My Predictions for Top 16 (plus 5 spoilers)
I am no card player. It’s just not my thing. But since Las Vegas is the host city of Miss Universe 2012, I decided to play along and present my predictions in a slate of different card hands. Royal Flush, of course, is the best combination, followed by a Straight Flush. From there, I skipped to a plain Straight with five spoilers making up my Full House. No deck of cards is complete without a Joker, so I assigned the online voting winner to the same, with no intentions at all of tagging it as a joke.
Will Irene or Melinda be celebrating a victory party in the wee hours of December 20?
This hand is the hardest to accomplish because I’m practically playing for all the marbles here. Irene, Elizabeta, Bodine, Melinda and Janine are five of the most hyped but with good reasons at that. Some people might question the inclusion of Miss Philippines in this top-tier line-up. Why not? She has been a consistent performer since Day 1. The much-maligned evening gown is not attributable to her since she worked the same very well. Her face may not launch a thousand ships, but the uniqueness of her overall appearance is something that shouldn’t escape the eyes of well-meaninged judges. Irene and Bodine are also not free from less-than-nice comments, though not as played up noisily. These two babes tend to go for the jugular everytime, and the excesses in their actions can be interpreted as overkill. How about the high-strung-projecting Melinda? She is beautiful and sophisticated, but far from perfect. Hers is the profile with tell-tale signs of a stilted queen – less than reachable with a victory possibly going up to her head in no time at all. And Croatia? She with the classically sculpted facial features all wrapped up in the body of a teenager. I can see her with the Diamond Nexus crown, and with the full blessings of Donald Trump. But can she really be a wonderful (and level-headed) Miss Universe? Nobody is flawless. These five, however, come close to my idea of a winner, give or take a couple of shortcomings.
Will Gabriela dig her way to the Top 5?
Make no mistake, the ladies in my second group of five are no pushovers. I can also add that any one (or two) of among them can easily replace one (or two) of the forecasts above. Gabriela and Carolina, in particular, can very quickly snatch a Top 5 slot if the leaders start lagging behind during the finals. Now, with Karina, she obviously has at least two allies in the panel of judges even before the finals start. Now, is that fair? No. But do any of us have the power to assemble a more objective board? No. So let’s just hope that each one of them go on country-blind mode right this instant. Interestingly for Asia, Ayako Hara is the other regional bet I can see zooming in well on finals night. She has this underlying samurai disposition that equips her with the talent to shine with sharp projection and outlast candidates standing in her way. I see less of Riyo Mori in her, but an Akiko Kojima (the first MU from Japan) is somehow evident in her style. Lastly, there is Diana. Kosovo has had a more than respectable track record in the pageant the last few years. Beauty-wise, she won Miss Photogenic on her own merits and not through voting. And need I remind everyone that she fits the apple of Trump’s eyes very well?
Has Miss USA been a good host delegate?
A straight hand is one of the weaker plays in a game of poker. It can only beat a pair, two pairs or three of a kind. But still, it can do well with a dash of good luck on the side. The 11th-15th places are the trickiest to come up with predictions for because practically anyone can surprise by being included here during the finals. In the end, I opted for the host delegate, another strong contender from the Carribbean, a pair of European standouts and the Malaysian entry. Olivia may not be the most visible online (or most congenial in the flesh) among the 89, but she has surely made her mark as well as one of the most articulate, if not the prettiest. She’ll be there in the Top 16 alright. As for Lindsay, her performance this year should be a source of pride for Cayman Islands, its strongest delegate to MU so far. And France? Marie gave a lasting impression during the preliminaries. She should’ve earned good scores to guarantee her place in the semis, just like Tereza who initially held strong to the top of the heap, but turned lukewarm (albeit still commanding) of late. Finally, Kimberley enters the picture. And what a way for this Asean regular to get its due recognition with a lovely young lass who – inspite of looking less of a Malay/Chinese and more of a Caucasian – has shown competitiveness to the highest level.
Winning the online voting is definitely no joke. It doesn’t work on just one’s own efforts, but with the united support of many. So as the Joker, Miss Thailand Farida Waller is someone who can always take the place of anyone in the Top 15 (or Top 10 like last year’s Laura Goncalves). Her legion of fans and followers cannot be taken for granted, as proven by the Land of Smiles in the past. By the way, Vietnam and the Philippines are also strong vote gatherers who are likely to keep this communal honor.
Take your pick: Tereza or Elizabeta?
Will Finland be this year’s sleeper hit?
I went with the term ‘Full House’ to imply that my cut-off mark for predictions stops here. And boy, is this a very strong set of spoilers for the Top 15. It doesn’t get any better than this for the 2012 batch. The quartet of Georgia, Poland, Australia and Paraguay alone is enough to scare the front-runners. So one unguarded moment can always lead to shifts in placement. In my opinion, Tamar and Renae are the likeliest to replace any two of my forecasted ladies above. And as if their presence is not enough, here comes the Finnish entrant who wowed during the preliminaries. Sara Chafak is one sleeper who might turn into a slayer if she advances during the live proceedings.
I am upping my ante for either Miss Croatia Elizabeta Burg (top pick) or Miss South Africa Melinda Bam (second pick) to win Miss Universe 2012. Things have been gradually going their way for two weeks now, especially for the former. Inversely, I’m just feeling that either Miss Venezuela Irene Esser or Miss Puerto Rico Bodine Koehler may have already whetted the appetite of everyone to the point of satiety. It appears to me that there would no longer be global excitement in seeing them take the title. As for Miss Philippines, I can see her making Top 5, but no more than the runner-up positions of Venus Raj or Shamcey Supsup (crowd clamor notwithstanding) based significantly on the line-up of final telecast judges. If they prove me wrong and she places higher, then I would be the most thrilled. Darkest horses for me are Kosovo and Czech Republic. Longshots, on the other hand, are Georgia and Finland.
Isn’t it obvious? I want a European (or a Filipina) to win for 2012.
Okay, time to lay your cards down. Let me see your hands. 😉
here are the girls that I want to be (as opposed to who will be) in the Top 16. In alphabetical order:
3. Czech Republic
5. El Salvador
12. Puerto Rico
14. South Africa
2. Cayman Islands
By Continent/ Region:
Africa – 1
Asia- Pacific – 4
Americas – 6
Caribbean – 4
Europe – 5
And by the way, since Miss Universe will be a commercial endorser & will be or eventually will be (I’m not sure about this) under Trump Modeling Agency, the logical choices to be crowned would either be Croatia or U.S.A..
I didn’t factor in their Presentation Show performances, web interviews, popularity or notoriety among pageant fans and experts. Again, my choices are based on beauty, charm & gut feel
Both will be perfect for they have that common denominator; a universally appealing beauty that could launch a thousand beauty products
I’m no pageant expert but these are the girls that just leap out and grab your attention plus the charisma and that undefinable X factor
yehey! I got 9 of the Top 16
and most importantly, I got the winner
its all fun and games until an immature racist comes along. Why hate Darryl? First of all Basil said nothing wrong with his comment to your precious Melinda. He said it was his opinion which means you may or may not agree but you chose to retaliate with belittling remark to a woman who only wants to make her countrymen proud. Im appalled. Thats FOUL mate! Please, if you have nothing good to say better stfu and enjoy the rest of the pageant
its all fun and games until an immature racist comes along. Why hate Darryl? First of all Basil said nothing wrong with his comment to your precious Melinda. He said it was his opinion which means you may or may not agree but you chose to retaliate with belittling remark to a woman who only wants to make her countrymen proud. Im appalled. Thats FOUL mate! Please, if you have nothing good to say better stfu and enjoy the pageant
Miss USA will be crown Miss Universe 2012…
my prediction for philippines 2nd runners up, if she nail the q&a maybe higher, possible ms.mexico will part of top 5.. right now my prediction ms.croatia will be crown ms.universe 2012 venezuela 1 of runners up also ms.south africa. runners up,,, thailand could be part of top 16.
Online voting-Thailand or Vietnam
16-20 Czech Rep, Brazil, France, Honduras and Malaysia
Thanks for this, chief! 🙂
kuya norms…like your predictions but i’m looking forward for Flor Hemorrhoids comments after the pageant results…hehehe!
Enzo, the feeling is not mutual, though. 😉 😀
Here are my predictions:
16th-10th place in random order;
16.USA-she’s the host country,and the credit is solely on that reason,her gown presentation was one of the worst.
15.KOSOVO- she’s one of the early favorites even before the pageant started,but during the prelim,she’s the most boring delegate. but who cares,trump is having an erection everytime he stares at this vixen.
Trump’s Pick for sure.
14.AUSTRALIA- she’s Scherri Lee-Bigs cloned version,she’s the boring version,so predictable and robotic,but a slot in the 16 is reserved for her.
13.CZECH REPUBLIC-for me she’s the face of the universe, initially she’s my bet to win the crown,but I doubt if she’ll advance in the top10, her body is not that curvacious compared to others.
12.CHILE- another goddess, but it’ll be a hardwork for her to advance in top10,knowing tat there are 2 mexican judges and 2 venezuelans.
11.NETHERLANDS-the barbie doll of this batch
My Top 10 in random order;
10.PARAGUAY-so sweet,no one can beat her in this department, she’ll be the surprise of this edition.
09.PHILIPPINES- I want her in the top5, but I’m afraid that her gown will prevent her entering the final cut.
08.ECUADOR-her face alone can beat the tons of training and experiences her competitors have,if she’ll change her evening gown,she will have a better chance to be included in the top5.
07.SOUTH AFRICA-I don’t know why many are claiming that she’s the one to beat, but for me, she’s just one of the many odinary blonde Miss USA contestants.
06.CROATIA-they say that her face is the most gorgoeus of this batch, but I beg to disagree,she’s boring, a top10 finish will be enough,farther than that, I won’t be happy.
My Top 5:
4th runner-up – GEORGIA- a supermodel and a beauty queen rolled into one.
3rd runner-up – ALBANIA- it’s time for Albania to claim what is rightfully for her, last 2010, Angela Martini was the clear winner, she was robbed.
2nd runner-up- VENEZUELA- the most prepared delegate,if she’ll be the big winner,no one will disagree for sure.
1st runner-up- BRAZIL-the silent killer of this batch, I just love her.
Miss Universe 2012- PUERTO RICO- no need to explain,she’s one in a million.
Clap! Clap! Clap! Thanks for sharing your picks, Basil. As usual, you are most consistent. A real Bodine believer. 😉
Kuya Norms, as always, my comment provoked another reader.
Honestly, I never imagined that someone would react that way.
I never dissed Melinda, I would’nt included her to my top10 if I don’t like her.
It’s just that I don’t see her bringing home the bacon unlike others who are betting for her.
True enough,my hunch is incorrect, she’s just in the top10.
And to you Darryl, come with us, maglaba tayo sa batis at malio ng wagas kasama si JT, and maybe by then,your clogged cerebral veins will be cleared to give way for a better and unracist comments.
I thank you!
Wagas na wagas!
Well-said, Basil. While I don’t think Darryl speaks a word of Tagalog, he should be getting your message loud and clear. 😉
correction- “my hunch is correct”- naloloka na ko ng wagas tuloy kay darryl.
i have to be honest with you mate, but your beloved miss phillipines looks exactly liek a cookie cutter filipino maid that works on oxford street london… dont go dissing melinda bam – she IS the one to beat so get over it!
Wow, Darryl. I don’t always react to negative criticisms/comments about our candidate, but this one takes the icing on the cake. That’s a very racist comment and I know that you know the implications of what you just posted. Very unbecoming of someone who used to give sensible replies. Tsk tsk tsk…
….and your “melinda bam” looks like a typical hooker outside a very cheap hotel somewhere in eastern europe? Is this what you want to hear?
Darryl — Comparing Melinda Bam to a blonde Miss USA contestant isn’t exactly “dissing” her, is it?. In fact, some of the most beautiful Miss USAs have been blondes and some have even won the MU title. So Why lash out at Filipino women who’ve done nothing to you??
Hummm, so you think by calling someone a maid you are belittling them? That Filipino maid is perhaps more of a mother to the children she takes care of than their actual mother who is too busy working. That Filipino maid is perhaps the keepr of the family secrets and knows more about the family than they do. That Filipino made is the “go to” person when there is a need or an emergency. That Filipino maid is pillar of the community because she is a hard worker and more than likely sending money home to help support her family. So keep paying her your money because she is more than worth it. If your Filipino maid looks like Janine, lucky you to have someone so beautiful on the outside reflecting the beauty a Filipino maid has on the inside. There’s nothing wrong with being a maid or a butler for that matter. England is known for having some of the best maids and bulters in the world. Hope you don’t find that offensive, after all being a cookie maid or butler is not a bad thing. Ask some of the royals who were raised by some of the best maids, butlers, and nannies in the world. They love them on a personal level. And more than likely, so do the people who employ the Filipino maid who are part of their family. So you think she looks like a maid? Thank you…
Philip, I couldn’t have said it better.
Finland – that’s what my partner says 😀
IMHO your prediction is totally off and biased. Really? Jeanine top 5? It’s one thing to be proud of your country’s bet but you’ve let patriotism cloud your judgement.
In less than 48 hours I will be proven right. Sorry.
It takes guts to come up with final predictions. I’ve been burned before and came back from near-oblivion. Just the same, I don’t want to take the fun out of this annual practice. We’re no fortune-tellers or crystal ball-readers so anyone with a 100% accuracy, please step forward. At the end of the day, let’s just enjoy everything, patriotism notwithstanding. Majority of us are not in Las Vegas anyways, so we can only rely on gut-feel/instincts, online sources and eyewitness accounts of those who are actually in the host city. 😉
Do not let patriotism cloud your judgement? Since when has that ever been sound advice when it comes to a lot of different experiences much less a beauty pageant? Patriotism is a basis for establishing a sound government. Like anything else, it can be taken to an extreme. However, if someone wishes to express towards their countryman/woman, let them. In this case, it is well deserved.
If Miss Mexico lands a top 5 finish, I’ll just have to pretend real hard and try to convince myself that the two Mexican telecast judges didn’t let their patriotism cloud their judgment.
Norman — Great picks (as usual) and an excellent analysis. My personal top 5 run the gamut from your Royal Flush all the way down to your Straight Hand. A couple of your hands surprised me, however: Japan and Malaysia (I would have switched the two); and Mexico — I think she might end up as one of the top 5. The Miss Universe pageant always pulls at least a couple of shockers in the finals and I can’t wait to find out what and who these will be! I can only predict that there will be at least two dark horses who are not on our radars at the moment but who will end up as semifinalists.
I can also honestly say that Janine’s performance as the Philippines’ candidate has been an impressive one thus far — even with the gown controversy . And on the eve of the finals, I would like to extend my best wishes to Janine and wish her the best of luck! I truly hope she exceeds all of our expectations tomorrow night.
Just a day away from the coronation and we all have our individual predictions of who will make it to the first cut and eventually the next Miss Universe. One thing is certain though, whoever will be crowned, it is her destiny and it has long been written on her stars. Speculations about conspiracy, Tramp’s favorites, connection with the judges, outfit savotage etc. will all come to play against or for a particular contestant. And we all love to hear it, for it adds more drama and triggers more excitement. I still believe Janine Tugonon is not our best representative in the recent years but she did her all and was able to deliver what was expected of her. For that, I salute her. I believe she will make it to the first cut (hopefully) and what she will make out of herself from there is all up to her. Goodluck to all of them! I’m rooting for my fellow Europeans Croatia, Netherlands, Kosovo, Czech, & Finland to make it to the cut. And I’m positively sure the Latinas Puerto Rico, Venezuela, & Mexico will make it through including South Africa & USA. The rest will be fillers. 🙂
Norman, how you did your prediction is very interesting. I’m so amazed. thumbs up. Lets see and wait. best of luck to Janine and to everyone. 🙂
Thanks, Dondon. 🙂
I tried to shuffle the cards you used to come up with my own hand, to my dismay, I get a very bad hand. A simple flush of hearts (not the royal hand) is my best so far. Loooking for a four of a kind, I get the brunettes and an asian stand out (hint hint). Well, it all depends now on the finals as the cards will be dealt again, hoping for Janine to pull out her Ace under her sleeve. I’m all in for her to win.
Norman, excellent choices and it wouldn’t surprise me if you hit the nail on the head with all your choices. That said, this is Miss Universe and it is ALWAYS filled with surprises and shockers. First shocker would be if one or more of your top five picks is/are not included in the Top 16. First surprise would be the inclusion of Tanzania, Germany, Netherlands, Guyana or others that were not on anyone’s lists. Shocker (to the rest of the world) would be if the Top 16 became “Asian heavy”. Shocker to us would be the exclusion of Asians. We know the Donald has been pushing for a European MU so Croatia (or another European) winning would not be a surprise. Has MUO stacked the judges in the Latina’s favor to keep support of the Latin community and Telemundo? (Please, this comment was not meant to be insensitive.) Or is the stacking of Latino judges only a ploy/validation when a non-Latina wins? Why are certain directors of local pageants who were so prominent last year so quiet this year? Is it because they know first hand that their candidate will not do well because of an “edict from MUO” or because their candidate will do extremely well because of another “edict from MUO” and they want to make it look as legit as possible? Ahhh… the conspiracy theories are plenty are getting bigger by the moment. Anyway, it’s hard for me to pick and choose this year but if I had to, your list would be fairly reflective of mine. Great job Norman!!!
Thank you, Philip! 😉
Philip — I’m a fan of pageant conspiracy theories myself. Two Mexican judges in a venue where the last winner was from Mexico (who happens to be one of the judges herself!) seems obviously stacked to me. I mean, imagine what people would say if there were 2 Filipino telecast judges! Despite my apprehensions (imagined or otherwise), I am hoping to see either an Asian or a European win the title tomorrow night. I mean, 7 Latinas winners since 2001 is way past the quota!
Awesome choices as always Norman, and i love that you used cards to represent your picks. Very unique! I see some similarities with our choices. Im surprised you havent included any black beauties though. Dont get me wrong, im no pageant expert i just pick whoever gets my attention as my favorite. So anyways heres my ‘cards’
top 15 in random order:
runner up- Philippines
these are my choices and again i repeat im no pageant expert though i watched
these girls on the prelim show. I didnt include a voters choice cause im not a fan of it. I was kinda annoyed when some people repeated tell that ms.phil will place only because of voting and because tremendous support from fanatics. I think if she will ever place (which i know for sure) is because of her own merits, she did well. Thats coming from a non philippino. Cheers! 🙂
Must agree with you – if the Philippines gets a slot, it will be through her own merit and not through votes.
Thanks for sharing yours, Hotaru! 😉
Good prediction, kuya! I am in agreement with you for most of them. However, I do feel that Mexico will have the crowd and two Mexican judges as an advantage. We may find her in the top 5. I’m pulling for our own Janine and hope she will nail the swimsuit to get her to evening gown competition. Miss V also has a Venezula also has 1 judge to add to her cheering crowd. I just hope Janine will be able to rise aboove these two as the crowd favorite like Lopes did last year. She deserves very much for her unique beauty and natural transformation.
Ronnie — I agree. The telecast judges are a bit Latino-heavy: Diego Boneta (Mexico), Ximena Navarette (Mexico), Pablo Sandoval (Venezuela), That’s 3 out of 10 right there. Las Vegas also has a large Mexican-American community which could work in Miss Mexico’s favor as it did in 2010, that’s why I have Miss Mexico on my personal list of the top 5.