Four of them made a splash (one of them, a literal splash) in their respective fast tracks, one’s from a debuting nation, and one’s a 65th Miss Universe alumna. This is Group 12:
England – Stephanie Hill
This sophisticated 22-year-old exudes a classy, aristocratic charm; her dabbling in the performance arts adds to that. But it’s also refreshing to know that she actually does her share of dirty work as a therapeutic radiographer. The pageant seems to be digging into her different facets thus far. She was a finalist in the Talent challenge and her charity project The Magical Memories Foundation is currently shortlisted for Beauty with the Purpose. Signs point to her ending England’s two-year drought.
Croatia – Tea Milinarić
Her coastal paradise made the Top 5 thrice consecutively from 1993-1995, but has only placed once since the turn of the century. This girl seems poised to restore its early 90s heyday. Her radiant smile conjures Azra Akin flashbacks, plus she placed second in the definitive Top Model fast track.
Guatemala – Virginia Argueta
She previously saw action in the 65th Miss Universe Pageant held in Manila, where her highlight, if you can even call it that, is missing the national costume competition due to a malfunction. She’s shown a fair amount of improvement since then, which is commendable considering that was only 10 months ago. And her likable personality and bright aura remain to be her best assets. At the rate things are going, though, it is likely that she’ll replicate her previous showing.
Senegal – Nar Codou Diouf
Her coastal African country enjoyed a sporadic but respectable run in Miss International from 1992-2004 and even made the cut twice. She might not necessarily be in the same league as those surprising stunners, but her eye-catching fashion sense is a highlight. That’s exactly the type of impression you’d want to get from a debut contestant. Welcome to Miss World, Senegal!
Romania – Mihaela Bosca
She has a fresh, engaging personality and an overall friendly aura, but it might be an uphill battle for her to stand out. Her highlight is qualifying for the Sports Fast Track.
Fiji – Nanise Rainima
She made quite a literal splash in the Sports Fast Track, not because she advanced, but because she dove to the rescue of Miss Kenya, who was struggling to complete her swim. This contestant’s distinct look evokes memories of island girls who participated in pageants in the late 70s to the early 80s, who were either instantly relegated to the background or elicited gasps whenever they placed. But this is a new era, and this girl’s magical exoticism, coupled with the impromptu heroics she displayed during the aforementioned fast track, is exactly she’s standing out. There isn’t anything over the top about her personality, but when she speaks, you’d be compelled to listen. And just like her English groupmate, she also made the Top 5 of the Talent Fast Track and is currently a Beauty with a Purpose finalist. Prepare for a huge surprise. She will most likely top this group, and might even go as far as usurping the Queen of Oceania title.
PAGEANT GEEKS’ GROUP 12 RANKING: