Recognizing the Beauty of Almost Everything…

The most important pre-final event of Miss Universe 2013 is here! The Preliminary Competition is scheduled today :D As per twit of current Miss Universe – Olivia Culpo:

Will YOU be watching the Miss Universe Preliminary Competition? Go to at 11amEST to watch it all from Moscow.

11AM EST is roughly midnight already here in the Philippines – which is midnight later going to November 6!

This is your chance to see all 86 candidates in motion as they compete in evening gown and swimsuits. Their performance here will be added to the closed-door interview performance and their scores on the official photos. Those candidates with the highest over-all scores will be called out as official semifinalists on the finale and will have the chance to win the crown :D

This is tickling me with anticipation. Hahaha!

The best of luck to my favorite candidates…


Miss Universe 2013 treated its fans to a National Costume Show filled with so much color, vibrance and culture :D There were eye catching costumes. Some were so huge and looked really heavy that you can’t avoid not to fear for the life of the delegate. Like always, there were scene stealers either by showing so much skin you’d think its the swimsuit competition  (and yes, I am talking about you Miss Aruba and Miss France) or by donning something that is out-of-this-world (Miss USA was trying too hard to be funny by wearing one of the Transformers and Chile who wore her drum set toys to the show). We were also not spared by those who didn’t exert much effort in preparing for a “real-deal” national costumes, like the representatives of Bostwana and Slovenia who paraded just in their “Sunday’s Best”.

I will reserve my favorite costumes for an article that I will publish tomorrow :D Please feel free to pick your favorites as well…

Photo Credits: Miss Universe Organization

Angola (Vaumara Rebelo)

Argentina (Brenda Gonzalez)

Aruba (Stefanie Guillen)

Australia (Olivia Wells)

Austria (Doris Hofmann)

Azerbaijan (Aysel Manafova)

Bahamas (Lexi Wilson)

Belgium (Noemie Happart)

Bolivia (Alexia Viruez)

Botswana (Tsaone Macheng)

Brazil (Jakelyne Oliveira)

British Virgin Islands (Sharie De Castro)

Bulgaria (Veneta Krasteva)

Canada (Riza Santos)

Chile (Maria Jesus Matthei)

China (Ye Jin)

Colombia (Lucia Aldana)

Costa Rica (Fabiana Granados)

Croatia (Melita Fabecic)

Curacao (Eline de Pool)

Czech Republic (Gabriela Kratochvilova)

Denmark (Cecilia Iftikhar)

Dominican Republic (Yaritza Reyes)

Ecuador (Constanza Baez)

El Salvador (Alba Delgado)

Estonia (Kristina Karjalainen)

Ethiopia (Maheder Tigabe)

Finland (Lotta Hintsa)

France (Hinarani de Longeaux)

Gabon (Jennifer Ondo)

Germany (Anne Julia Hagen)

Ghana (Hanniel Jamin)

Great Britain (Amy Willerton)

Greece (Anastasia Sidiropoulou)

Guam (Alixes Scott)

Guatemala (Paulette Samayoa)

Guyana (Katherina Roshana Khan)

Haiti (Mondiana Pierre)

Honduras (Diana Schoutsen)

Hungary (Rebeka Karpati)

India (Manasi Moghe)

Indonesia (Whulandary Herman)

Israel (Titi Yitayish Ayenew)

Italy (Luna Voce)

Jamaica (Kerrie Baylis)

Japan (Yukimi Matsuo)

Kazakhstan (Aygerim Kozhakanova)

Korea (Yumi Kim)

Lebanon (Karen Ghrawi)

Lithuania (Simona Burbaite)

Malaysia (Carey Ng)

Mauritius (Diya Beeltah)

Mexico (Cynthia Duque)

Myanmar (Moe Set Wine)

Namibia (Paulina Malulu)

Netherlands (Stephanie Tency)

New Zealand (Holly Cassidy)

Nicaragua (Nastassja Bolivar)

Nigeria (Stephanie Okwu)

Norway (Mari Ekelof)

Panama (Carolina Brid)

Paraguay (Guadalupe Talavera)

Peru (Cindy Mejia Santa Maria)

Philippines (Ariella Arida)

Poland (Paulina Krupinska)

Puerto Rico (Monic Perez)

Romania (Roxana Andrei)

Russia (Elmira Abdrazakova)

Serbia (Ana Vrcelj)

Singapore (Shi Lim)

Slovak Republic (Jeanette Borhyova)

Slovenia (Nina Durdevic)

South Africa (Marilyn Ramos)

Spain (Patricia Rodriguez)

Sri Lanka (Amanda Ratnayake)

Sweden (Alexandra Friberg)

Switzerland (Dominique Rinderknecht)

Tanzania (Betty Boniface Omara)

Thailand (Chalita Yaemwannang)

Trinidad & Tobago (Catherine Miller)

Turkey (Berrin Keklikler)

Turks & Caicos (Snwazna Adams)

Ukraine (Olga Storozhenko)

USA (Erin Brady)

Venezuela (Maria Gabriela Isler)

Vietnam (Truong Thi May)

What do you think?!?


I really had fun in choosing my favorite official photos. I felt that I was a preliminary judge while going through each photo. I already shared with you my favorite Glam Shots and Swimsuit PhotosI also asked the help of a friend in coming up with the list of best Portrait Shots. Today, I will be sharing with you my list of favorite Evening Gown Photos. I asked the help of Tdex (my close friend) in coming up with the list. We argued and had different choices but were both satisfied with the photos that we have on this list. Of course, most of my choices are here. Hehehe!

Before we started choosing, it was clear to us that we were looking for the elegance and sophistication from the evening gown photos and the dress (its cut and design) were also taken into consideration. Here are our favorite evening gown photos:

Click THIS to VOTE for your favorite Miss Universe 2013 candidate!

Photo Credits: Miss Universe Organization

10th Place: Australia (Olivia Wells)

I actually hate the hair and I am not really crazy with her beauty BUT I adore the simple styling and the “regal-ness” of the gown. The belt added some sweetness into the whole look.

9th Place: Switzerland (Dominique Rinderknecht)

I love the color of her gown and how her skin glows with it. Though, I wish she had a darker hair color to balance the brightness of the gown.

8th Place: Guatemala (Paulette Samayoa)

I immediately thought about the Matadors in Spain after seeing Paulette. She seems to be so fiesty with the fiery red color but the feminine styling made it such a dramatic number.

7th Place: Venezuela (Gabriela Isler)

Gabriela looks like a queen in every inch of this photo. She is statuesque with this gown that hugs her curves perfectly.

6th Place: Ukraine (Olga Storozhenko)

You can rely on Olga to bring the “diva” to each of her photo. She delivered big time here. I don’t like the gown but with that face and that attitude, nothing can go wrong.

5th Place: Puerto Rico (Monic Perez)

Another show-stopping black gown courtesy of Puerto Rico. The gown fits Monic’s personality. It is elegant, sexy and really looks expensive. This reminds me of Cynthia Olavarria’s 2005 evening gown :D

4th Place: Spain (Patricia Rodriguez)

There is so much confidence with the smile of Patricia. The gown fits her perfectly and the color does wonders to her skin tone :) I can’t wait to see her in motion with this gown.

3rd Place: Indonesia (Whulandary Herman)

Oh Dear, Whulandary brought the big guns. This is so good in so many levels. The hair, the facial expression, the gown and how it fits, everything is just divine!

2nd Place: Great Britain (Amy Willerton)

Amy is killing me softly with her perfection in photo after photo! The sophistication and queenly demeanor pours out from her pores. Perfect, just perfect!

1st Place: Dominican Republic (Yaritza Reyes)

I am in love with this queen and I adore this photo :) It is amazing how the photographer captured the movement of her dress. The photo captured the innocence of her face and the sheer confidence of a queen!

Looking back, 4 of the 10 photos here are of candidates in red gown. Will it be the color of the finale?!? And what do you think with my choices?


While reading online, I became aware of this photo that is going the rounds of several social networking sites and beauty pageant forum. This is allegedly an Instagram post of Elena Semikina on November 1 and was allegedly deleted moments after. Elena is one of the preliminary judges of Miss Universe 2013. For those who are not familiar, the preliminary judges will be selecting some (if not all) the 15 candidates who will be the semifinalists and will continue to compete for the crown during the finale.


The photo above shows what seems to be a score sheet. I can see some countries and their scores in the Fadil (Glam) Shot, Close-up (Portrait), Gown, Swimsuit, Events, etc. I can see Great Britain, Spain, Poland, Ukraine & Venezuela. This alleged photo caused a stir online as fans cried foul and became worried on the the ranking of their personal bets.

Elena already released a statement via her Twitter account calling the photo a hoax. Here is a screen cap of her official statement:


The alleged Instagram photo was never posted. The judging process has not begun – I am not even in Moscow yet! The picture is a hoax. @ElenaSemikina

First, fans should not worry about the ranking of their bets. If this photo is true then this is just Elena’s scores for the photos and other events of the candidate. I believe that much weight is accorded on the candidate’s performance during the preliminaries (which is still scheduled tomorrow) and the closed-door interview.

Second, fans should also remember that there are other 6 preliminary judges. Even if this photo is true, it doesn’t mean that the top-ranked delegates here will be assured of a semifinalist slot. We just don’t know but the other 6 might prefer/have preferred other candidates. Miss Universe Organization also plays a big role in identifying the list of the semifinalists, as announced during the finale.

Third, I don’t think Elena is careless enough to post this photo online. As a film maker and a former Miss Universe candidate, I trust that she is fully aware of the confidentiality agreement that covers her duties as a preliminary judge. This could have been just a work of a fan who wants to hype her favorite candidate!

However, I am not buying the alibi that she isn’t in Moscow yet so she can’t start the judging process yet. These scores were for the photos and these photos were published days ahead. These photos could have been sent to them so that they can go through the photos and score them ahead of time. Just going through the four official photos of the 86 candidates takes a lot of time! It is logical that these photos will be released to the preliminary judges ahead of the preliminary show, while the judges are not yet in the venue and still have time to go through the 344 or more photos. They still have the preliminary show and the closed-door interview to worry about when they arrive in the pageant venue.

I would really love to hear your thoughts :D


After revealing my favorite Glam Shots and sharing with you Pong’s favorite Portrait Shots, I will now reveal my favorite Swimsuit Shots. If you haven’t seen the swimsuit photos of the Miss Universe 2013 candidates, you can click THIS.

Going through the photos, I was looking for the pageant-ready and feminine body! The body that isn’t too muscular and those with the perfect curves. I also had to consider immense sex appeal and confidence in choosing my favorites. Here are the ten swimsuit photos that made my list.

Click THIS to VOTE for your favorite Miss Universe 2013 candidate!

Photo Credits: Miss Universe

10th Place: Croatia (Melita Fabecic)

I love Melita’s body. I adore the curves on the right places. The face that screams sexy is just an added bonus.

9th Place: Venezuela (Gabriela Isler)

It has been proven year after year that Venezuelan queens are one of the most prepared delegate. Gabriela is just oozing with self confidence! She did not disappoint!

8th Place: Dominican Republic (Yaritza Reyes)

Yaritza is only 19 and it shows in her body. However, I can’t deny that those curves are ready for Miss Universe.

7th Place: Canada (Riza Santos)

With enough pageant experience, Riza is aware how it is important to have a pageant-ready body. She is rocking the hell out of this swimsuit. The cleavage, the tummy and the teasing expression are all just perfect.

6th Place: Peru (Cindy Mejia)

I don’t like Cindy’s face but that does not discount the fact that she has one of the best bodies this year! Her body is toned, telling us about how hard her work out was but her body didn’t reach the point that it’s ready for body building competition. Just perfect for a beauty pageant!

5th Place: Ukraine (Olga Storozhenko)

Her tummy area might look a bit weird to you, probably because of the angle of her body. Olga’s swimsuit photo made it into my list because of the immense sex appeal written all over it. A sexy face that matches a gorgeous body…

4th Place: Jamaica (Kerrie Baylis)

Oh, dear! I can perfectly see the hard work of Kerrie in preparing for the pageant. She looks healthy, fit and beautiful. The sexy factor comes with that pout :)

3rd Place: Israel (Titi Yitayish Ayenew)

No frills, no drama… The confidence of Yityish is very clear in this photo. She knows that she deserves to be on this list! Even the red lippie is saying something :D

2nd Place: Bahamas (Lexi Wilson)

So pretty and so daring! It takes full confidence on one’s self to pull off this pose. Lexi delivered her swimsuit photo with the biggest bang. I love how she highlighted everything that needs to be glorified on this pic – the perfect shape of her leg, the lean and eternal arms, the right curves and the gorgeous face!

1st Place: Great Britain (Amy Willerton)

If Amy’s glam shot is part of her editorial feature then this photo must be the front page. The sex appeal is skyrocketing, the face is out of this world and the body is to die for! Putting her on top of this list was probably the easiest part in writing this article!

That was crazy… Trust me!

Please watch out for my favorite Evening Gown photos tomorrow :D


Two of my closest friends – Pong and Tdex – were here at my place last night. Tdex will be away for a week, leaving us on his birthday :( Since there is really nothing much to do here, I asked them to help me in creating my list of favorites for the official photos of the Miss Universe 2013 candidates. I posted my favorite glam shots yesterday. I also went on to complete my list of favorite swimsuit photos. Tdex helped me with the evening gown photos and I assigned Pong to choose her favorite Portrait Photos.

I specifically requested for her to cover the portrait photos because she has valuable inputs on make-up and beauty. I listen to her opinions and I believe that she will be a very good make-up/beauty products blogger and reviewer if only she will write more often! Please do me a favor and visit Pong’s Blog! I am sure that you will learn more about beauty products :) Every time we talk about beauty queens, Pong is consistent in saying that I should go for those who look young because they always win and always avoid those matronly and looks more mature than her age. I am pretty sure that in this list, she chose those who are uber beautiful and fresh-faced candidates. This is, at the end of the day, serves as their beauty shots as well.


Introducing… Pong!

So here are our favorite portrait shots. Actually, all of the choices were hers and I just had one or two inputs (Hahahaha!) But I ended up loving her choices as well… The one-liner for each candidate is also from Pong – no filters, all original :D

Click THIS to VOTE for your favorite Miss Universe 2013 candidate!

Click THIS to VIEW all Portrait Photos of the candidates :)

 Photo Credits: Miss Universe

10th Place: Bahamas (Lexi Wilson)

“You had me with your lipstick!” – Pong

9th Place: Nigeria (Stephanie Okwu)

“Emotions… Story… Drama…” – Pong

8th Place: Dominican Republic (Yaritza Reyes)

“Fresh-faced beauty” – Pong

7th Place: Switzerland (Dominique Rinderknecht)

“Edgy but sweet” – Pong

6th Place: Great Britain (Amy Willerton)

“That is a Beauty Pageant Face” – Pong

5th Place: Kazakhstan (Aygerim Kozhakanova)

“So Carla Bruni… Love her…” – Pong

4th Place: Argentina (Brenda Gonzalez)

“The Classic South American look, hair included” – Pong

3rd Place: India (Manasi Moghe)

“And the Best Angle goes to….” – Pong

2nd Place: Poland (Paulina Krupinska)

“Really pretty” – Pong

1st Place: Israel (Titi Yitayish Ayenew)

“A model from her bun to fingertips… nape included!” – Pong

See?!? I really knew that Pong will ace this…

What do you think?

Feel free to comment for your choices!


Miss Universe 2013 will be crowned in a week. Before I started counting the last remaining days, I remembered Miss Universe 2012 and wondered on which country will achieve a back-to-back placement by placing as a semifinalist this year. Here are the 16 countries that placed in last year’s edition:

AustraliaBrazil, Croatia, France,
Hungary, India, Kosovo, Mexico
Philippines, Poland, Russia
South Africa, Turkey, USA & 

As what I shared with you before, Kosovo is not competing this year which leaves us with 15 countries with a quest for a back-to-back placement. Of the 15, the pressure is greatest with Australia which placed year after year for the past 5 Miss Universe editions. Earlier, I thought of putting the photos of the 2012 and 2013 candidates of these countries side by side and identify the possibility of a back-to-back placement.

Click THIS to VOTE for your favorite Miss Universe 2013 candidate!


* Pictures on the left are the 2012 candidates and to your right are the 2013 candidates….

* I am talking about the possibility of placing as a semifinalist. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the 2013 candidate will reach the same placement as the 2012 candidate…

* Credits to Miss Universe for the photos used in the collage.



USA (Olivia Culpo & Erin Brady)

Olivia is slightly ahead than Erin. What I don’t like on Erin is that she looks a bit mature on her candids. Olivia might have been matronly during last year’s finale but her face was unquestionably, one of the best last year. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: 50/50

Philippines (Janine Tugonon & Ara Arida)

I am not really the biggest fan of both Filipinas but I will choose Ara over Janine in any day! Janine is just pretty plain to me while Ara can be saved by styling. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: More YES!

Venezuela (Irene Esser & Gabriela Isler)

I favor the softer features of Irene than Gabriela’s. However, I can’t deny the preparedness of Gabriela and her wearing the strongest sash in the world. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: YES!



Australia (Renae Ayris & Olivia Wells)

Same as Venezuela and USA, I prefer the 2012 candidate over this year’s. She has a very average beauty and top this, I am missing the spark and queenly glow that I saw in Renae. The sash though is very strong so I will not discount her as early as now. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: 50/50

Brazil (Gabriela Markus & Jakelyne Oliveira)

I stood out with Gabriela until the end of the 2012 pageant. Unfortunately, I will not be able to do the same this year. Jakelyne just lacks that special spark that I am looking for a delegate. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: More NO!

France (Marie Payet & Hinarani de Longeaux)

Marie was my ultimate bet last year. Hinarani was part of my first few favorites pre-arrival but all of that was lost the moment she stepped in Russia. She is boring me. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: More NO!



Hungary (Agnes Konkoly & Rebeka Karpati)

Agnes was a pleasant surprise for me during last year’s finale. This year, no one can deny the fact that Rebeka is one of the strongest candidate of the European delegation. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: More YES!

Mexico (Karina Gonzalez & Cynthia Duque)

I didn’t get the Top 10 finish of Karina despite her disastrous swimsuit catwalk. I am no fan of Cynthia either as I don’t like her beauty. A lot of Latinas are way ahead of her in the beauty department. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: NO!

Russia (Elizabeth Golovanova & Elmira Abdrazakova)

I prefer Elizabeth and Elmira but the fact is that Elmira is the host candidate and that changes everything! Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: YES!


South Africa (Melinda Bam & Marilyn Ramos)

Melinda was highly expected to place in the top 5 of last year’s Miss Universe but failed to do so after her unimpressive evening gown performance. Marilyn is not enjoying the same popularity especially after she was ignored in Miss World. I can see the effort with her impressive photos but I doubt if it is enough. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: More NO!

Croatia (Elizabeta Burg & Melita Fabecic)

These two are very reliable with official photos. Elizabeta proved to be such a snoozefest while moving on stage. I hope that I will not be saying the same thing with Melita. I will be looking closely at her on the finale. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: More YES!

India (Shilpa Singh & Manasi Moghe)

It is definitely an upgrade for India this year but still, Manasi is lost somewhere. I can’t see the spark that I usually see on Indian queens. Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: More NO!



Peru (Nicole Faveron & Cindy Mejia)

Nicole’s height was her only weapon and it was not enough for her to be considered as a finalist. Cindy is pretty ok which in Miss Universe dictionary means common. Nothing is really special here! Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: NO!

Poland (Marcelina Zawadzka & Paulina Krupinska)

It is a major upgrade for Poland this year. Marcelina was sexy and was oozing with sex appeal. Paulina is simply beautiful! Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: YES!

Turkey (Cagil Ozge Ozkul & Berrin Keklikler)

I am not impressed with the Turkish delegate this year as I can’t feel her presence in Russia. Cagil was one of my alternatives last year and it was a pleasure seeing her as a semifinalist. I am not feeling the same for this year though… Prospect of a Back-to-Back Placement: NO!

I am not impressed with the over-all quality of delegates this year but the playing field remains very competitive and as of today, it is still any one’s ball game. 


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