PS. Your blogger is currently in the middle of an Eastern European vacation with the family where he is traveling from Bratislava to Budapest and Prague en route to Munich, Salzburg and Vienna. Apologies for the shortcut blogs in the next ten days.
Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers, Designer Sherri Hill, Miss Teen USA Hailey Colborn and Miss Universe Catriona Gray pose backstage during the Sherri Hill Show during New York Fashion Week February 2019 on February 8, 2019 in New York City.
(Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Sherri Hill)
#CatrionaGray #MissUniverse2018 #SherriHill #MissUSA #SarahRoseSummers
The viewing configuration was not properly set when the video below was uploaded, but just tilt your smartphone or laptop to watch Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Miss USA 2018 Sarah Rose Summers and Miss Teen USA 2018 Hailey Colborn during their very recent FB Live Chat from NYC.
This is the kind of blog entry that is just right for the Holiday Feels of Christmas.
H’Hen Nie of Vietnam, who finished in the Top 5 of Miss Universe 2018, is one determined fighter who defied all the odds growing up poor in a remote village in her country, working her way up by taking in domestic helping jobs in an assortment of households and pursuing her dream of becoming a top Vietnamese fashion model and eventually the crowned representative of her country to the biggest beauty pageant in the Universe.
At the age of 14, she was encouraged by her mom to marry into a more well-to-do family to rise above their humble existence. But then again, she wanted to pursue a better life in a different way. And so, she strived hard to take a more challenging route to her objectives. Excellent height and exotic looks became her weapon to success. And the minute she was discovered, it was only a matter of time before she started establishing a name in her country.
H’Hen Nie went to Bangkok with all the support of a nation looking for its highest placement ever in Miss Universe. Along the way, there were bumps she needed to overcome, but nothing that distracted her from fulfilling a game plan inspite of a limited facility in English that even became the subject of a controversial viral video that involved Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers (who already apologized for what she did).
H’Hen Nie prevailed over the same individuals who belittled her chances. She went on to make Top 20, then comfortably breezed through the Top 10 and eventually made her country proud by entering the Top 5 of the competition in Bangkok.
The rest is history as she went back to Vietnam with a victorious hero’s welcome of sorts.
And with her homecoming, H’Hen Nie also went back to her roots to show to the Universe that she has not changed one bit ever since.
From the twenty above, I managed to cut them in half to pave the way for a Top 10 and Top 5, as follows:
During the Top 5 Q&A, gut-feel tells me that Canada might be overtaken in her 2nd-ranking position that will lead into a Final 3 Casting as follows:
There are many factors that prompt me to put Miss Philippines Catriona Gray as my #1 pick to win Miss Universe 2018. I have already mentioned in previous interviews on ABS-CBN, CNN Philippines and Bombo Radyo – and relayed to TV5 as well – that she is simply in a league all her own. She has the beauty, eloquence and maturity to tower above the rest. She has the powerful social media following that will equate to an effective platform by which she can further her personal causes as well as sustain the brand of the Miss Universe Organization and IMG. To top it all, she has the authenticity to go beyond being confidently beautiful – a coined phrase that has already overstayed its welcome in our favorite beauty pageant. The judges would be blind not to see all these factors which – I strongly believe – are already inputted in their decision-making even before the Preliminary Interviews and formalized soon after she stood up at the end of her 7-on-1. She is Miss Universe 2018 personified. And it will take a gargantuan effort from either Tamaryn Green or Kiara Liz Ortega to snatch the title away from her.
I will end this blog entry by stating that the Philippines’ 4th Miss Universe victory is well within reach. Not by a mile or in an arm’s length. But close enough to touch, smell and hug the crown.
My first #Top10 Picks for Miss Universe 2018:
As of December 9, 2018, allow me to share with you normannorman.com’s ten (10) running favorites for #MissUniverse2018. In this order:
1. Catriona Gray #Philippines
2. Kiara Liz Ortega #PuertoRico
3. Marta Magdalena Stepien #Canada
4. Tamaryn Green #SouthAfrica
5. Francesca Hung #Australia
6. Trejsi Sejdini #Albania
7. Sarah Rose Summers #USA
8. Sophida Kanchanarin #Thailand
9. Sthefany Gutierrez #Venezuela
10. Yuumi Kato #Japan
For now, these ten ladies are the ones I am seeing as strong contenders in the finals. The composition can still change within the coming days. But the first three of the upper tier are likely to remain unchanged.
In addition, our Queen Cat is still among the Top 3 of the Thais along with Puerto Rico and – not so surprisingly – Albania (who is always being talked about in all their events). Even the TV networks give value to her, just like in the interview below with PPTV36 which is an events channel where sporting and other world events are featured. She has been the only one given a spot so far in this network. I was told by a Thai ad agency contact that she is highly valued by the advertisers and has been getting a majority of the interviews.
Then watch this next video where the subject was as simple as Pad Thai.
A select group of Miss Universe 2018 Candidates – including host delegate Miss Thailand Ning Sophida Kanchanarin, Miss Philippines Catriona Gray, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green and Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers – visited WuttisakBeauty where they “bonded” with snails – a main ingredient in the Thai company’s beauty products.
Check out #Ning and #kittycat in the clip!
The eagerly-awaited Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was photographed by PentyDynamics upon her loudly cheered arrival at the Official Residence Dusit Thani Bangkok for Miss Universe 2018.
According to my reliable Thai sources staying at the same hotel just for the arrival/registration of the ladies, the three most favored ones (so far) who measured up to their status as pre-arrival picks are (in this order): Catriona, Miss Puerto Rico Kiara Liz Ortega and Miss Mexico Andrea Toscano. Their one big disappointment is Miss U.S.A. Sarah Rose Summers with whom they expected a lot.
#missuniverse2018 #missuniverse #catrionagray
Here are the most popular pre-arrival candidates in Thailand:
Your thoughts, dear readers?