No more fish, no more feverish heights, the Head-to-Head Challenge has moved to a cozier venue. This was the last group formed during the draw, and they are the first of two groups to comprise of only five contestants. This is Group 19:
Korea – Ha-Eun Kim
She’s more kawaii than her Top 11-placing predecessor. In her interview, she emphasized the importance of communication, which is also one of her strengths. Though she wasn’t a frontrunner before the pageant, her Top Model placement and country’s voting powers might propel her to the Top 40.
Lebanon – Perla Herlou
Her beauty is almost in the same league as her 2015 predecessor, Valerie Abou Chacra. But despite a decent interview performance, not much was heard from her during the Fast Tracks. That might hinder her from going any further.
Trinidad and Tobago – Chandini Chanka
Being the first Hindu woman to represent the twin islands deserves distinction. But apart from that factoid, and a reported Talent nod, she hasn’t made a compelling impression.
Panama – Julianne Brittón
She’s not exactly the most conventionally beautiful in her region, but she speaks with articulation and flair. Should the panel suddenly decide to go the Miss International 2017 route by choosing the Latina dark horses over frontrunners, she might have a chance.
United States – Clarissa Bowers
Her ethereal beauty evokes memories of Classic Hollywood, or if you insist on a more current reference, a cross between Heidi Klum and former Glee star, Dianna Agron. As the first national titleholder to be managed by Elizabeth Safrit*, she has a lot to prove. And she did seem ready to conquer upon her arrival in Sanya. However, not much was heard from her as weeks progressed and her non-placements in the Fast Tracks further dimmed her prospects. Fans can heave a sigh of relief knowing that the field was stretched to 40, and the judges would be insane not to save her. The question now is, can she regain her momentum the same way Stephanie del Valle did last year?
* – The 2014 Miss World 2nd Runner-Up now heads the re-branded “America’s Miss World” in partnership with her mother.
PAGEANT GEEKS’ GROUP 19 RANKING:
1. United States
5. Trinidad and Tobago