But like I said, I could be wrong.
I can feel rotten tomatoes coming my way but don’t worry, I have a protective shield Unlike some so-called “pageant experts” I don’t intend to be correct or give myself pats on the back if I choose the winner correctly. My life does not depend on it. It’s for fun, and hope you take it the same way. Thanks for reading and happy Miss World season!