Life!

The Fairest of them all

Miss Universe contestants, from left, Deshauna Barber of the United States, Carolyn Carter of THE U.S. Virgin Islands, Mariam Habach of Venezuela and Le Hang of Vietnam, pose during the evening gown preliminary competitionof the Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. A total of 86 contestants are vying for the title in the grand coronation on Jan. 30 to succeed Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Miss Universe contestants, from left, Deshauna Barber of the United States, Carolyn Carter of THE U.S. Virgin Islands, Mariam Habach of Venezuela and Le Hang of Vietnam, pose during the evening gown preliminary competitionof the Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. A total of 86 contestants are vying for the title in the grand coronation on Jan. 30 to succeed Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

MISS UNIVERSE 2016 CROWNING  MOMENT

Have you picked a single favorite candidate?

With 86 lovely women vying for the Miss Universe 2016 crown, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a bevy of beauties but, of course, there’s going to be that one who will captivate you with her smile, poise, grace, overall stage presence—and the next thing you know, you’ll be rooting for her.

By now, many have already picked their bets. Here are what you may call “fearless predictions.” Who will inherit the crown from the reigning queen Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach? We’ll find out today.

Joselito “Boboi” Costas, Cebu Provincial Tourism chief, witnessed the swimwear fashion show held at JPark Island Resort and Waterpark, Cebu last Jan. 17. Top 10 candidates who caught his eye (in no particular order): Colombia, Thailand, Spain, USA, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Vietnam, Philippines, Turkey and Singapore.

“Physically, they stand out. I wish I could also get to talk to them, if they are really beautiful inside out,” he said.

Rain Villagonzalo, a beauty pageant winner and Cebu’s first Queen title holder, flew to Manila on Saturday to watch the pageant live at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Waxing nostalgic in a Facebook post, Rain reveals that it was her mom who introduced her to the world of pageants, starting when Mona Grudt of Holland won Miss Universe 1990.

“Since that day, at a tender age of seven, I started following Miss Universe. Yes, that’s how Rain Marie Madrigal (her stage name during pageants) started. So here I am finally getting the chance to witness this grand event in person. I may have not become Miss Universe myself, but watching this pageant live is the closest I could ever get so I’m still grateful.”

Rain’s Top 12 are the candidates from Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, France, Indonesia, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Spain, Thailand, USA and Venezuela.

Her Final 3: Venezuela, Spain and France.

Meanwhile, an outtake from Tom’s Page of Miss Universe Mania (www.tpmum.com) who has consistently blogged about Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe since 1997, reveals the names of the ladies who deserve a slot in the Top 6.

MISS UNIVERSE 2016 PRELIMINARY COMPETITION / JANUARY 27, 2017 Miss Universe candidate from Philippines Maxine Medina competes during a national costume preliminary competition  held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, January 26, 2017. INQUIRER PHOTO / JILSON SECKLER TIU

MISS UNIVERSE 2016 PRELIMINARY COMPETITION / JANUARY 27, 2017
Miss Universe candidate from Philippines Maxine Medina competes during a national costume preliminary competition held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, January 26, 2017.
INQUIRER PHOTO / JILSON SECKLER TIU

In his words:

6. Philippines’ Maxine Medina

Maxine’s “superb” performance during the preliminaries were one of the few reasons why she made it to the top six list. As Tom put it, she has a nice overall look and body and her green fringe gown moved really well on stage and was unique and eye-catching and naturally, Maxine was further encouraged by the support of her people.

5. Brazil’s Raissa Santana

Tom calls Raissa’s spot as lucky as the last 3 Miss Universe (Pia, Paulina and Gabriela) were all on the top five spot on his predictions. Will the luck continue this year? Raissa is the second black woman to represent Brazil after Deise Nunes de Souza made her way to the 6th place back in 1986. She commands your attention with her distinct hair style.

4. Australia’s Caris Tiivel

Caris has been considered as one of the strong contenders for this year’s Miss Universe. “She has a stunning overall look with a great body and this gown reminds me a lot of the gown worn by Brazil’s delegate in 2012 so she stands out in all the right ways and I am looking for Caris to get Australia another consecutive placement and maintain their excellent track record since they have placed 7 of the last 8 years.”

2nd Runner Up: France’s Iris Mittenaere

France has been a consistent strong contender every year. Tom considers her a strong bet because of “her phenomenal body and overall look.” And her yellow gown is also unique, adds Tom.

1st Runner Up: Venezuela’s Mariam Habach

Venezuela’s spot has always been securing the top spots for every Miss Universe as they send candidates that are “cut above the rest.” Mariam with her sensational hair and her gown presentation during the preliminaries, she might get that top second spot for the international pageant.

“Mariam could very well get Venezuela its eighth Miss Universe crown and I would not be surprised if it happens. I gave the edge to Indonesia just because I feel that she may be more along the lines of what the new management is looking for but Mariam delivered and gave us the glamour and the show that makes us remember why we follow pageantry in the first place,” Tom explained.

Winner: Indonesia’s Kezia Warouw

This year proves to be a year for Asians as they bring in strong contenders for the crown. And Kezie might just bring home the first Miss Universe title for her country.

“I think Kezia is the kind of young lady that they want as she would be a very respectable Miss Universe and I feel she will appeal to the judges and the general public as she is a very strong overall candidate. Not only is she tall, elegant, modelesque and beautiful but she is also very intelligent as demonstrated by being skilled in PHP coding and she also does a lot of volunteer work with charitable organizations. I had high expectations and she hasn’t let me down.”

TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, Colombia, CROWNING MOMENT, Indonesia, life, Miss Universe, Miss Universe 2016, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Vietnam
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