Two of the girls in this group are already in the Top 40, which means one more will join them. If this pageant were a team effort, then this group takes the lead at this point. And they call 13 an unlucky number… Here they are:
Malta – Michela Galea
She’s already in the Top 40, by way of her Talent Fast Track victory. Turns out, she’s a popular singer in her home country. And regardless of how she fares in this round, or from here on in, Malta can relish finally advancing to the finals for the first time since Mary Brincat in 1969. It’s a tremendous achievement for the tiny island country.
Nigeria – Ugochi Ihezue
She will likely top this group, not that she’ll be needing that as her Golden Ticket. Just like Malta, she’s already in the Top 40. In her case, she won the highly-crucial Top Model Fast Track event held last weekend, thus paving the way for her country’s first placement since 2012. Many questioned her victory, given that she even almost tripped in her designer dress, among other things. Bear in mind, though, that criteria for this Fast Track challenge seems to have evolved in recent years and now gravitates towards those with the makings of a high fashion model. Therefore, it’s no longer limited to perceived early frontrunners. And upon thorough evaluation, it is clear that she has those qualifications, specifically her sharp projection skills, slender frame, and distinct catwalk. She’ll most probably grace international runways once all this is over.
Slovakia – Hanka Závodná
Well, this redhead can’t hold a candle to her phenomenal predecessor, Kristina Cincurova, but given her intelligence and current placement in the Beauty with the Purpose challenge, she is by no means a downgrade.
Tunisia – Emna Abdelhedi
She fell the most flat in this group in terms of interview, but she is still the most beautiful contestant sent by this country to this pageant since its 2013 comeback. Filipinos might notice a resemblance to actress Gelli de Belen.
Liberia – Wokie Dolo
This Miss Earth 2017 no-show has considerable following with intelligence and charm to spare, as made evident by her interview. It’s no guarantee, though, that she will top this group or her continent.
New Zealand – Annie Evans
With two of her groupmates already in the Top 40, this bubbly Kiwi is now the likeliest to advance in this group. She’s a burst of fresh, youthful energy and, given her strong showings in both Talent and Beauty with the Purpose, she might just take the lead in her region. Strangely enough, though, her main threats to the Queen of Oceania title so far isn’t Australia, but Fiji, and to a slightly lesser extent, the Cook Islands.
PAGEANT GEEKS’ GROUP 13 RANKING:
1. Nigeria (Advanced to Top 40)
2. New Zealand
4. Malta (Advanced to Top 40)