24 hours to go before the finale! Meet the delegates from Haiti to the Netherlands:
Haiti – Caroline Minerve
The French-speaking half of Hispaniola made the Top 15 when they debuted 2012 but is unlikely replicate that feat this year. This year’s candidate has a great smile but looks a bit mature for her age.
Hawaii – Courtney Coleman
She represented her U.S. state in Miss Teen USA 2011 and has since blossomed into a sassy and stylish young lady. Her Asian features might be deemed too strong, but she’ll put up a fight.
Honduras – Vanessa Villars
The Central American country placed 1st Runner-Up in 2015 but has stepped back into the background since. They’ll probably remain there for now.
Hong Kong- Wing Wong
An adorable girl with an adorable, alliterative name; imagine how cute it would sound if she introduced herself in the same manner Miss Universe candidates did in 2002. (“Wing Wong, Hong Kong!”). That would surely be a highlight.
Hungary – Rebeka Harto
This country made the Top 5 when it wasn’t expected to place (2013), and ignored when it was expected to win (2015). Anything can happen here, but as of now, she’s not generating any buzz.
India – Ankita Kumari
Miss International belongs to that distinct minority of global pageants where India hasn’t won, and it doesn’t help that they’re going through a fallow period lately. But this candidate does project nicely.
Indonesia – Kevin Lilliana
It’s amusing that she has a typically male first name. She’s not as stunning as last year’s 2nd Runner-Up, Felicia Hwang, but she’s a formidable contender in her own right. Chances are, she’ll continue the streak; her country’s hungry for a crown.
Japan – Natsuki Tsutsui
The Land of the Rising Sun regained its clout last year and they seem to have learned from the three consecutive years they spent “in the cold”. It’s great that they’re sending contenders again and no longer reliant just on being the host country. A placement is probable.
Korea – Seung Woo Nam
There used to be an unwritten rule that whenever Japan places, this country places too. You know, for “goodwill”. But lately, they’re going through a dry spell, and they haven’t placed since 2010. This candidate is a dark horse contender at best.
Laos – Phounesup Phonnyotha
We’ve yet to find out how the Miss Universe debutante will fare, but this girl is definitely cuter and more polished than her Miss World counterpart. A surprise semifinal finish would be nice. Welcome, Laos!
Lebanon – Dima Safi
Christina Sawaya feels like such a distant memory now, doesn’t she?
Lithuania – Patricija Belousova
This petite stunner was unjustly ignored in Miss Universe 2014, though in hindsight, her near-resemblance to Ukraine‘s eventual 2nd Runner-Up, Diana Garkusha, might have been a factor. It’s conceivable that she’ll finally be given her due in this pageant.
Macau – Sofia Paiva
The Special Administrative Regions of China sent very cute girls this year. This girl is clearly of Portuguese descent. Can the judges save room for a Eurasian in the Top 15?
Malaysia – Annie Wong Wei Wei
Two countries are currently tied in terms of having the longest placement drought in this pageant: 51 years. The other stands a good chance at finally ending theirs (more on that later). Malaysia, on the other hand, might not be fortunate just yet.
Mauritius – Laetitia Begue
Oh, Mauritius. Not yet.
Mexico – Citlaly Higuera
Meet Latina-Most-Likely #2. Her country has been sending top notch, crown-worthy candidates since 2014, but none of them made it past the Top 15. This Nuestra Belleza runner-up hopes to finally surpass that streak and, with luck, grab her country’s third crown. If she does, it would truly be a milestone: it’s been ten years since they won their first crown.
Moldova – Daniela Bejan
Last year’s Moldovan rep won a special award called Miss Perfect Body. This year’s candidate might just parlay that into a placement.
Mongolia – Saikhantamir Amarsanaa
Her prior experience in obscure, smaller international pageants may serve her, but probably not to the extent of putting her at a major advantage.
Myanmar – Sao Yoon Wadi Oo
Her country’s best recent performances tend to be in Miss Supranational, and they’ve yet to make a major splash elsewhere. This year’s candidate is fashionable and elegant; another sleeper possibility.
Nepal – Niti Shah
When she was crowned as her country’s representative, fans were quick to rave about her angelic face and peculiarly Eurasian features (honestly, it looks like she could be from any continent). She is still, thankfully, living up to the hype and still impresses at every turn. With luck, she might even usurp a top spot from one of the Latinas.
Netherlands – Nathalie Mogbelzada
It’s hard not to dwell on how Miss Tourism Queen International, a pageant that used to attract over 100 participants, would now be thankful just to reach 40. Seeing the 2015 winner in the mix fuels further implications. Well, being a former titleholder could be bane or boon, but it does boost this girl’s confidence. And even without that dilemma, she is still a top-notch contender who deserves recognition for such.