Tag Archives: Miss Universe

Catriona, Oh Catriona!

A recent photo release from famed Filipino photographer Raymond Saldaña made the rounds of social media today that shook pageant fans and pundits around the world for it showcased yet again the alluring beauty of Miss Universe 2018 frontrunner Catriona Gray!

Catriona Gray
Miss Universe Philippines 2018

Raymond Saldaña Photography
https://www.instagram.com/raymondsaldana_klickbox/

Make up by : Jelly Eugenio
Hair by : Florenz
Styled by : Patrick Henry Mergano
Earrings : Christopher E Munar
Gown : Cherry Samuya Veric

Exquisite, isn’t she?

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Bangkok is Ready for the Miss Universe 2018!

After almost three months of radio silence from the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), Bangkok is now ‘officially’ re-confirmed as the host of this year’s Miss Universe pageant. The MUO team spearheaded by its President Paula Shugart confirmed the event happening on December 17, 2018 (Local Time) after the initial announcement in July.

Yesterday, a Press Conference was held in Bangkok where the Miss Universe Organization presented the new financier of the pageant – the TNP Group – after its initial investor TW Investment pulled out from the project due to misbehavior of its shareholders putting the third hosting of the Kingdom in peril.

And there’s also a rumored new crown for the winner of this edition? So that means, no more Mikimoto crown? We’ll see in the coming days or during the finals night at the Impact Arena.

Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters via missuniverse.com

It can now be said that Bangkok is all set and ready to provide the most beautiful show in the Universe!

My Miss Universe September 2018 Hot Picks!

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.

ICYMI: Catriona Gray to walk for Sherri Hill

In a rather unprecedented event, Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray was invited and flown by Sherri Hill’s team in the US to walk for the designer’s show in the on-going New York Fashion Week.

Catriona Gray wearing Sherri Hill in the streets of New York. Photo from Facebook/ Bb Pilipinas

This news was first posted through Sherri Hill’s Instagram stories twice that was then confirmed by the Gray herself on her own Instagram.

Catriona will be competing in Bangkok on December 16 for the 2018 edition of the Miss Universe pageant and is touted to be one of the top contenders for the crown!

Miss Universe August 2018 Hot Picks!

On December 17 (Bangkok Time), the most beautiful day in the Universe will be held at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

via Miss Universe Facebook page.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters will crown her successor for the Miss Universe crown. So without further ado, let me present to you my Top 15 for the month of August!

From Catriona’s Instagram

1. Philippines – Catriona Gray
Catriona’s main weapon heading to Bangkok this December is her gift of gab. She is without question one of the best communicators to ever represent the Philippines in Miss Universe. With her modelesque features, alluring beauty and her large fan base across the globe amassed after her 2016 Miss World stint, Catriona is definitely the one to beat at this point.

Tamaryn Green (mytvnews.co.za)

2. South Africa – Tamaryn Green
The pressure is on for Tamaryn this year and she’s expected to deliver after Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters mounted a campaign so strong last year that ended their 39-year Miss Universe title drought. Her background as a medical student would be an advantage for her to push a related advocacy. Her towering height and beautiful complexion will be hard to ignore, so there’s a high probability for her to come on top this edition of the pageant if she’s as strong-willed and as confident as Demi-Leigh.

Sarah Rose Summers (thegreatpageantcommunity.com)

3. United States – Sarah Rose Summers
Sarah Rose reminds me so much of Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo. They both have great and sunny personalities and it’s not hard to imagine her duplicating what Olivia did 6 years ago. Her beauty may not be as versatile but what she lacks in that aspect, she makes up with her larger-than-life personality. For now, she’s in a safe third place for me.

4. Canada – Marta Stepien
Marta is the beauty pageant contestant doppelgänger of Taylor Swift. She is one of the latest confirmed contestants having recently won her national pageant. She skyrocketed to the top 5 right away by here mere sex appeal alone and that’s says a lot about her. Marta may just duplicate her compatriot’s accomplishment in 2015 when Natalie Glebova took the title away from the Latina. Is Bangkok Canada’s lucky city?

5. Thailand – Sophida Kanchanarin
Sophida’s beauty is a polarizing one and she definitely has a big shoes to fill after Maria Poonlertlarp cracked the top 5 last year in Vegas. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for me, she’s a diamond in the rough. I’ve a feeling that she’ll shock everyone come pageant proper.

6. Venezuela – Sthefany Gutiérrez
Sthefany is the first contestant confirmed for this year’s pageant and like Sophida, she’s also got a lot to prove as her predecessor Keysi Sayago reached the final five last year. She’s been widely praised for her exotic beauty with her so-called ‘Pocahontas’ hair but I’m honestly still not convinced that she could duplicate or even surpassed Keysi’s feat last year. I still think though that she’s still one of the strongest candidates this year.

7. Ecuador – Virginia Limongi
If there is someone as polished as Catriona Gray, it would be Virginia Limongi. She reminds me so much of Sofia Vergara although she have to be careful because she tends to look old at times. I won’t put her this high but the hype around her is pretty convincing so for now, she definitely have her place on my hot picks.

8. Vietnam – H’Hen Niê
Vienam’s H’Hen Niê is definitely the Kaci Fennel of this edition. I’m not sure how well she would be received by the preliminary judges but given the right training and styling, I could see her going far in the competition.

9. Korea – Baek Ji-hyun
She’s one of the recent contestants to be confirmed and I am absolutely loving her. She’s giving me the Honey Lee vibe and if she continue to improve until December, I’m definitely seeing her usurping early favorites for the crown.

10. Brazil – Mayra Dias
I loved Mayra’s beauty because she reminds me of the Latina heavyweights of the early 2000’s. This may either be an advantage or a disadvantage for her depending on her styling come pageant season. She is definitely going to make it, beauty alone.

11. Australia – Francesca Hung
Chinese-Australian Francesca is a welcome change for an Aussie delegate in this edition. If you search online for her make-up less face, you’d see how gorgeous she is. She’s definitely going to be a hit in Thailand with her biracial beauty.

12. Japan – Yuumi Kato
I adore Yuumi Kato! I feel that she’s one of the strongest Asian delegates this year and if Japan will make it again into the Top 5, she should be able to make it happen.

13. Spain – Angela Ponce
I loved that she’s making history as the first transwoman to compete in Miss Universe but generally, I do not find her at par with the contestants I have on my top 10. Maybe they should change her styling? Or perhaps with less make-up? I mean, she is definitely going to be in the semis but how far do I think she can go? Uhm, for now – top 15 at the most.

14. Mexico – Andrea Toscano
Oh, I loved Andrea even though she look a bit pageant patty to me. Nothing wrong with that but I’d love for her to sport a pony or perhaps more extension. No to heavy make up and she’s good to go for the Evening Gown round.

15. Nicaragua – Adriana Paniagua
Adriana is a quality rep for Nicaragua. She looks a bit old at times but I feel that it’s only because of her styling. I also want to see her with straight hair and I think that would make her more ravishing.

ICYMI: Miss Universe 2018 – Live in Thailand!

The 67th Miss Universe pageant will be held on 17 December 2018 at the Impact Areana in Bangkok, Thailand. This would be the third time the country will be hosting the show after the ultra successful staging of the pageant in 2005 and way back in 1992.

Steve Harvey who hosted the infamous 2015 edition will return for the fourth consecutive times as host.

Our very own Catriona Gray is also all set to ‘battle’ it out in Thailand releasing a short but beautiful video giving us a bit of a glimpse of the beautiful host country! Now, that is what you call gameplan!

Go and book your tickets now for the most beautiful event in the Universe!

ICYMI: Trans Model Angela Ponce Wins Miss Universe Spain 2018!!!

A model from Sevilla, Angela Ponce will be the very first transgender to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant this year.

In 2015, Angela participated in Miss World Spain where Miss Barcelona Mireia Lalaguna took the title and went on to win the first Miss World crown for the country.

Ponce completed her transition in 2014 after years of hormone therapy, according to Mail Online.

Ponce will now have the distinction of becoming the first transgender woman to ever compete at the Miss Universe pageant.

Back in 2012, a landmark case was established by then Miss Universe Canada transgender contestant Jenna Talackova when she was initially denied by the organization to participate. The Miss Universe Organization then announced that as long as she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada and the standards established by other international competitions,” then she gets the approval to participate in the pageant.

Binibining Pilipinas Specials 2018: Final Hot Picks & Predictions

In three days’ time, the winners of Binibining Pilipinas 2018 will be announced in a grand coronation at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Six girls will be crowned and will represent the country to these pageants – Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Supranational, Miss Grand International, Miss Intercontinental and Miss Globe.

With that being said, let me present to you my final pick for these titles along with the girls whom I think will most likely to spoil it for each title.

Binibining Pilipinas – Globe
The Miss Globe organization is a generous organization who has gifted us two winners already – Maricar Balagtas in 2001 (before the conflicts of the owners and when it was still an Istanbul based pageant) and most recently, Ann Colis (2015, now simply Miss Globe based in Canada). Nelda Ibe almost got the title last year and it’s easy to say that the organization is basically looking for a polished contestant to represent their brand. With that being said, I would pick Vickie Rushton as the best delegate to represent the Philippines. With her sultry look and very interesting background, she could easily seal the deal for our third win.

Most Likely to Upset: Ma. Andrea Abesamis. Aya’s polarizing appeal may do wonders overseas and she could clinch the third Miss Globe title for the country just as easily.

Binibining Pilipinas – Grand International

This budding Thai-owned pageant has been a tough nut to crack for the Philippines. The country has been sending top notch delegates such as Parul Shah, Nicole Cordovez and Elizabeth Clenci from last year who finished 3rd overall. With ‘promotion of peace and love’ as the pageant’s motto, I could easily envisioned Dr. Ena Velasco using her profession to easily see her way through the top and win the country’s first Miss Grand International title. Blessed with a pleasant mixed of Pacific and Oriental beauty – Ena is the perfect girl to win this title.

Most Likely to Upset: Karen Gallman’s beauty is definitely Nawat’s type of beauty. She’s like a petite latina beauty contestant and we all know how much Nawat loves her Latinas. Karen is a solid candidate but her height pretty much derails her chances on clinching the top 2 crowns.

Binibining Pilipinas – Intercontinental

Like in Miss Grand International, the country hasn’t won its first crown from this pageant. Pageant fans and pundits were in shock earlier this year when favorite Katarina Rodriguez failed to snag the crown but since it’s all done and over with, it seems like the best contestant to send here is the polarizing beauty of Ma. Andrea Verdadero Abesamis. I initially pegged her as the ultimate spoiler for the Miss Universe Philippines crown but as we approaches the finale, it looks like Aya will be best suited for this pageant for its unpredictability.

Most Likely to Upset: Michele Gumabao may also be a good fit for this pageant. She’s a great talker and an amazing personality that nobody cannot resist.

Binibining Pilipinas – Supranational

If there is one contestant who could charm this Europe-based pageant, Michele Gumabao with her statuesque frame and fun personality may just be the girl for it. Since the win of Korea’s Jenny Kim last year, it’s now kind of difficult to say if her win was just a bleep from their usual type of winners but knowing Michele could easily adjust the way she did from being a professional athlete into becoming a beauty pageant contestant, she could easily make her presence known and perhaps get our second win from this pageant.

Most Likely to Upset: I’ve to settle for Ahtisa right here as the second-best for this title. If she’s unable to clinch the International sash, she could easily be our Miss Supranational rep where her beauty will surely be appreciated first and foremost.

Binibining Pilipinas – International

This is actually a tricky one for me because I’ve consistently pitted two girls for this title since the very beginning. I thought it’d be a two-way battle between Vickie Rushton and Ahtisa Manalo, but lo and behold – Sigrid Grace Flores came out of nowhere leading up to the final stretch of the competition. Her contagious smile and glowing aura during the Parade of Beauties and her communication skills that was briefly showcased during The Road to the Crown was enough to render Vickie & Ahtisa’s arsenal weak to clinch the second highest title in the competition.

Most Likely To Upset: Angelie Asuncion. She’s one of the few girls who stood out for me in the televised Road to the Crown primer. What a revelation! She reminds me so much of her camp sister, Janicel Lubina. If Sigrid won’t make it past Ahtisa and Vickie, I’ve no problem with Angelie nabbing this title.

Miss Universe Philippines

This has been Catriona’s title to lose since the very beginning. Catriona went to the screening battle-ready and up to this point, she’s the girl that’s been tagged as the one to beat and the girl with the complete package. Barring any “political” moves against her, the probability of her getting the top plum is almost at a 100%.

Her gift of gab, facial beauty, elegant aura, towering height and international experience are what made her my ultimate Miss Universe Philippines.

Most Likely to Upset: Another fan favorite, Michele Gumabao may provide a hurdle to Catriona’s path to the MUP crown but I honestly don’t see her usurping Cat for the top title of the night.

I recall reading a comment from somewhere that actually encapsulate my thoughts about the Bb.Pilipinas Organization choosing the new Miss Universe Philippines – If they are gunning for the fourth Miss Universe crown – they should crown Catriona. If they’re after the continuous semis streak – choose Michele or Ena. If we want to rest for a bit and give others a chance to penetrate the semis – pick Aya.

I am now going to pray that we’d get the best results come Sunday night #forthePhilippines

My 2017 Recap in Beauty Pageants!

2017 has been an eventful year in the world of pageantry from the staging of the 65th Miss Universe pageant in Manila in January up to it’s homecoming in Las Vegas last November 26 and every minor and major pageants in between – it was whirlwind and almost chaotic for both pageant fans and pundits!

France took the Miss Universe crown ending its 63-year title drought.

In a sold-out Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines, you could hear the crowd clamoring for Haiti’s Raquel Pélissier to succeed the DCI crown from the outgoing Miss Universe, the Philippines’ very own Pia Wurtzbach but Iris Mittenare of France was just too strong a competitor to be denied. It was a well-deserved win after an impressive showing during the prelimenaries and a flawless performance in the finals night. Iris was the rightful winner!

Rachel Peters Conquered the Binibini Stage!

Rachel Peters is one of the frontrunners during this year’s Binibining Pilipinas and she was faultless during the finals night leaving all of the contestants vying for the lesser crowns.

Miss Earth 2017 is the Philippines!

Philippines winning the crown three times in four years was mired with criticism of it being rigged but truth be told, in a world full of mere beauties – having the brains to boot is a novelty that will be rewarded, given the right time.

Venezuela’s Ninoska Vasquez overperformed.
Ninoska was touted to be one of the two strongest delegates for the crown. She was perfection all throughout the pre-pageant night activities but fel short with her stage-presence during the finals. Rather, she may have done it a bit too much that left the judges uncomfortable?

Fahsai underwelhmed.
Along with the Venezuelan beauty, Paweesuda Drouin of Thailand nicknamed as Fahsai was expected to be part of the elemental court but during the crucial Final 8 interview portion of the competition, she stumbled when she picked the hashtag Millenial possibly costing her the Miss Earth crown.

Karen Ibasco lorded over the heavy favorites!
The Philippines is almost always sending brainy girls in this pageant. That is the biggest asset of Karen Ibasco as the host nation as she set on reclaiming the crown back to our home turf.

She may not be the most conventionally beautiful girl in the bunch but the girl does eat mic for breakfast and only reads the dictionary. Hah! Kidding aside, Karen was untouchable after the final 8 interview.

The Muy Caliente performance of Teresita Marquez at the Reina Hispanoamericana!

It was the debut participation of the Philippines and sending Teresita Marquez was perhaps the wisest decision from the organizer of the Miss World Philippines under its new national director – Arnold Vegafria.

Terestita also known as WinWyn Marquez was unstoppable in Bolivia so it’s very easy to see why she won the pageant becoming the very first Asian to do so!

Miss World 2017

via Miss World Facebook page.

Manushi Chhillar snatched the sixth Miss World crown for India tying the title with the most wins along with Venezuela.

One word – Liminous!

Indonesia finally won their first major beauty pageant crown!

Kevin Lilliana was the main frontrunner from the get go of the compeition and it’s no wonder that she end up giving her country its first win in a major beauty competition!

The Worst Staging of Miss Universe in History!

Aside from its cheap pre-pageant activities and the horrendous preliminary competition, the 66th edition of the pageant was nothing to write home about. It’s probably the worst staging of the pageant that I could remember!

Was Davina Bennett Robbed?

After a stellar performance all throughout the night, Jamaica’s Davina Bennett who sported an afro was denied the crown, only winning third overall. Despite strong showing, it seems like the competition was already pre-determined to be all about Demi-Leigh Peters of South Africa.

via Miss Universe Facebook page.

I’m very much happy with the overall winners of each respective major pageants and I hope to see more competitive girls in 2018!

My Miss Universe 2017 Top 16 Based on the Preliminary Competition!

Top 10 Swimsuit Competition (Alphabetical)
Angola 9.35
Chile 9.15
Colombia 8.75
Honduras 8.75
Peru 8.75
Philippines 9.75 – My Best in Swimsuit
Russia 9.55
South Africa 8.55
USA 9.55
Venezuela 9.75

Top 10 Evening Gown (Alphabetical)
Albania 8.50
Angola 9.85 – My Best in Evening Gown!
Germany 9.25
Iceland 8.50
Mexico 8.70
Peru 8.55
Philippines 9.75
Puerto Rico 8.75
Slovak Republic 8.50
Thailand 8.50

My Final 16 Based on Swimsuit and Evening Gown Competition
1. Philippines 9.75
2. Angola 9.60
3. Venezuela 9.075
4. USA 8.95
5. Mexico 8.90
6. Germany 8.875
7. Russia 8.825
8. Chile 8.70
9. Peru 8.65
10.Albania 8.50
10.1 Colombia 8.50
10.2 Puerto Rico 8.50
13. Thailand 8.475
14. Honduras 8.375
14.1. Slovak Republic 8.375
16. South Africa 8.325

Who are your Top 16?