Is it such a coincidence that the girls I placed as my 3rd fave in Miss Earth and Miss International became the eventual winners this year? Well that is what happened with Karen Ibasco of the Philippines and Kevin Liliana of Indonesia.
Kevin Liliana was crowned by outgoing Miss International Kylie Verzosa at the Tokyo Dome during the 57th annual competition. First runner up honors went to Curacao’s Chanelle de Lau (who was my top fave for the title), 2nd runner up Diana Croce of Venezuela. Amber Dew of Australia was named 3rd runner up and Japan’s Tsutsui Natsuki was named fifth place. This year two of the top 5 placers (Japan and Indonesia) also trained in the Philippines including United Kingdom.
Continental queens as follows:
Miss International Asia: Nam Seung Woo (Korea)
Miss International Europe: Ashley Powell (United Kingdom)
Miss International America: Carla Patricia Maldonado Simoni (Bolivia)
Miss International Africa: Daniella Akorfa Awuma (Ghana)
Miss International Oceania: Michelle Isemonger (New Zealand)
The rest of the top 8 were Phounsap Phonnyotha of Laos, Ashley Powell of UK and Jocelyn Mieles of Ecuador. Candidates from Slovakia, Ghana, Honduras, Finland, Panama, Thailand, and South Africa made it to the Top 15. The Philippines’ Mariel de Leon failed to make the semis proving that the Mikimoto curse is still strong and alive.
This has to be the most facially strong Miss International batch in recent history. So it is quite difficult to say who would be the next winner to succeed reigning Miss International Kylie Verzosa. We see at least 10 strong ladies that could eventually emerge victorious come November 14th.
The Alternates – these ladies could still make first cut in the competition.
20. Moldova, Daniela Bejan
19. Japan, Tsutsui Natsuki
18. Brazil, Bruna Zanardo
17. United Kingdom, Ashley Powell
16. Australia, Amber Dew
The Semi-finalists – this is a motley crew of ladies that I believe to still be a threat for the crown. They comprise some of the most gorgeous girls in the pageant and would perhaps be possible darkhorses for the title.
15. Panama, Darelys Santos
14. Vietnam, Thuy Dung
13. Russia, Elena Kviatkevich
12. Nepal, Niti Shah
11. Canada, Marta Magdalena Stepien
10. Colombia, Vanessa Pulgarin
9. Tunisia, Khaoula Gueye
8. Lithuania, Patricija Belousova
7. Thailand, Ratiyaporn Chookaew
The Possible Winners – these ladies seem to be the ones who are to battle for the crown. For the first time I have selected a woman of color for the Miss International title. The pageant has had its fair share of criticism over seldom selecting women of color as its titleholder. Chanelle is the perfect balance of wit, beauty and personality that could bring the title to the Caribbean.
6. Philippines, Mariel de Leon
5. Mexico, Citlaly Higuera
4. Venezuela, Diana Croce
3. Indonesia, Kevin Liliana
2. South Africa, Tayla Robinson
1. Curacao, Chanelle de Lau
The Miss International pageant is almost nearing a close and here is the second Sashes&Scripts Leaderboard… A lot of new names in this list as we expanded it from 12 to 16. Try to counter check it with the first leaderboard on this link.
16. Panama, Darelys Santos * new
15. Canada, Marta Magdalena Stepien * new
14. Moldova, Daniela Bejan * new
13. Colombia, Vanessa Pulgarin
12. Russia, Elena Kviatkevich * new
11. Nepal, Niti Shah ⇓
10. Venezuela, Diana Croce ⇓
9. United Kingdom, Ashley Powell ⇓
8. South Africa, Tayla Robinson ⇓
7. Philippines, Mariel de Leon ⇓
6. Lithuania, Patricija Belousova ⇓
5. Tunisia, Khaoula Gueye *new
4. Indonesia, Kevin Liliana ⇓
3. Curacao, Chanelle de Lau ⇑
2. Mexico, Citlaly Higuera ⇑
1. Thailand, Ratiyaporn Chookaew *new
After quite an absence from several activities of Miss International, Miss Thailand Ratiyaporn is back to good health. She is now into the full swing of the activities after getting early signs of chickenpox. Mexico’s Citlaly Higuera is also highly visible these days. Most noticeable is how Chanelle and Khaoula have climbed up in the list, watch out for these two as they might be the women of color who could finally win Miss International. Check back again soon for our final list of our Miss International 2017 favorites.
I’d have to say the Miss International pageant has attracted the most beautiful/ pretty/ gorgeous faces in any of the Alpha pageants this year.
The Tokyo-based Miss International pageant seems to prefer the classically beautiful faces for its winners. This year is no exception as at least 10 absolute perfect faces are currently competing in the pageant. While my list may be subjective, I have nonetheless listed those that perfectly fits the mold of what the pageant may be looking for…
* Colombia, Vanessa Pulgarin – looks like the Virreina to Senorita Colombia is doing well on her own in Tokyo. Vanessa has ‘beauty queen’ written all over her face with her high cheekbones, chiseled jawline and aquiline nose.
* Nepal, Niti Shah – she is the strongest Miss Nepal in any competition this year. She has an innocent, pure and yet lovable quality in her. Plus her face is one that you cannot easily dismiss. I hope to see her do well in the competition.
* Indonesia, Kevin Liliana – for the second straight year, Puteri Indonesia is sending their prettiest girl to MI. Boneka that is how I would describe her as she has the face that the Japanese organizers would love.
* Ukraine, Kseniya Chifa – are we even surprised to see Ukraine in this list? Ukraine would always be represented by fiercely gorgeous girls in any competition and Kseniya has a face any pageant girl would die for.
* Canada, Marta Magdalena Stepien – I absolutely didn’t have her in my early list of girls that I watched out for. But the girl is registering strong face and gorgeous mug shots every time her face is plastered on IG and FB posts. It also helps that Marta looks like a brunette Taylor Swift!
* South Africa, Tayla Robinson – perhaps the strongest blonde in the batch. I would love to see her make top 5 this year. And knowing how the Japan-based pageant have a penchant for blonde beauties, I feel Tayla will fare well in the pageant.
* Philippines, Mariel de Leon – she has arguably the friendliest and most angelic face of the bunch. Doll face if I should describe her. From the time she joined BBP earlier this year, I knew she would be perfect for MI and she is delivering well in Tokyo.
* Mexico, Citlaly Higuera – another stunner from Mexico. Her country never sends facially weak girls and this year is no exception. In fact Citlaly in my book is one of the best faces in MI this year. Her face is visual orgasm come to life.
* Lithuania, Patricija Belousova – when she puts on red lipstick, this pretty-faced dancesport athlete transforms into a pageant diva. She has the facial features that previous MI winners like Andrea Neu and Anne Lena Hansen possess.
* Venezuela, Diana Croce – she is arguably the most photogenic in this year’s batch. She looks just as goon in professional shoots as in her candids. This Elite Model Look winner has been modeling since age 14 and has walked the runways of New York Fashion Week.
Some of the girls that also almost made it into the list are the ladies from Curacao, Tunisia, Vietnam and Laos. But if there was ever a 1-2-3-4 punch combo in this year’s competition, those would have to be Venezuela, Lithuania, Mexico and the Philippines… with Nepal and Canada just close behind. It would be interesting to see if any of these girls would land the top 5 in this year’s competition!
I was asked to do the second Miss International Sash Picks banner as the pageant is now well underway its activities. (I didn’t join the deliberation though, just did the artwork).
20. United Kingdom, Ashley Powell
19. Sweden, Lina Ljungberg
18. India, Ankita Kumari
17. Ethiopia, Bamlak Dereje
16. Indonesia, Kevin Liliana
15. Curacao, Chanelle De Lau
14. Canada, Marta Magdalena Stepien
13. Colombia, Vanessa Pulgarín Monsalve
12. Brazil, Bruna Zanardo
11. Finland, Pihla Koivuniemi
10. Thailand, Ratiyaporn Chookaew
9. Panama, Darelys Santos
8. Mexico, Citlaly Higuera
7. Nepal, Niti Shah
6. Philippines, Mariel de Leon
5. Australia, Amber Dew
4. Japan, Tsutsui Natsuki
3. South Africa, Tayla Robinson
2. Venezuela, Diana Croce
1. Lithuania, Patricija Belousova
Looks like the Miss International 2017 will be bringing in a number of pageant crossovers from other Alpha pageants. As of writing Patricija Belousova, Chanelle de Lau, Bruna Zanardo and Diana Croce are the expected crossover beauties in this years edition.
Bruna Zanardo – Brazil, was Miss Earth Fire before being dethroned of her title. Having not completed her year before competing again in a pageant, she is actually following the footsteps of Punika Kulsoonrut who was stripped of her ME-Water title in 2013. Despite failing to get a state title to be able to compete in Miss Brazil this year, Bruna is a welcome addition to the MI pageant. I do have some reservations for her winning MI this year, hopefully the Japanese judges & organizers would find her beauty suitable for their pageant.
Chanelle de Lau – Curacao, competed in Miss Universe 2016 in Manila. She was a personal favorite who wowed the crowd during the final dress rehearsals. With her wit and public speaking skills, I see her advancing into the semis and could possibly nail a spot in the top 5 this year. Chanelle would be a great rep for the MI organization should she win and could usher more spotlight to the Caribbean girls in the Tokyo-based contest.
Patricija Belousova – Lithuania, participated in Miss Universe 2014. The blue-eyed ash blonde beauty was one of the facially strong candidates in MU that year. She stunned in her white national costume but wore a forgettable gray evening gown. Hopefully she won’t make the same fashion mistakes in Miss International as she is a shoo-in for the semis and even the Miss Photogenic award.
Diana Croce – Venezuela, was her country’s rep to Miss World in 2016. She was styled to look like past MW winners from her country: Astrid Carolina Herrera, Ninibeth Leal & Jacqueline Aguilera. That is probably why she failed to make the cut despite being of the facially strongest girls in that batch. Her participating in MI this year could be her redemption as I could see her romp away with the title. Hopefully she is styled more naturally this time.
The Miss International pageant this year gathers several gorgeous ladies who could be great successor to the reigning queen, Kylie Verzosa of the Philippines. And before we get to see the ladies be at the thick of the competition, let’s list down Sashes&Script’s First Miss International 2017 Leaderboard…
12. Maeva Balan, France
11. Niti Shah, Nepal
10. Vanessa Pulgarin, Colombia
9. Thuy Dung, Vietnam
8. Citlaly Higuera, Mexico
7. Chanelle de Lau, Curacao
6. Tayla Robinson, South Africa
5. United Kingdom, Ashley Powell
4. Lithuania, Patricija Belousova
3. Mariel de Leon, Philippines
2. Kevin Liliana, Indonesia
1. Diana Croce, Venezuela
This year, MI attracted some of the best faces for the competition in Japan. Hence the girls in my top 12 list comprises of some of the most facially strong candidates. So it would probably boil down on the attitudes and intelligence factors on how to determine the winner. But for now let’s enjoy the early frontrunners in the competition.
Check back again soon as we continue to monitor the pageant and the girls. Maybe a new set of favorites may emerge in the next leaderboard!
2016 will go down in pageant history that all of Osmel Sousa’s girls did not penetrate the semis of the international pageants they were sent into. If not for the Miss Earth – Water title of Stephanie de Zorzi (under the new national director & former Miss Earth Alyz Henrich after the MVOrg dropped the franchise), Venezuela would have no placement in the four Alpha pageants of 2016. While I may not be privy to how the judges scored the girls in their respective pageants, here are my thoughts on the possible reasons why Osmel’s girls did not make it this year…
1. Jessica Duarte – there is an unwritten/ unspoken rule in Miss International that no reigning country is to make semis the following year, and that has been happening for the past 4 or 5 years. However, observing Jessica’s performance in the MI pre-pageant activities, she looked more of a wall flower than a go-getter that Edymar was in her year. This perhaps was the reason why she was not endeared to the judges. Despite a lovely face and banging body, she could have made better impression had she been more engaging and more magnetic in her personality(?)… This is perhaps why the judges chose other girls over her, since the MI has started to redefine what they want from their winners.
2. Diana Croce – in retrospect, I can see now that she came in ill-prepared for the Miss World challenges at hand. She barely updated the Miss Venezuela Facebook page which could have increased her Multimedia score. Her BWAP project was also too quiet and that could have really boosted her chance at the semis. Her styling was too much of a copycat with that of former MW winner Jacquline Aguilera and MW runner up Adriana Vasini. This has to do with her announcement as Miss Mundo Venezuela at November only to compete in December. It also would have hurt that the MW prefers to have a girl crowned from a separate pageant than just a runner up. So it was a total waste to have Diana Croce compete when she was unprepared and raw. She had the looks and the qualities that could have performed better in MW if she had more than enough time to prepare.
3. Mariam Habach – this is a head-scratcher as Mariam did everything almost right. Mariam did well in the preliminaries which leaves the interview as possible culprit of her non-inclusion. One of the judges has spoken that Mariam didn’t look or sounded confident in the interviews, and that puts into light how heavy the one-on-one interviews is. While rumors of a diva attitude hound her, those are considered rumors until some of her fellow candidates or someone from the MUOrg will say so. But those rumors wouldn’t die down, so I am inclined to believe that when there’s smoke, there might be fire. My personal theory is that Venezuela’s non-placement had something to do with the ‘no concurrent titleholders‘ policy of MU. Whichever is the case, Mariam still deserved a place at the semis for her preliminary performance alone.
With these painful non-placements of Osmel’s girls I believe that the Miss Venezuela Organization would have to re-calibrate their machinery in how they train their ladies… and re-calibrate and fine tune they will have to do. This is just one stumbling block that Venezuela can overcome. This is just one year in many.
Osmel’s record is still unbeatable and he can and will come back again stronger…
One of the fastest deliberations we ever had is this year’s Miss World SashPicks. We argued more on the runners up and finalists than who should win.
Catriona Gray lead our SashPicks from Day 1 so it is not surprising that she is also our top pick for our Final SashPick. She is undoubtedly the strongest and most well-rounded candidate in this year’s pageant. She was the Fasttrack winner in MultiMedia, placed 2nd in Talent and is one of the 5 girls with the highest scores in Beauty with a Purpose (which she could also win)! And according to some of our moles, she is one of the few selected girls that were called in for the 2nd Interview Rounds where the finals night judges were also present. Now how’s that for having the lead!
Check out the rest of the ladies who made it into our list…
PHILIPPINES – Catriona Gray
DOMINICAN REP – Yaritza Reyes
AUSTRALIA – Madeline Cowe
RUSSIA – Yana Dobrovolskaya
INDONESIA – Natascha Mannuela
CHINA – Jing Kong
MONGOLIA – Bayartsegseg
INDIA – Priyadarshini Chatterjee
HUNGARY – Timea Gelencsér
KENYA -Evelyn Thungu
Top 20 (Random Order)
COOK ISLANDS – Natalia Short
UNITED STATES – Audra Mari
VENEZUELA – Diana Croce
MEXICO – Ana Girault
FRANCE – Morgane Edvige
CROATIA – Angélica Zacchigna
NEPAL – Asmi Shrestha
COLOMBIA – Shirley Atehortua
UKRAINE – Oleksandra Kucherenko
SOUTH AFRICA -Ntandoyenkosi Kunene