But since the finals is just over a day away (our time), may I now present to you my four Queens for each of the three continental grouping plus four wild cards regardless of where they are from. The 4th candidate in the first three quadrants are the ones I assume would get the global fan votes, while the last delegate in the last quadrant is my Wild Card for Candidates’ Choice (the trickiest of all to predict):
For Asia-Oceania and Africa:
This is the cut hardest to trim down any further because the level of competition has just gotten sharply fiercer. But where is the fun and risk in predicting when there is no challenge to push harder. Hence, I would slice the ten in the middle, leave out Indonesia, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Jamaica. That leaves me with a Top 5:
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa, Maria Poonlertlarp of Thailand, Rachel Peters of the Philippines, Keysi Sayago of Venezuela and Prissila Howard of Peru.
If I were an ultra rich philantrophist committed for cash sponsorship in the 2018 edition of Miss Universe, I will need a potential winner from whom I will benefit from in terms of her business likeability, powerful reach and an overall appeal that will spell a good return in investment – someone much like Pia Wurtzbach. And so, I would rank my Top 5 with Peru and Venezuela occupying 4th and 5th spots. South Africa, Thailand and the Philippines are wise picks to get podium finishes – much like Gold, Silver and Bronze in whatever order.
With the possibility of Miss Universe 2018 being hosted once more in the country, I will not settle for anything lower than a 2nd Runner-Up placement for Rachel Peters. That is, if IMG will not give the Philippines a sandwich victory that has already happened at least a few times before in MU history. But with the new owners, there is the likelihood of switching their gaze to another part of Southeast Asia that will favor Maria Poonlertlarp – the lady many Thais are envisioning as their version of Pia Wurtzbach. If that is the case, then a 3rd Miss Universe crown could be in the offing for the Land of Smiles.
Two Southeast Asians against one South African. And Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is not your cookie-cutter type of competitor and likely winner. I’d like to believe that – if the stars align in favor of this beauty from Sedgefield – then she could be a worthy second winner from her country after Margaret Gardiner who was crowned almost four decades ago.Anyone among Demi-Leigh, Maria and Rachel could be crowned Miss Universe 2017. My patriotic sentiments will always go for a win by the Philippines. But just as I have stated earlier, I will not settle for anything less than a 2nd Runner-Up honor if the title won’t be given to her. Next month’s promotional Christmas Tour of the 2017 and 2016 winners right here in Manila (from December 5-10) will be more crowd-drawing and successful with Miss Philippines in the mix and with a well-deserved achievement to show off to the Filipinos.
And that, my dear readers, is how the 66th Edition wraps up from where I blog. Predictions-wise, that is.