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Critical Beauty Coverage of Miss Universe 2015: Hector Joaquin's First Impressions of the Candidates

Hello everyone! Sending you my best regards from Las Vegas! Thank God I have the opportunity to be here since the first day since I have been in charge of the preparation and training of Miss Universe Argentina. And I also want to share with you firsthand updates.

     So far I have seen this: a lot of organization, unlike in previous years, everything seems to run as it should. There is no improvisation, they are using the time to the maximum, It is evident that the production team is doubling its efforts to make sure that the girls are comfortable with everything, and that makes me happy because after all, it's Miss Universe!

     In fact, the first official pictures taken backstage were already uploaded to the official website; this shows that the team is on top of things.

     I had the chance to see most of the candidates and here's my first impression of each of them:

ALBANIA: Megi Luka is a very quiet girl, very much into her own world. I had the opportunity to say hello at breakfast and she was very friendly to me. Her styling needs improvement, but she has a very pretty face.

ANGOLA: Whitney Shikongo is a very nice girl with a million-dollar smile! She has a nice figure and great fashion sense.

ARGENTINA: It's not because I trained her, but Claudia Barrionuevo (above) has left a good impression since her arrival. Her sweetness, simplicity and naturalness has captivated many. One of the things that attracted people's attention is her Mac Duggal gown for her official photoshoot. It made everyone's jaw drop! And when they saw her amazing national costume, they were astonished by its majestic size!  Her roommate is Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, and the two girls immediately struck a friendship. Claudia describes Ariadna as a real goddess, a beautiful girl, well-educated and very easy-going.

ARUBA: From what I've seen,  Alysha Boekhoudt is a very quiet girl, rather short and has not shown any spark as of yet. I've seen more dynamic Aruban girls in the past. But it's just the second day, so who knows? She might pull a big surprise during the prelims!  

AUSTRALIA: I had really wanted to see Monika Radulovic because she seems like a very pretty girl but when I saw her upfront at breakfast, she did not leave a strong impression on me at all. She has a good figure but she is not very tall and looks rather older for her age.

BAHAMAS - Toria Nichole Fanakos is definitely very unique compared to past Bahamian delegates. I love her hairstyle and her personality. When she greeted me, she was well-dressed. Though I am not yet convinced if she has a good figure, which we'll find out during the prelims.

BRAZIL: I greeted Marthina Brandt (above) in Portuguese which surprised her. And while she was eating her breakfast, I commented that I had watched her win during the live stream of Miss Brazil pageant. Let's be honest: this girl is gorgeous! And a body to die for! You can never get tired of looking at her!

CANADA: I told my friend Denis Davila, Canada's national director, that I had doubts about his girl Paola Nunez but when I saw her at breakfast, she greeted me without knowing who I was and she was very friendly. There's something special about her that makes you observe her more. She has a good height, a beautiful skin, and good hair. She is also polished, well-mannered and elegant. She is of Dominican descent.

CHINA: Yun Fang Xue is a pretty girl, friendly and with a good sense of humor.

COLOMBIA:  Since she competed in Miss Colombia, Ariadna Guiterrez had always been my favorite for the crown. Ariadna is a stunning woman, has a great body, beautiful hair, and expresses herself very well. She knows how to pose like a goddess and has good manners. She will be hard to beat!

COSTA RICA: My other protégée (besides Argentina), Brenda Castro is pure spark and joy. She has the Caribbean X-Factor that makes her special. She may not be the tallest girl in the pageant, but when you are mesmerized by her beautiful face, her eloquence and her engaging personality, you forget about everything else. 

CROATIA: Mirta Kuštan is a simple and quiet girl that looks more like a model than a beauty queen.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Nikol Švantnerová is very beautiful, smart and very sociable. She has a unique face.

DENMARK: You really have to look closely at Cecilie Wellemberg (above); she has the face of an angelic girl but with the body of a Hollywood goddess. I love her smile and she seems very sweet. There's no doubt that Denmark came to make an impact, and so far she is succeeding! She's always well-dressed and sociable.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: I saw Clarissa Molina today during breakfast and she made it clear that she did not come to play but to win. With knowing who I was, she greeted me with a big smile! She looked relaxed yet impeccable. Even though she was wearing a long dress, I could tell that she has an amazing figure. She is gorgeous, and tall. She has a commercial look, having worked in front of the cameras, and knows how to relate well with the media. I'm sure we'll see and hear more of her!

ECUADOR:  Such a sweet beauty with a face of a little girl, with nice figure and is very photogenic. Francesca Keyko Cipriani reminds me of Mayra Matos, Miss Puerto Rico 2009. She came in well-dressed and nicely accessorized. A very polished and classy girl.

GEORGIA:  Janet Kerdikoshvili is simply striking, but she has a quirky face. Seemed quiet and serious.

GERMANY: Sarah- Lorraine Riek is friendly, confident and unpretentious. Sometimes she looks more Latina than European.

GREAT BRITAIN: Narissara Nena France is a very stylish girl, I love her hair and her smile. Very chic!

HAITI: Lisa Elizabeth Drouillard is a very elegant brunette with experience in beauty pageants. She was Miss New York Teen USA and competed in Miss Teen USA 2011 and made the top 10 in Miss Grand International 2014.  

INDIA: What can I say about this Indian goddess? Urvashi Rautela (above) knows what she's doing, when and how she does it. Urvashi did not come to play, but to win! She's a star and a beauty queen from head to toe! Her personality is engaging and she always looks impeccable, but there's something missing in her that I can't figure out. Maybe she's a little exaggerated in her mannerisms, I'm not sure. But she will definitely rock in the prelims and will go far! 

ISRAEL: Avigail Alfatov is rather plain, quiet and very introverted.

ITALY: Giada Pezzaioli has something that captivates you and makes you look at her. Let's not forget that she was Miss World Italy 2010 and placed seventh in Miss World that year. She is certainly applying her Miss World experience to make waves in Miss Universe, and so far she is succeeding!

JAMAICA: Sharlene Dayowi Radlein is elegant but lacks impact. Friendy but not engaging. Nice figure.

JAPAN: One of the most intelligent candidates this year. Ariana Miyamoto made history by being crowned as first biracial Miss Japan, but she looks rather plain and forgettable. A bit overrated in my opinion.

KOSOVO: Mirjeta Shala (above) is definitely the top model of the group. Chic, elegant, and fabulous. I love her look and her fashion sense when I saw her at breakfast, I couldn't help but stare at her. She knows how to project herself.

LEBANON: Cynthia Roger Samuel is very sophisticated and elegant girl, but that's it.

MEXICO: If there's one delegate whom you really want to see upfront, it's Mexico's Wendy Esparza. Why? Because her photos in social media do not do her justice at all. In person, she is so much prettier, more elegant, and eloquent. However, there's something about her that is not connecting with me. But it's just the first day so I wouldn't be too hard on her. 

MONTENEGRO: When I met Maja Čukić today for breakfast, she had a sore throat and I asked if she was well, and she said yes, but felt bad about her condition. Very friendly, has a nice figure and beautiful eyes, but that's it.

NETHERLANDS: Jessie Jazz Vuijk is definitely a surprise for many fans. She is fresh and she is the It Girl - someone who has an undefinable quality, but for a good reason. She reminds me of Jennifer Hawkins, Miss Universe 2004.

NICARAGUA: Daniela Torres is an elegant girl, but I need to see more of her. Today at breakfast, she introduced herself to Miss Venezuela. Very sweet.

PANAMA: If you want to talk about spark, then let's talk about Gladys Brandao Amaya (above)! Such a divine young woman with great personality. What she lacks in stature, she gains in the fire that she ignites! When I introduced myself to her, she said, "I know who you are, my dear. And she shook my hand very firmly. And according to my makeup artist and stylist friends, the girl is the bomb! She is always in a good mood and she feels very confident in her skin. Watch out for her!

PARAGUAY: Myriam Arevalos is very pretty, with a great figure, but I need to see more of her.

PERU: Laura Vivian Spoya is beautiful but comes across as older than her age. She's short but she knows how to play the camera, having worked in television, and knows how to pose. Nice figure and elegant.

PHILIPPINES: Today for the first time I had the chance to say hello to Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. The girl is pure elegance and charisma! She knows how to work it, and the nicest thing about her is that she takes the time to greet her fans, and that illustrates good manners. There's no doubt that Pia came to win the crown. Perhaps her body is not well-toned but she has a killer catwalk and is very elegant, as if she was born to be queen.

POLAND: I met Weronika Szmajdzińska in Argentina when she won Miss Global Teen 2012 and also competed in Miss World 2012 at 17 years of age. She's built like a model and looks like one. She's obviously pretty, but sometimes keeps to herself. 

PUERTO RICO: I still haven't had the chance to meet my compatriot, Catalina Moralesbut from what I have seen so far and from what I've been told, Catalina - along with Argentina and Colombia - is one of the best-dressed in the pageant. The girl brought more than 100 pairs of shoes and tons of accessories. She came very well-prepared.

RUSSIA: Vladislava Evtushenko looks like a teen who is competing in a teen pageant (she's 19). Very pretty, but doesn't possess enough qualities to be a beauty queen.

SERBIA: Daša Radosavljević is pretty, but that's it. She's also short.

SINGAPORE: Lisa Marie White is elegant and sophisticated.

SPAIN: Another one who has pageant experience and knows how to play the game. Carla Barber Garcia is not your typical Spanish beauty, but she carries herself with class.

THAILAND: Aniporn Chalermburanawong (above) is an Asian goddess! So stunning and friendly.

TURKEY: Asli Melisa Uzun is plain, quiet and doesn't do anything for me.

USA: She has been criticized for looking old, and that she is too plain without makeup, but Olivia Jordan is more than a beauty queen. She is an actress, a model, and she could be the ideal queen that WMA/IMG is looking for. I like her a lot. I had the chance to meet her in Doral and she was always very friendly and nice with me. She has a strong commercial look and I wouldn't be surprised if she won!

VENEZUELA: Just as she was arriving for breakfast, everyone remained speechless and awed by her glamorous and elegant look! Mariana Coromoto Jimenez looks like a movie star! 

VIETNAM: Just be looking at her, you can't help but fall in love with Huong Pham. She radiates a lot of peace. She's not talkative, but she's very sweet, friendly and has one of the most beautiful faces in the pageant.

     If we were to mention the standouts for now, and having seen their photos and their social media, I have to say that we have to watch out for the following contestants:

Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico

Until my next report! 

Héctor Joaquín Colón-González for #CriticalBeauty

PHOTO CREDITS: Miss Universe Organization


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