With less than 10 days before the 2018 Miss Universe festivities are set to begin in Bangkok, Thailand, The Qrown pooled in its team and discussed meticulously which among the 95 confirmed contestants shall reign supreme come December 17. Looking at their bio and their official photos posted at the Miss Universe website, the team came up with 20 names to make our 2018 Miss Universe Pre-Arrival Q-List.
Without considering continental delegations, the team evaluated the following as the pre-arrival favorites:
1- Miss Philippines Catriona Gray
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray is without a doubt the most prepared candidate for Miss Universe 2018. Her preparation began after the conclusion of Bb. Pilipinas 2018 where she was hailed Miss Universe Philippines. Her team comprised of members of the Philippine fashion industry made sure that come Miss Universe, Gray will have the best everything. That is wardrobe, styling, accessories, national costume and walk.
What makes Gray a contender is not her immense preparation, which can be construed at times as a downside. There is a possibility that she comes to Bangkok over-prepared (if there is such a word). Gray came into terms that she is the girl-to-beat and the pressure that comes with wearing the Philippine sash but what makes Gray the biggest contender is his gift for gab. She can charm her way with how she answers question – whether formal or conversational.
2- Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers
When Miss USA was crowned midyear, she caught everyone by surprise. She is not from a heavyweight state such as California or Texas. In fact, her state pageant, Miss Nebraska pitted her against less than 10 candidates. Summers is an outspoken woman who has a knack for answering hard questions with smart answers.
A lot of people see her as a blond version of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. In looks and personality, Wurtzbach and Summers seems to have been born from the same family but what makes Summers a likely Miss Universe is her ability to speak to the heart. She is a child life specialist and has embraced related causes even before she won Miss USA.
Under IMG, no one from the Americas has won the pageant. Summers might just be the first one from the continent to win Miss Universe under the pageant’s new owners.
3- Miss Ecuador Virginia Limongi
Miss Ecuador Virginia Limongi easily has the most stunning face among the 95 contestants. If Paula and the Miss Universe Organization is looking for the face of the Universe, crown her already. Limongi is no stranger to the pageant scene as she won various pageants in her home country. In 2014, she competed at Miss World. Fast forward four years, she is hoping to win Miss Universe for Ecuador.
Limongi has visited the Philippines before and after she was crowned Miss Universe Ecuador. She modeled and the Philippines and has made a good connection among Filipino fashion designers. The only likely drawback is her communication skills but at this points, Limongi may have improved in that department.
4- Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green
Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green is a statuesque lass who is in no way similar to reigning Miss Universe 2017 from South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Her parents are both educators which makes Green a good conversationalist.
In her interviews, it is evident that Green has trained well mentally and physically. Her team taught her how to style herself depending on the event as well as in public speaking. Whether the new owners of Miss Universe is ready for a back-to-back maybe a good question to ponder on. If you ask us however, Green has what it takes to win the Mikimoto crown for her country.
5 – Miss Canada Marta Stepien
If you are looking for the best catwalk, Miss Canada can slay the runway like she is in a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Born in Poland, Stepien has an amazing resume to boost her chances at Miss Universe. Stepien is an applied researcher of Biomedical Engineering Technology. She speaks English, Polish, French and German.
Stepien has represented canada at Miss International 2017 but is unplaced. Like many pageant stories, Stepien was a runner-up in Miss Universe Canada before she won it all in 2018. Stepien’s storied journey plus her amazing credentials might just help her win the title for Canada anew.
Will she follow the footsteps of Natalie Glebova, a Canadian beauty queen who won Miss Universe? Glebova was also a runner-up before she won Miss Universe Canada 2005. She was then crowned Miss Universe 2005 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. Will Stepien repeat?
6 – Miss Colombia Valeria Morales
Colombia has been consistently sending stunning ladies at Miss Universe. Unlike his predecessors, Morales speaks good English. She is a Social Communication stident in Broward College at Florida, Miss Universe.
7 – Miss Puerto Rico Kiara Ortega
Miss Puerto Rico Kiara Ortega is a queen with a good heart. She works for an organization called Centro Ines which provides support services for young children and old seniors to enable them to access their creative skills and be independent.
8 – Miss Hungary Eniko Kecskes
Miss Hungary has one of the prettiest face in the competition. She is a double degree holder majoring in Economics and Business Administration. She speaks Hungarian, German and English. Kecskes also has good communication skills, a good upside at Miss Universe.
9 – Miss Australia Francesca Hung
Not only is Miss Australia Francesca Hung a beautiful model, she is also Sociology degree holder and is currently taking up a Masters in Publishing.
10 – Miss Nicaragua Adriana Paniagua
Adriana is no stranger to pageants. She has won Miss Teen International 2011 and has represented Nicaragua at Miss World but withdrew due to personal reasons. Paniaguar is a license holder for both Global Management and Finance.
11 – Miss Thailand Sophida Kanchanarin
Miss Thailand Sophida may be the smartest woman of the 95 contestants. While a bit lacking in the looks department, Miss Kanchanarin is an Investment Banking Manager at the young age of 23. She is the youngest female manager of TMB Bank. While she was born in Bangkok, she finished Business Administration and Finance at the University of Nevada.
Kanchanarin works in a male-dominated profession so she hopes to advocate for equal pay on the dollar for both men and women regardless of profession.
12 – Miss Vietnam H’hen Nie
Miss Vietnam H’hen Nie is a professional model and is a finalist at Vietnam’s Next Top Model. Her edgy branding of “girl with a short hair” may just help her advance further at Miss Universe.
Coming from humble beginnings, H’hen understood that education is the only key in solving poverty. She donated 70% of her prize to augment the scholarship fund of her old school to inspire others to do the same.
Her impressive resume includes her advocacy on HIV/AIDS victims as well as providing funds for literacy programs. She has spearheaded project including building a library at Lam Dong. She has been raising funds to build schools in Asia and Africa to help young children learn and develop life skills that will help them in the future.
13 – Miss Spain Angela Ponce
If Miss Spain Angela Ponce makes the first cut, she will make another history as the first transgender woman to make the Top 16. She has already made history and can continue making history at Miss Universe.
14 – Miss Ukraine Karina Zhosan
Easily among the most stunning face at Miss Universe, Zhosan has built a robust career in acting and modeling. Recently, she has began a charity foundation that helped orphans from the African country of Kenya.
Zhosan hopes to build awareness on pressing global issues that requires global awareness for them to be addressed.
15 – Miss Mexico Andrea Toscano
Smart and beautiful, Mexico’s Andrea Toscano is a Nutrition major and is now a diplomat in neurolinguistic programming. In terms of most-liked photo, Toscano ranks 2nd compared to Philippines’ Catriona Gray.
16 – Miss Albania Tejsi Sejdini
Albanian beauty queen, Tejsi Sejdini may be young at 18 years old but she has a very beautiful face.
The team listed more names to complete our Top 20. They are Costa Rica, Egypt, Myanmar and Indonesia.
While we agree that Miss Philippines Catriona Gray is the strongest girl in the competition especially with her strong social media following, advocacy, and preparations, it is foolish to assume that Miss Universe 2018 is a mere formality. There are strong girls in the competition who will be fighting tooth and nail to get the crown onto their head.