Miss Universe 2016 season had begun with the arrival of Miss US Virgin Islands a few hours ago. The top 20 picks are based on several criteria like photo shoot , casual wear , catwalk videos , candidates on their evening gowns and swimsuits . The top 20 picks may also change as the preliminary evening gowns, close-door interviews , swimsuits and personality are yet to be decided by preliminary judges. The bulk of the candidates are expected to arrive between January 11 to 14 , 2017 .
This is also the second time that Miss Universe technically skipped a year. The first one was in 2014 when the 63rd edition was actually held in January 25, 2015. Then, the 65th Miss Universe 2016 which is going to be held on January 30,2017 in SM MOA Arena .
Remember , that some candidates may eventually land into the semi-finalists spot and shine towards the end of the preliminary competition and there are also who are crowd favorites but fail to shine .
Here are the Top 20 Picks ( in no particular order)
Philippines -Maria Mika Maxine Medina 26,Her country’s best foot forward being the host country . The country’s best bet to the competition and expected to extend the 7th year- streak at the Miss Universe pageant. With large worldwide fan base and hometown advantage, any support and online voting will definitely makes her undeniably one of the front runner of the pageant. She is also a ramp model and Ms. Philippines will surely come out with more surprises in days or in coming weeks. Her evening gown and national costume are still highly confidential matter and had yet to be revealed .
Turkey- Tansu Sila Cakirr, 21, She had one of the most beautiful faces in the competition and all her photo shoots prove that. Her preliminary photo shoot and videos shows that she can be an easy contender for the crown. Some of her fans will surely compare her to a well-known celebrity .
Australia – CARIS TIIVEL 23, is effortlessly beautiful. But what makes her adorable is her soft-spoken nature and her love for the arts. She is also an experienced model so working the stage won’t be a problem. Australia always send a beautiful and stunning representative at the pageant.
Barbaros- SHANNON HARRIS This 22-year-old professional model from Bridgetown is the first Miss Barbados in over nine years. Based on interviews, swimsuit and evening gown . She can easily capture everyone’s heart . She got a figure hugging swimsuit pictorials and could easily break pack. She may also become her country’s first winner of the pageant .
She stands at 5’9.5, Shannon hit the modeling scene in early 2010 while still attending the leading high school in Barbados. She became an impossible force to reckon with and upon graduating with her degree in 2013, decided to take things a step further by signing with a local agency.
Venezuela-Mariam Habach The transformation of this 20-year-old dentistry student has been remarkable so far. From her walk, to her body and posture as well as her styling, she is bent on bringing her country back to the Top 5. Venezuela is one of the most prepared candidates of the pageant . Her evening gown and swimsuit are highly anticipated by her fans.
She was raised in a Syrian and Italian family along with two brothers in the village of El Toyuco . She is fluent in four languages .
Indonesia – Kezia Warouw, She is one of the tallest Miss Universe candidates and she also a model in her country . Indonesia had some last minutes training in the country and she will attempt to make it four-peat -in-a-row for Indonesia. Indonesia’s only water-loo in the pageant is in the swimsuit portion . There are also news that a well-known Filipino fashion designer will make her evening gown in the preliminary competition . We still have to wait and see if the plans will push through .
Ms. Kezia was the second woman from North Sulawesi to be selected as the winner of the Puteri Indonesia, after Angelina Sondakh in 2001.
Thailand –Chalita Suansane 22. Since she set foot in the Philippines last year . Miss Thailand had been getting a lot of favorable reviews among pageant watchers and aficionados. Her morena /brownish skin tone is a good complement and break from a typical Thai representative in the past few years at the Miss Universe . She is one of the best Asian candidates for this year and hopefully seeing Miss Thailand in the semi-finalist spot for the second consecutive year .
Her national costume is studded with a lot of gemstones called ” Jewels of Thailand” . The idea behind the theme is to showcase the richness of Thailand’s costume through the medium of jewelry can give some Latin American countries a run for their money
Brazil -Raissa Santana,She is the first black Miss Brasil in three decades. But setting aside that fact, this 21-year-old is a head turner . She also had a nice personal charisma and commendable catwalk styles .
Colombia- Andrea Tovar 23, She had what it takes to win the crown as she is a complete package: tall, beautiful, engaging and prepared. She not the typical mestiza beauty that Colombia usually sends to the pageant. She had a morena/ brownish complexion . Her catwalk during the Miss Colombia pageant is highly commendable .The only downturn for this candidate is that there are some videos captured by the Colombian press that she had some flashy attitude and temper tantrums. Hope that those videos circulating online are not true .
Only close door interview will make or break her chances and possible 3rd crown for this country. Pageant enthusiasts would recall that in 1974 Colombia ended up as 3rd runner-up and first runner-up in 1994 when the pageant was held in the Philippines.
Mexico- Cristal Silva Davila 25, This is not her first time in the country , She competed at the Miss Earth 2013 pageant . Now more polished, properly styled and with a great sense of fashion and bubbly personality .
United States of America- Deshauna Barber – Miss USA always is a strong contender for the crown , her great catwalk and personality will easily makes her as one of the front runners of the pageant
Other possible candidates which are hot picks are Curacao, Haiti , Argentina, Ukraine , France , Netherlands , Angola, Canada and Ecuador .
Some of the other countries like Puerto Rico , Panama , Hungary, Peru , South Africa , Malaysia and New Zealand are also to watch for …