After a controversial Miss Universe pageant in 2015 when Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner for the title, it is time again to celebrate the most beautiful day in the universe. This time, the home country of the reigning queen, has agreed to host the pageant. Over 80 candidates from around the world showed up to compete for the prestigious title. They have to go through a lot of activities, preliminary competitions, closed-door interviews, and the final pageant night to determine who the most deserving successor is.
For Miss Universe 2016, the new owner of the pageant has decided to shake things up. (Note: This pageant is for 2016 as it did not take place last year.) Instead of the usual top 16, only 12 girls will be called to move on to the next round of the competition. Hence, we are looking at 12 of the hottest favorites for the title and why they deserve to take the crown home.
12. Belgium (Stephanie Geldhof)
Belgian beauties are usually the silent killers in the Miss Universe competition. They send ladies who are very reserved and quiet, but end up sneaking into the semifinalist most of the times. This year’s girl is yet another one who can pull that stunt. She may not be among the heaviest favorites right now, but her serene yet refreshing beauty isn’t going to be left unnoticed. She may not be among the most aggressive girls in the competition, but those deep blue eyes and beautiful clear skin will surely secure her a spot in the semifinals.
11. Aruba (Charlene Leslia)
This small island in the Caribbean does not usually do well in Miss Universe or in any other pageant for that matter. In fact, it has been several years since they have made the cut. With a stunningly tall vixen representing Aruba this year, it could be finally their time to shine. Her perfectly proportionate body, amazing jawline and legs that can go on forever, are too hard to ignore.
10. Indonesia (Kezia Warouw)
Indonesia is gradually keeping sealing its name as a strong force in the Miss Universe pageant. For many years, they have been shut out of the competition despite sending stunning ladies. In recent years though, they have managed to place. Sending a unique beauty this year, Indonesia is well on its way to another placement. It was also reported that she trained with some Filipino powerhouse trainers. This could easily be the push she needed to finally put Indonesia a step closer to the crown.
9. The Netherlands (Zoey Ivory)
Zoey is one of the most underrated beauties this year. She has proven that she can easily hold her place next to some of the biggest powerhouses in Miss Universe. She has consistently done well during the pre-pageant activities. The best part about this lady is that she always exudes class. Her only downfall is that she doesn’t have a strong sash. If that factor is to be taken out, she can easily be a crown holder.
8. Venezuela (Mariam Habach)
Without a doubt, this country is the strongest powerhouse in Miss Universe. They have won several crowns over the years, with the recent one in 2013. They have only failed to make the cut less than 10 times since they started joining Miss Universe. This is why all eyes are on Venezuela each year. After Mariam was crowned to represent this country, people were somewhat disappointed. She won in a national pageant with tons of potential winners. Her beauty is deemed not at par with her predecessors. She is proving everyone wrong though as she came to this pageant prepared. She may not be the most beautiful candidate out there, but from the neck down, she is perfect. Her well-sculpted body, commanding stance and catwalk skills are among her greatest weapons.
7. Nicaragua (Marina Jacoby)
Nicaragua seems to be the organizers’ darling as she is almost present in all pre-pageant activities, even if only a few girls were selected to join at a time. This is why from being a nobody, she rose to the top of the pack. Of course, she totally deserves her place. Despite coming from a non-powerhouse Latin American country, she has managed to edge out other strong contenders. She also seems to be very friendly, which is something that organizers want in a winner.
6. Philippines (Maxine Medina)
Maxine is obviously under huge pressure right now. She is currently competing with her predecessor as the current titleholder in a pageant held in her own country. She didn’t disappoint though. Her beauty radiates each time she performs. As a professional model, she always comes out strong during stage performances. Getting a back to back for the Philippines might be far from reality, but Maxine is surely not going to be shut out of the top 12. She is also being criticized for poor communication skills, but she is obviously fighting through it.
5. Dominican Republic (Sal Garcias)
This Sandra Bullock deadringer is every inch a queen. From her stance to the way she projects, it is hard to just ignore her. She knows how to make a scene and each time she comes out, all eyes are on her. Last year’s Miss Dominican Republic should have ranked higher, but was cut in the top 10. Sal could easily avenge their defeat last year by taking it all this time.
4. Colombia (Andrea Tovar)
Everyone had their eyes set on who Colombia would send to Miss Universe after the controversy last year. To make it even more interesting, she is competing in a country that seemed to have endless online battles with her compatriots after the controversy. Despite that, Andrea came really strong. She has proven that Colombia is indeed a pageant powerhouse. She is also among the favorites to take the title back to Colombia. Sadly though, she was in hot waters recently for criticizing Filipino foods, in a video that went viral.
3. Thailand (Chalita Suansane)
This girl could easily be Thailand’s hope to finally get the crown. After several shots at the title, Thailand has failed. It’s been decades since they have last taken the title home. They have also failed to place in recent years up until last year, even if they send queens who are totally prepared and with expensive wardrobe. Chalita might just be this year’s winner though considering that she is a heavy favorite. She has even made waves on day 1 after bringing 17 bags with her. In terms of performance, she is on her way to the top. The only thing that could prevent her from clinching the crown is her inability to speak well in English.
2. Australia (Caris Tiivel)
Australia’s representatives are usually taking the back seat during preliminaries. However, when it is time to put their game on, they will. Caris is definitely using that strategy. It won’t be a surprise if she reaches the top 2 with her effortless beauty. She may always be donning simple outfits and styling, but she is hard to ignore. Considering her strong communication skills, she could easily be this year’s winner.
1. Brazil (Raissa Santana)
It’s time for an ebony beauty to take the title. The last time a black beauty won was in 2011 through Angola’s Leila Lopes. This year, Brazil sent a stunning black beauty, a departure from the usual representatives of the country. They took a risk and it is definitely paying off. She is a diva from head to toe. She knows exactly how to stand out. From her huge hair, stunning jawline and perfect curves, she is surely on her way to the crown! She also has the personality to match it with, so there is no doubt that she will be a crowd favorite should she win.
These predictions might come true or not, and we will soon see. Hopefully, the most deserving girl takes the title home.