1. South Africa
5. Puerto Rico
13. New Zealand
16. Colombia / Ecuador / Indonesia / Thailand / Vietnam (tied)
She is the fave of pageant fans, experts, critics, and bloggers and all around the world. She is a mix of Victoria's Secret angel and Hollywood diva sensation. She is the supernova among the stars. And she is our Miss Universe 2012. In the middle of what should have been a very competitive year, South Africa amazingly stands alone as the one to beat. As if the Diamond Nexus crown is made for her and the rest of the contestants are just part of the fiesta. In an ideal result, this stunning girl, who also amazes us with her communication skill should be the winner of Miss Universe 2012.
Philippines was bashed and underrated when she won her national pageant. But look at her now! No one can deny that she is the best and most prepared Asian girl this year. Well it is said that most of the time charisma wins over beauty. That is certainly the case of this girl whom we expect to bring another Top 5 finish for her country.
It said that a Miss Universe final without Venezuela is like a Christmas without Santa, and this Holiday-themed ediiton will not be complete without this spunky and bubbly girl in the Top 5. The most beautiful face of the competition, Croatia, whose beauty mirrors that of Aishwarya Rai in our opinion, should also be includded in this elite group. Completing our Top 5 is Puerto Rico. An early fave, she was fading and almost missing on the hot-list radar throughout the competition, until she made a big comeback on the preliminary night and reminded us all why she was a fave in the first place.
Our other faves for the final are Georgia the supermodel of the year, USA the petite bellissima, and Mexico the Latin bombshell. Based on their performance, Paraguay and Netherlands should have been among the Top 16 too. The only thing that might hurt them is their status as former Miss World finalists. We are also rooting for Malaysia, a country who has never placed in 4 decades, and shockingly still ignored even after they send strong competitors lately.
The last place on the Leaderboard is a 5-way tie among 5 countries that we predict will top the fan voting this year. It is still unclear if Miss Universe will follow the same format as last year (which yielded a surprising winner of Portugal) or the Idol series format where every voter counts as one vote, regardless the origin of the voter. In the case of the second format being used this year, Thailand is the strongest possibility to win the fans love and join the elite 16 as the third Asian semifinalist this year.
So who will be crowned as Miss Universe 2012? We will find out in just a few hours! Stay tuned!
Special thanks to Fadly Ulum for the gorgeous "Happy Holidays" banner!
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