BAHAMAS – Nyisha Tilus. Prior to the pageant, a special contest called Supra Star Search was held to give a shot at aspiring candidates not backed by a local organization*. The winner was this self-published author from Nassau, who now brings her country back to the Supranational stage after a decade-long absence. Her beauty may not be what some consider conventional, but it’s easy to see why she earned that fast track. She’s an engaging conversationalist who’s expected to excel in preliminary interview, and perhaps, maybe even pull an upset.
*- Also among the countries that competed in that contest were Malaysia, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, Angola, and Botswana. It’s curious how the first two don’t have a national organization considering they’ve done well in this pageant before.
CANADA – Sasha Lombardi. If there’s any consolation in her being a perennial Miss Universe Canada runner-up, it’s that still she gets to compete internationally. In fact, this is already her second global tilt – she placed in the Top 20 of Miss Eco International 2019. She has an endearing personality, with solid presentation skills to boot, which might have been her ticket to her Fan Vote Top Ten placement. But given the enhanced level of competition in this field, replicating her previous feat won’t be easy.
GUYANA – Felicia Ally Inayah. Her late arrival appears to have been quarantine-related. Whatever the case, it’s a relief knowing she’s in Małopowska and not missing the pageant altogether. Her looks do pass muster. But seeing how she was one of the more reserved speakers in her noticeably loquacious group, she might be easily outshone in the roster overall.
ICELAND – Dísa Dungal. Some may have found some of her responses in her Supra Chat challenge a tad prickly, particularly when she was asked the age-old question about whether or not pageants objectify women. To which, she answered that the negative comments tend to “…come from people who haven’t done their research”. Call me weird, but I personally found her tone strangely refreshing. She managed to drive her point across without feigning profundity. And besides, she has the classic Nordic looks to still put her in contention. She also made Final Ten in both Fan Vote and the Supra Influencer challenges.
INDIA – Aavriti Choudhary. Here’s another formidable contender from, so far, the only country to win this pageant more than once, replete with the wisdom and eloquence we’ve come to expect from an Indian delegate. A lofty placement is more than likely. Moving forward, though, she should avoid relaxing those curls the way she did in last Friday’s Miss Elegance challenge. She tends to blend in the crowd without them.
MALTA – Shailey Micallef. Chances are, she will be outclassed, but it’s refreshing for an 18-year-old ingenue to sound so confident and self-assured in the presence of competitors more than a decade her senior. (They allowed a 30-year-old to compete this year). She’s an underrated gem.
SURINAME – Farisha Tjin-Asjoe. With a Top 10 finalist in 2012 and a 2nd Runner-Up in 2016, this country owes its historic best placements to this pageant. That explains why they tend to show up here more frequently than anywhere else. Much as this girl won’t likely surpass the landmark feats of compatriots, she’s a worthwhile candidate with a poignant back story of overcoming depression.
VENEZUELA – Valentina Sánchez. Quite hard to believe, but this is one pageant where victory still evades this revered powerhouse. So, we can’t blame any Venezuelan ND for seeing that as a chip on their shoulders. Another surprising tidbit is that this year’s candidate is actually a Miss Teen USA alumna, who finished 4th Runner-Up in 2014, as Miss New Jersey. She’s not foreseen as the one securing that breakthrough victory just yet. But she’s still expected to put up a strong fight, judging from her placement in all Supra Influencer challenges and her victory in her group’s Supra Chat Challenge.
COLOMBIA – Valentina Aldana Dorado. Even though the only splash she made so far was being short-listed in the first Supra Influencer challenge, this law student appears to have the competitive edge to sustain her country’s placement streak. She also has a passing resemblance to the reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Eonna Constanza. Prior to the pageant, there was hardly any buzz for this ebony stunner, considering she’d placed 1st Runner-Up in Miss Asia Pacific International 2019. Well, it seems she considerably regained her momentum last week after finishing 2nd Runner-Up in the Miss Elegance challenge. She looked exquisitely regal.
ECUADOR – Justeen Cruz. The center of the world hasn’t really achieved much here since Zulay Castillo’s 2012 4th Runner-up placement. This Eva Longoria dead ringer might just score that follow-up, granted she holds her own in the presence of other competitive Latinas.
EL SALVADOR – Linda Sibrián. Despite competing tirelessly for the most part last decade, this country has yet to score its Supranational breakthrough. This corporate communication student appears to be their best shot in years, with her Top 10 placements in both Fan Vote and Supra Influencer, as well as her Best in Talent nod. Whether or not she can parlay those citations into an actual placement remains to be seen.
PARAGUAY – Paloma del Puerto. Replicating Stefania Stegman’s 2015 victory may be a longshot for this Marketing and Publicity graduate but, to her credit, her vaguely European features are intriguing. She also placed second in her Supra Chat group, which indicates she has solid support.
PERU – Solange Hermoza. Well, she lives up to her surname, that’s for sure. Plus, she’s entering this year’s race with Janick Maceta’s achievements both here and in Miss Universe still in fans’ collective memory. She is poised to continue her now-iconic predecessor’s momentum, if not necessarily exceed it. The fan base is also there, as she placed in two of the Supra Influencer challenges, made Top 10 in Fan Vote, and won her Supra Chat challenge despite arguably not giving the strongest answers in her group.
CZECH REPUBLIC – Angelika Kostyshinová. This occupational therapy graduate was born in Ukraine, which somewhat makes up for that country’s absence this year. As for the actual country she’s representing, it was one of the more frequent Top Ten mainstays during the pageant’s early years. It looks like she can continue regaining that stronghold for her adopted homeland. With her Top 11 placement in Miss Elegance, her prospects shine brighter than ever.
FINLAND – Wilma Halme. Her striking Nordic features call to mind the likes of Hollywood actresses Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallace Howard. She has potential to advance, though her lack of challenge placements makes her prospects less than certain at this point.
GERMANY – Denisse Nicolle Ligpitan. Obviously, she’s of Filipina extraction, which might partially explain the Fan Vote citation. She’s also the second Pinay to represent her country in this pageant, after Bb. Pilipinas alumna Anja Vanessa Peter in 2016. Clearly, her strong aces are the interview-based segments, as her sincerity and warmth were evident in her responses. But given that this is an different playing field from the Manila-staged Miss Asia Pacific International 2019, a repeat placement isn’t set in stone.
KENYA – Phidelia Mutunga. Prior to the pageant, the candidates from Namibia and South Africa were the ones expected to represent the African continent in the finals. That was until this model and entrepreneur logged into Zoom for her Supra Chat challenge and delivered the most solid answers in her group. She could very well be the strongest speaker in the lot. And should the judges be in the mood for more exotic choices, she might even usurp a Top 12 spot.
SLOVAKIA – Kristina Viglaska. She does have the striking beauty to possibly put the erstwhile host country back in contention, but her tentative demeanor might be to her disadvantage, especially in preliminary interview. Her lack of challenge placements also indicates as much
-TO BE CONTINUED-