It’s that time of year again, and this time, on Saturday night, the eyes of the world will be on Moscow, Russia, for the biggest beauty pageant of the year, where one woman will reign victorious as the most beautiful woman in the universe and the rest will just be a bunch of losers with a lot more frequent flier miles. And this year, cold losers. What was Donald Trump thinking when he planned an event in December in Russia? Granted, it’s a lot more interesting than Las Vegas, but couldn’t they have chosen, like, Tahiti? Or Australia? Or even Italy, which is just as cultural and probably a lot warmer this time of year?
The hosts this year are Thomas Roberts (?) and former Spice Girl Mel B. Andy Cohen, who’s pretty annoying anyway, boycotted the pageant due to Russia’s stance on homosexuality. This year, 86 ladies will participate, and for the first time in over fifty years, Myanmar, and for the first time ever, Azerbaijan, a small country bordering Russia. Though there are a lot of beautiful girls this year (an unusual amount, I think), it’s still all about politics. Kosovo had to bow out due to it not being recognized by Russia as an independent country, and Albania withdrew in solidarity. Uruguay couldn’t even get a visa, for some odd reason. I have a feeling we’ll see a lot of Europeans in the finals this year.
They give out awards for congeniality and photogenic-ness, so I thought I’d give out my own awards.
The “Aren’t You In My History Class?” Award: Girls Who Study in the USA
- Angola (Vaumara Rebelo) is studying business at Miami-Dade College in Miami, FL.
- Bahamas (Lexi Wilson) has a degree in biology from Langston University in Langston, OK.
- British Virgin Islands (Sharie De Castro) graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX.
- Chile (Maria-Jesus Matthei) graduated from college in Miami, FL.
- Ghana (Hanniel Jamin) is studying at Radford University in Radford, VA.
- Guyana (Katherina Roshana) is a college student in Long Island, NY.
- Haiti (Mondiana Pierre) is a college student in Miami, FL.
- Myanmar (Moe Set Wine) has a degree from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA.
- Nicaragua (Nastassja Bolivar) studied at Miami International University in Miami, FL.
- Trinidad and Tobago (Catherine Miller) graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA.
- Turks and Caicos (Snwazna Adams) graduated from St. Thomas University in Miami, FL.
Maybe Angola and Haiti can carpool once neither of them wins. (Sorry, girls, but I don’t think it’ll be you this year.)
And, for good measure:
The “You’re Not From Around Here, or Are You?” Award: Girls Born in a Different Country From the One They Represent:
- Guyana (Katherina Roshana) was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA.
- Israel (Yityish Titi Aynaw) was born in Chahawit, Gondar, Ethiopia.
- Italy (Luna Voce) was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- Nicaragua (Nastassja Bolivar) was born in Miami, Florida, USA.
- Russia (Elmira Abdrazakova) was born in Zhelezin District, Kazakhstan.
- Turkey (Berrin Kekliker) was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
So, not that many this year.
Traditionally they have a top 15, and this year, 1 more from the Internet viewers to make it a top 16. I’ve picked my favorites, which probably means that they will be clapping come Saturday night.
In alphabetical order:
- Brazil (Jakelyne Oliveira) – she’s pretty, if not a little plastic-looking.
- Curacao (Eline de Pool) – kind of looks like Jeannie Mai, and very pretty for a country that’s barely placed in the past.
- Czech Republic (Gabriela Kratochvilova) – hilarious in her YouTube video and looks like she’d actually be fun to hang out with.
- Guatemala (Paulette Samayoa) – she seems funny from her interview, and she’s kinda cute.
- Honduras (Diana Mendoza) – Her name is Diana Mendoza. There’s already BEEN a Miss Universe named Diana (Dayana) Mendoza. IMAGINE THE CONFUSION.
- Hungary (Rebeka Karpati) – I don’t know why, but I think she’s kind of adorable. No real other reason.
- Israel (Yityish “Titi” Aynaw) – Obvious reasons, and she’s also drop dead gorgeous. Also, she’s gotten a lot of buzz already for being the first black Miss Israel, meeting and dining with Obama in Jerusalem, and visiting the USA. Also, she looks great even in candid shots.
- Japan (Yukimi Matsuo) – she’s a comic book artist, and a really talented one at that. I like people who are multi-faceted and she seems like one of them.
- Myanmar (Moe Set Wine) – it would be hilarious if Myanmar made a huge comeback. She seems plain and there’s absolutely no chance she’s going to actually win, but she might get the Internet spot.
- Namibia (Paulina Malulu) – her name is funny, and she has a lot of experience as a beauty queen, so she’s one of the more qualified, if we’re going by that.
- Poland (Paulina Krupinska) – already tapped as a potential winner, I really like all of the pictures I’ve seen of Miss Poland. Much like Israel, she can’t take a bad picture.
- Puerto Rico (Monic Perez) – she seems rather intelligent, and speaks Russian in addition to English and Spanish. I know Puerto Rico usually wins and I root for the underdog, but I wouldn’t be mad if this girl wins, as it’s been almost a decade since a Miss Puerto Rico won.
- Switzerland (Dominique Rinderknecht) – Miley Cyrus totally copied her haircut, and in her YouTube video, she keeps a balloon in the air for a really long time using just her breath. Either she’s really good at following directions, or full of hot air. Either way, a fun girl.
- Thailand (Chalita Yaemwannang) – I’d love to see how many ways the press will mispronounce and misprint her name.
- Ukraine (Olga Storozhenko) – another girl from a nearby country with good relations with Russia. She looks very dainty and ladylike, in contrast to the current Miss Universe, who’s pretty and relatable but wasn’t my choice last year.
- Venezuela (Maria Gabriela Isler) – another girl, like Puerto Rico, from a country that’s had more than its share of winners, but just look at this chick, she’s gorgeous, and if she wins based on her beauty alone…well then, that’s not the worst thing to win based on, since she’s competing in, you know, a beauty pageant.
I have a few more pageant-related posts in the works (it’s not an obsession, I swear, just a fascination), but I’m really hoping for some history to be made, or at least an awkward final question answer.