The month of September was a crucial month in the pageant world as we get to see more pageant powerhouses and regular participating nations select their Miss Universe representatives. With that being said, here are my Top 15 Hot Picks from last month:
15. India (Nehal Chudasama)
Newly crowned Nehal is a sight to behold! She’s prettier than the last 5 Miss Universe India. Even prettier in a unique way than Urvashi dare I say. There’s something about her that is easily likable. She’s also very articulate. I’m going to give this to India this time – a good five years since their last semis appearance.
14. Spain (Angela Ponce)
Angela Ponce’s participation is still a point of debate until now and for that alone, I think she’d make the first cut.
13. Denmark (Helena Heuser)
This former Miss World 2016 contestants who competed along with Catriona Gray is the Siera Bearchell of this edition. She’s also prettier than Siera if I’m being honest. For diversity alone, she should make the cut.
12. Ecuador (Virginia Limongi)
I still don’t see the appeal of Inday Virgie but I heard that she’s really nice especially after learning that she’s actually training here in the Philippines. Yeah, she’s pretty and has a great body and she reminds me a bit of Sofia Vergara but I find her too mature. I won’t discount her though as she is one of the early fan favorites and this could work as an advantage for her.
11. Mexico (Andrea Toscano)
I am absolutely enamored by her vibrant aura. She’s so personable and photogenic. I’m not sure if she’s as articulate as the some of the frontrunners but based on her Q& A during her national pageant, I think she’d be okay.
10. Vietnam (H’Hen Niê)
I find her very classy and modelesque. It’s nice that she’s trying out different styling but she should definitely keep her short do come Miss Universe proper.
9. Malta (Francesca Mifsud)
She’s just plain gorgeous. Period. I’m still not convince she could win it all or surpass the early favorites but I’ve a good feeling about her.
8. Thailand (Sophida Kanchanarin)
Host delegate Sophida has been getting polarizing support from her countrymen but that doesn’t mean that she won’t get the biggest support come December. She may get a free ride into the semis but I personally believe that she’d make it through her own merit. I find her beauty refreshing but she seriously needs to read up on current events! I hope she learns something from Maria and Fahsai’s mistakes during the crucial Q&A portion of their respective pageants.
7. Colombia (Valeria Morales)
Valeria have some big shoes to fill since her last 4 predecessors are in the top 3 with Paulina Vega even bagging the second Miss Universe crown for Colombia in 2014. She’s not as tall as these former Misses Colombia but her enigmatic look could work wonders for her. Besides, IMG seems to really love the Colombians so whilst I don’t find her the prettiest, I will go out on a limb to say that she will reach at least the top 10.
6. Venezuela (Sthefany Gutiérrez)
Having the longest preparation amongst the girls competing this year, Sthefany is all set to do a repeat of Keysi Sayago’s top 5 finish from last year. I still couldn’t see her winning the crown but she’s definitely a very strong contender.
5. Canada (Marta Stepien)
Like Kiara Ortega, Marta’s towering height and ugh-amazing body are two of the factors that would catapult her into the top. She may not be getting the noise of the four ladies above her but her multilingual background will boost her campaign for the crown!
4. USA (Sarah Rose Summers)
Sarah Rose still has a stronghold onto the top five and in contrast to Tamaryn, her personality is what makes her a perennial favorite by every pageant fans and pundits. I think she needs to work on her frame and experiment on her styling but it’s almost impossible for her to miss the top 5 much less the first cut.
3. South Africa (Tamaryn Green)
Tamaryn may have been Catriona’s biggest threat before Kiara but she’s losing steam as days go by. My biggest issue with her is that she tends to look too polished rendering her aura robotic and unapproachable.
2. Puerto Rico (Kiara Ortega)
Kiara is the highest entrant for the month of September even surpassing early favorites Tamaryn Green and Sarah Rose Summers and zooming into the second place next to La Gray. It’s been half a decade since Puerto Rico made the cut and for the third most winningest country in the pageant – that is not acceptable. This year seems to be the year that we’d finally see another Puerto Rican sailing through the semifinals and most likely will make it until the end. Kiara’s crowning sent ripples through the pageant community because of her exotic beauty that is just too hard to ignore. We’ll see if she could surpass Miss Gray and end up winning it all.
1. Philippines (Catriona Gray)
Catriona up to this point is heaps and miles ahead of her competitors. After her successful walk at the New York Fashion Week for Sherri Hill last month which made the brand one of the most talked about shows – it’s almost easy to imagine her doing shows gigs in New York as part of her Miss Universe duties. Heading to Thailand by November, the Mikimoto crown is hers to lose at this stage.