Photo Credits: Miss Universe
It’s the most beautiful day in the Universe! And before all the Miss Universe 2018 craziness starts, let me share with you this Herculean task of choosing a Top 20. This year, the continental format that started last year is still in place. Instead of just 16, semifinalist group this year will be composed of 20 delegates – 5 from Asia, Africa & Oceania, 5 from Europe, 5 from Americas and 5 Wildcard. Without so much fanfare, here is my fave list:
This is such a competitive group with a handful of stand-outs. Leading this group is Philippines (Catriona Gray). She is crushing the competition but both Thailand (Sophida Kanchanarin) and South Africa (Tamaryn Green) are holding on to frontrunner status. Australia (Francesca Hung) is someone who, I think, should not be denied with a semifinalist placement with a solid preliminary performance. Talking about the action last Thursday, Namibia (Selma Kamanya) was a very pleasant surprise. Her face is one of the best in this group.
Another strong group is the Latina-filled group of Americas. Leading the pack is the fresh-faced Puerto Rico (Kiara Ortega) and closely followed by Venezuela (Sthefany Gutierrez), who was consistent since Day 1. Both were smart enough to just enjoy the competition and stay away from dramas. Two of my personal favorites in this group are Canada (Marta Magdalena Stepien) – one of the best faces in the competition and Curacao (Akisha Albert) – on-point styling & rock solid preliminaries. Lastly, Mexico (Andrea Toscano) deserves a spot with that gorgeous face but her underwhelming preliminaries is something that is bothering me.
This is the weakest group in my opinion. Great Britain (Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers) is the only well-rounded candidate in this region. Russia (Yulia Polyachikhina) has a gorgeous face and looked expensive inch by inch. However, a little personality is needed for her to stand-out. Iceland (Katrin Lea Elenudottir) & Ireland (Grainne Gallanagh) both had a rock solid preliminaries but was forgettable. Spain’s (Angela Ponce) preliminaries was too weak that her placement might be in jeopardy.
As expected, ladies from Asia and Americas will take all the spots here. I am rooting for Peru (Romina Lozano) and Nicaragua (Adriana Paniagua) to make it into the semifinals with very strong preliminaries while Cambodia (Nat Rern), Nepal (Manita Devkota) and Vietnam (H’Hen Nie) are my bets from Asia.
7th: South Africa
6th: Great Britain
2nd Runner-up: Venezuela
1st Runner-up: Puerto Rico
Miss Universe 2018: Philippines
Best of luck ladies ❤ ❤ ❤