We have a new Miss Earth and she is Nguyen Phuong Khanh of Vietnam. She outperformed everyone else in the Final 4 (even the Top 8) to become the first Vietnamese winner of the title and the first-ever victory of the country in a Grand Slam pageant among the Big 4 in the pageant world.
Her elemental court is composed of Miss Air Melanie Mader of Austria, Miss Water Valeria Ayos of Colombia and Miss Fire Melissa Flores of Mexico.
Miss Philippines Celeste Cortesi made it up to the Top 8, along with Telma Madeira of Portugal, Diana Silva of Venezuela and Sofia Favan of Italy.
This was such a tightly-paced finals that the event was concluded at just 10pm, way earlier than previous editions.
Below is the crowning moment of Miss Earth 2018 and her court.
I will do my Miss Earth 2018 Predictions in a top-to-bottom order for a change. Starting off with my big winner and elemental court, I can see two Latinas – Melissa Flores of Mexico and Diana Silva of Venezuela – fighting close to become the successor of Karen Ibasco. I am giving the edge to the Mexican beauty because she is the more consistent all-around. It also helps that the Miss Earth Mexico Organization that sent her has been making great efforts in sustaining and making the brand more popular in the Americas. Now if the final decision would come down to a Q&A answer, then it wouldn’t surprise me as well if the judges would lean on Melissa. But if she falters – even marginally along the way – then Diana is likely to benefit from the lapse and could give Venezuela its 3rd Miss Earth crown. I would be happier with the former finishing on top, though.
As for Water and Fire, it could be interchangeable between Priya Sigdel of Nepal and Telma Madeira of Portugal. Anyone among the two would be good choices for the elemental court. The Nepalese, however, has the upper hand should she ace the interview round. She could even spoil the two Latinas. But for now, I am sticking to the final lineup I made.
The Portuguese Telma would have made a refreshing Miss Earth winner. Her relative youth might be a concern when the going gets tough, though.
Hence, above is a photo grid of my Top 8, with the 5th to 8th places occupied by Danijela Burjan of Slovenia, Margaretha de Jong of Netherlands, Celeste Cortesi of the Philippines and Melanie Mader of Austria (the one who might benefit from an upper push if the organizers find it beneficial to have an elemental Queen whose attitude and work ethics they are already accustomed to after reigning as Miss Philippines Earth-Water back in 2016).
Just to complete a Top 16, my 9th to 16th Goddesses in ranking are: Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam, Yashvi Aware of the USA, Maristella Okpala of Nigeria, Antonia Figueroa of Chile, Nerada Chitsadapriyakun of Thailand, Lisa Hayet of Guatemala, Jessica Russo of Peru and Margo Faith Fargo of South Africa.
Let’s see how the actual results will compare tomorrow night at the Mall of Asia Arena.