ALBANIA – Ines Kasemi. Growing up in Greece and studying in Austria means she has lots of interesting stories to tell. That might also account for her excellent communication skills. While considered a middling contender at first, her stocks may have increased thanks to her Top Model Challenge placement.
GREECE – Melina-Maria Miliou. It’s sad how sporadic this country’s pageant participation has become lately. Even sadder is that the ethereal likes of Evelina Papantoniou (Miss Universe 2001 First Runner-Up) and Irene Skliva (Miss World 1996) are sorely missed. Well, this high school graduate seems to hint that they’re ready to bounce back. Just like Miss Albania, she also scored a surprise Top Model Challenge placement.
INDONESIA – Jihane Almira Chedid. There are angles in which she resembles Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih, which makes sense as she’s half-Lebanese. It’s also evident from the cool, candid manner she spoke with Ann in Supra Chat that she’s a public figure. She played Blair in her country’s adaptation of Gossip Girl. No wonder she’s being hyped to high heavens as the one who might potentially secure her country’s first Supranational crown and she’ll give it a shot for sure. That frontrunner status, however, may be under dispute. While she won her Supra Chat challenge, she settled with a Top 11 placement in Miss Elegance and missed the cut altogether in Top Model. One can only hope she’s reserving her best looks for pageant night.
JAPAN – Emiri Shimizu. Among the three competing Miss Asia Pacific International 2019 alumnae, she was the only one not to place in that stint. A reversal of fortune seems due, though. She made a memorable impression in her Supra Chat challenge and looked chic in all her appearances. With luck, she might join her two MAPI sisters in finally making the cut – perhaps even topple one of them.
KOREA – Hyesoo Jeon. There’s comfort knowing that this country won in 2017, though it appears that they’re resting on those laurels. This marketing professional is cute, albeit safe in her presentations.
NORWAY – Ina Kollset. This aspiring midwife falls into the same archetype as other recent Norwegian pageant contestants – charming, but way too timid to make a standout impression. It’s a bit wearisome because we’ve seen what this country could achieve in other tilts before.
FRANCE – Judith Brumant-Lachoua. While she lists the city of Rennes as her area of residence, she actually originates from Guadeloupe, just like her predecessor, Sheryna van der Koelen. To make things more interesting, that Caribbean overseas region also fielded a separate representative – more on her later. This multilingual hotel receptionist is an interesting blend of elegance and exoticism. And based on how she prevailed in her Supra Chat group, a placement seems plausible.
NEPAL – Shimal Kanaujiya. If there’s one country that’s undergone the biggest glow-up from when it started competing, it’s this one. Just compare their recent candidates to the ones from the late 90s to early 2000s. This pageant has yet to reward them for that, though. And while this petite stunner is making the right impression, a breakthrough still feels far from certain.
NETHERLANDS – Swelia Da Silva Antonio. As if the impending African faceoff doesn’t already feel intense, here comes an Angolan representing the Dutch. This stunning European studies graduate hasn’t underwhelmed in all her presentations and appearances and is poised to deliver more fierceness in the finals.
NIGERIA – Akkelah Sabiqoh Aminu. It was nice seeing this country regain traction in its recent pageant outings, and the momentum might just continue here. Possibly going against this Amazon ambassador, though, is the presence of other formidable African contenders.
POLAND – Natalia Balicka. Well, hailing from this pageant’s country of origin already bodes well for this medical student. She placed in the Miss Elegance challenge with ease. But homecourt advantage aside, she’s a stunning blonde who can possibly sneak into the Top Ten or Top Five, despite not being pegged as a heavy frontrunner at this point.
PORTUGAL – Nadini Machado. Her father is Brazilian, while her mother is from her country of origin. It would be interesting to see how that mix of contrasting Lusophone backgrounds would come into play when she presents herself onstage. She’s another worthy possibility.
SIERRA LEONE – Ramatulai Jarata Wurie. There are at least six other African candidates expected to fare better. But with this model’s Fan Vote Top 10 placement and her sensational styling choices, she might not be too far behind.
CHINA – Alice Li. She’s more Canadian than Chinese. Her accent, mannerisms, and Western first name suggest as much. But whatever the case, she made the overall Top Ten of the Supra Influencer challenges and is now one step closer to a possible placement, thanks to her Supra Model of Asia win. Whether or not those factors will finally earn her sash more airtime remains to be seen.
HAITI – Pascale Bélony. She was quite the revelation in last week’s Miss Elegance challenge, where she justifiably earned a Top 11 placement. She was also short-listed in one of the Supra Influencer challenges. If she continues playing her cards right, she’s poised to score her country’s breakthrough.
IRELAND – Jessica Marie Hopper. There’s a reason she sounds American. That’s because, well, she is*. She’s the second American in a row to tap into her Irish lineage and join this pageant. Her prospects may not be as lofty as that of her predecessor, Jessica VanGaalen, but she can conceivably still pull a surprise.
*- Visit her Instagram and you’ll find photos of her representing the state of Indiana in a previous national pageant.
PUERTO RICO – Karla Guilfú Avecedo. This certified yoga instructor wasn’t high up “favorites” lists prior to the pageant, but rapidly gained buzz as activities commenced in Poland. She served scorching looks by the day, with outfits that showcase her ravishing silhouette. Her consistency was duly rewarded. She walked away Miss Elegance tiara last week and the Supra Model of the Caribbean title, which now puts her in the running for the Top Model award. Suddenly, a sandwich victory doesn’t feel far-fetched.
SOUTH AFRICA – Thato Mosehle. The fact that she’s the first candidate sent by the Miss South Africa organization to this pageant is already a huge stride for all parties involved. And for that reason alone, fans were quick to peg her as an early frontrunner. Well, based on her strong showings in the pocket challenges, particularly Supra Chat, she seems ready to deliver. In a way, that should vindicate Natasha Joubert’s Miss Universe shutout and serve as an ample warm-up to Shudufhadzo Musida’s Miss World journey.
SPAIN – Dana Tomuta. When she’s not heavily made up, she vaguely resembles Emmy-winning English actress Jodie Comer of Killing Eve. Much as some would argue that they’ve seen stronger representatives from this country before, this striking personal trainer shouldn’t be counted out. She was short-listed in a Supra Influencer challenge.
UNITED STATES – Shivali Patel. Just like Canada’s Sasha Lombardi, this woman had to endure almost winning a national title multiple times before this break. In her case, she previously had to settle for runner-up positions in America’s Miss World twice. It’s great that she’s finally given a shot at the global stage. She may not a front-runner, but she’s a solid enough contender to fight for a placement. She also placed 1st Runner-Up in the Talent finals for her electrifying dance number that pays homage to her Indian heritage.