First of all, I wanted to say this year has been one crazy roller coaster about many different rumors about many different things. It gets tiresome. I never understood why it took 5 days to release the preliminary show, when they could have stream it LIVE at that moment. This situation is unheard of. Miss Supranational had their LIVE stream without audience, and very simple carpeted runaway and only shown to the judges.
I also don’t like dividing by continents. I think that’s not fair because there are so many girls on their continents that would be left out immediately.
My top 16 caught my eyes from the day one they won their respective countries to represent at Miss Universe, but I will do my predictions by continent like Miss Universe and IMG people want.
Peru- I really like her a lot. She stayed consistent through the entire 3 weeks at Miss Universe. I never really noticed her until she arrived. I see her as one of the strongest Latina, and one of the strongest girls Peru send to Miss Universe. She competed at Miss Grand International 2016 and placed in top 10. I loved her gown at preliminary. I expect her to be at least in top 10 or 5.
Colombia- I really like this girl and she is stunning. Colombia has been sending very strong girls for last few years. I am sure she feels pressure to stay in top 3 this year. 2015 was mistakenly crowned and 2014 won Miss Universe. She reminds me of my very dear friend, Christina Famularo-Rodrigue, who competed at Miss Louisiana USA.
Venezuela- A lot of controversy about this girl- when she won Miss Universe Venezuela, I told myself, she is going to be in top 16 for sure. But when she arrived she had some good days with styling and some not so great days with styling. So I am on the fence on placing her in top 16. But Venezuela usually placed in top 16 not a problem at all, until last year, in 2016 didn’t place. So that can put some pressure and some high stakes for her to be in top 16. I feel like she is playing it very safe. I am one of the biggest fans of Miss Universe Venezuela because they DON’T play it safe at the state level. Their pageant is truly amazing like the super bowl or Mardi Gras. I am always looking forward to seeing what girls like Kenysi will wear at Miss Universe because they always have amazing bombed dress!
Iceland- Iceland, Iceland, Iceland. What can I really say about this stunning girl! I was so happy that I was able to go to Miss Universe Iceland pageant last September. When I first saw her in person, I gasped and said, she’s going to win the title and do very well at Miss Universe. Not because she has the best directors, Jorge and Manuela. She has the whole package. I can see her doing the job as Miss Universe 2017. Arna’s face is one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen. If she doesn’t win, She will go very far internationally. I love to see girls in action at Miss Universe because many of us cant be there. She made us feel like we were part of the experience of what girls were doing for last 3 weeks. Arna is great with social media. I think that is a very good way to publicize the organization itself. Iceland is my pick for winner and in top 3.
Russia- I am in love with Russia. This girl is very strong by being so consistent through the 3 weeks being at Miss Universe. She is flawless. Only thing I am concerned about, when Miss Russia 2002 won Miss Universe and she was dethroned. So I am hoping she can rewrite Russia’s story and place in top 10 or maybe 5. I have seen some great and stunning girls for Russia for last few years. She is in my top 10 at least, but maybe top 5
Germany- I never paid attention to Sophia until she walked on the stage at preliminary, until they shut down the live stream. Her face reminds me of one of the famous Victoria Secret runway models. I think Germany can go up to top 10 for sure, but maybe 5. Sophia will be first German to win Miss Universe or place in top 16, 10, 5. It would be nice to have country like Germany go that far.
Spain- Sofia is one of the ladies with the strongest face at Miss Universe, other than Arna, Miss Iceland. She looks like perfection on the stage. She has the height, the body, and modeling look IMG is looking for. She will go very far.
Next continents; I don’t like it very much that they pick top 4 from Africa, Oceania and Asia. I see a lot of girls from those continents who can easily place in top 16 without being “forced” to be picked top 4.
South Africa- This girl is beyond stunning! I put her as 2ndmost stunning girl for Miss Universe 2017. She has been heavy favorite to win for the title since the day she was crowned as Miss Universe South Africa. I never knew that she has dark hair until they showed the video. I really like both colors. The only thing I am afraid of, that I have been studying for years, is that whenever heavily favorite is picked by fans and some judges, the girls ended up not winning. I would LOVE this streak to be broken and allow the heavily favorite to win. South Africa is in my top 5.
Thailand- Maria started to grow on me. I can see why people put her in their predictions as top 3 or winner. She has an impeccable gown that I really like. She seems like a type of person who would carry herself very well under pressure, with the haters, if she wins Miss Universe. She reminds me of Miss Universe 1988 who also won from Thailand. Thai people have a good heart and always want the best for everyone. I expect to see her in top 3, even though I have some other girls in top 3. I wouldn’t be upset because she deserves to be in top.
Korea- Cho is one of the strongest contestants Korea sent to Miss Universe, other than Honey Lee, who was Miss Universe Korea 2007. But there is no comparison between Honey Lee and her. She is unique in her own ways. Cho seems very well prepared and probably did her homework for years to be polished at Miss Universe. I loved her gown. One of the best gowns I have seen for this year. I would love to have her in top 10 or 5. It is all depending on the interview.
Angola- Lauriela came out of nowhere. BAM. Everything she did a the preliminary was perfection! I was in awe of her. One of the prettiest African girls I seen on the stage. They had Miss Universe 2011 from Angola. Lauriela has the face. I couldn’t stop staring at her face. One of the beautiful faces I see for Class of 2018. If they continue to have Miss Universe as ambassador for HIV/AIDS then Angola would be a good country with Lauriela as representative.
USA- I will make it simple, sweet and short. She will be place in top 15 on her own merits. She won Miss USA with a strong story as scientist. If IMG wants a story, she is in for sure with no doubt. USA was very strong at the preliminary so I know that it will happen.
Philippines- She will most likely wins the fan vote because a large percentage fans are from Asia and from Philippines. She is beautiful, but not stunning like Pia – Miss Universe 2015 and some other runner ups in top 5 over last few years. The only thing I am wowed by her is her wardrobe, that’s it. Another hint that she may be in top 16, because Pia is part of the telecast judges panel.
Nepal- Christine is the first Nepal that send to Miss Universe 2017. That is a big deal. I watched the preliminary shows at least 3 times trying to figure her out. She is a natural beauty. I love her gown. I talked to one of my good friends. He said, “ Don’t rule her out.” Something special about her that we need to watch close. Being first Nepalian to compete at Miss Universe 2017 can be a big story for IMG and Nepal country itself. Win-win situation.
Indonesia- If IMG is looking for model-esque and exotic looking, Bunga has a good shot for the title. I would not be surprised if Indonesia will be next “Philippines” to be dominating the Asia continent for winning the crowns. Someday. I loved the style dress she had on.
Remember, IMG is different than MUO. They are a modeling agency. They have surprised us in the past with the winners as Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Universe. So keep in mind why I am doing this because I am trying to see their side and their perspective.
IMG Ideal of Top 4 Americas:
Canada- Lauren is beautiful. They send the right girl and one of the strongest Canadian to represent at Miss Universe. Lauren is blonde and if they want average “model looking”, then give it to Lauren to earn the spot.
Peru- Prisilla is STUNNING! She has the face, and is one of the strongest Latina girls for this year. I can picture IMG using her for future modeling after the pageants.
Nicaragua – MUO loves Nia Sanchez, and Nia went all the way to 1st runner up to Miss Universe 2014. Berenice has the look and she looks like Nia. She has the model body. My bet will go to her if they want Nia 2.
Mexico- Denisse’s face is undeniable and insanely gorgeous! She carried herself very well on the stage at the preliminary night even though the ugly stage was really big distraction and the lights were horrible.. If they want another wannabe “Ximena”, but not as insanely gorgeous, then she will be up there.
IMG Ideal of top 4 Europe:
Iceland- Arna, I think IMG and I would agree on Iceland to earn a final spot. I have heard from a few people saying that she is STUNNING in person. She is, and I have seen her on the stage at Miss Universe Iceland last September. She has the whole package for Miss Universe 2017. Everything she wore at Miss Universe for 3 weeks was perfection. Iceland nailed this year for strong potential winner for Miss Universe. I have seen a picture of Paula sitting up front with her people and she was all beaming and smiling when Arna walked on the stage, in one of the BEST costumes I have ever seen. My and IMG bets are on her going very far to be in top 3.
Russia- IMG and I agree about her being deserving to be in Top 16. Ksenia is gorgeous and has the model-esque look and her evening gown is amazing! Many experts predict her in top 3. I can see why, but I have a few girls that I think would be in top 3. However, I wouldn’t be upset if she was in top 3.
France- Alicia has the face and her hair is what people are starting at when she walks by- the only reason I can think of why IMG would put her in top 16, is because they love Iris. I see a problem and am worried about her age. She is 18 and very shy and doesn’t speak English at all.
Great Britain- Anna has the face, but I never noticed her until the preliminary. Something about her has IMG written all over. I don’t know what and why. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they give her the spot for top 16.
IMG Ideal of Top Africa/Asia/Oceania:
India- If IMG wants someone to be the “FACE” for their company, India has the look, and I really like the dress. That’s pretty much it from India. She is no Lara Dutta who I personally think was one of the best Miss Universe ever!
South Africa- She is everything, the face, the body, the walk. The only thing that hurt her is her height. She is very petite . But again, IMG can overlook that and know she can represent their agency without a problem.
Tanzania- Lilian is a natural beauty and seems so genuine on the stage and is enjoying her time. I have seen her story on social media. She has a very strong story and became very self-sufficient. She was an orphan, watched her siblings die, and came with $80 dollars to USA. She reminds me of Miss Universe 1999, Botswana came out of nowhere on anyone’s prediction list. I was told that the audience LOVED her at the preliminary night.
IMG Ideal WILDCARD:
USA – Its given placement for USA.
Philippines- Fan Vote. T.H.A.T. I.S. I.T.
Angola- They had Miss Universe 2011 from Angola. Lauriela has the face. I couldn’t stop staring at her face. One of the beautiful faces I see for Class of 2018. If they continue to have Miss Universe as ambassador for HIV/AIDS then it would be a good country with a representative like Leila Lopes.
Indonesia- If IMG is looking for model-esque and exotic looking, Bunga has a good shot at the title. I would not be surprised if Indonesia will be next “Philippines” to be dominating the Asia continent for winning the crowns. Someday. I loved the style dress she had on.
IMG bubbles: Iraq, Ireland, Panama, Paraguay.
Cambodia- Sotheary got my attention and I am surprised that nobody has been talking about her. I have seen it a few times in the past that nobody paid attention to some girls, and girls ended up going very far. For example: Angola in 2011. She won and nobody talked about her. So I would suggest people not to underestimate this girl. She is a breath of fresh air to look at. If Miss Universe/IMG want a good role model, who knows when to talk and when to not talk, she has a shot. It would be amazing if Cambodia can be in top 16, or 10 or 5, or 3. One tiny problem, I heard from a source that her interview skills are not so strong. If she had strong interview skills then she would be in top 5 for me.
Chile- I have small soft spot for her because she is simply gorgeous on the stage and had an amazing dress that I really like. Also, my dear friend, Javier and I have been talking about her for last 3 weeks, a Chilean telling me that Natividad is one of the strongest Chilean ladies they have sent to Miss Universe. She also was in top 8 at Miss Earth 2015.
Curacao- Nashaira got my attention with her yellow gown! It’s gorgeous on her. I also think Curacao is one of places that is starting to send strong girls. Look at Miss international 2017, Chanelle was 1str runner up when everyone thought she should have won Miss International 2017. I also loved Jacqueline who was in top 10 back in 1991.
US Virgin Island- Esonica is naturally beautiful and she has some great experience in competing on the international level in the past. She knows what she is doing. She is the first girl to compete in all 4 big grand slam pageants: Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss Supranational and Miss Earth. She placed in top 15 at Miss World 2011, 4th runner up to Miss Supranational 2013, and unplaced at Miss Earth 2014. So after you read about her, you may want to put her back in your prediction or bubbling up. Also she has one of the best directors, Lulu Orange. I personally know Lulu. Lulu is amazing and trained great girls to win.
My Honorable Mention:
Canada- The only thing I can say that I think she is beautiful and loved her white dress at the preliminary that she wore when she won Miss Universe Canada. She reminds me of Kristen Dalton, Miss USA 2009- the facial part. I think they would place her in top because of last year. That’s it. But I think she will place in top 16 but not my ideal pick.
China- Roxana may not be gorgeous like Li, Miss Universe China 2011. I am still devastated that she didn’t win that year. She was the BEST for China! But this girl brought high fashion and stayed unique, standing out from the rest of the crowd. If they put garbage bag on her, she will still know how to walk in it and wear it! And if Miss Universe wants to have good ranking, and have good relationship with the world, then they should listen to Miss World because Miss World is the home for one of the big pageants in the world.
Jamaica- I don’t see her in top 16, but rest of the people say it. So she is the safe bet to possibly be in.
Israel: She is gorgeous and tall. I love her and I would also love to see Israel place in top 16 at some point. I have heard from inside source that she is very smart. So If IMG wants to have smart and pretty girl. They may want her in top 16.
Sri Lanka- I am torn between having Sri Lanka up there or not. I have seen people saying that she is in their top 5.
Vietnam- I can’t believe that nobody put her in the top prediction or being mentioned at all. When I looked at the preliminary picture of her, there is something that I could not put my finger on it. I somewhat can see her placing in top 16 and even maybe go very far. It would be nice to see Vietnam placing in top 16. They haven’t had someone since 2008. Also she has some international experience and placed in top 20 at Miss Grand International in 2016 and top 25 at Miss World 2014.