Monday, November 27, 2017

MISS UNIVERSE 2017: FINAL PICKS




If the Miss Universe holds true to reported change in format that sees the Top 16 divided by region, then things could be much more unsafe for all the ladies specially those in the Asian regions. The Asians are showing to be powerhouses this year and with the new development, some might miss the cut to the semis. The news has 4 from Asia/Africa/Pacific (3 from judges, 1 from online vote), 4 from Europe (3 from judges and 1 from online vote), 4 from Americas (3 from judges and 1 from online vote) plus 4 wildcards which can come from any of the regions. With that here is my final picks for the Top 16 in Miss Universe 2017. I think the Europe regions is the weakest of them all.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

MISS UNIVERSE 2017: TOP 20 PICKS (EVENING GOWN - PRELIMINARIES)

Beauty, grace and poise under pressure are some of the key points normally looked on during the evening gown competition. Although the gown makes for a great eye catching spectacle, it is only a portion of the total score each delegate can obtain. One's runway walk is also pivotal to see how one easily carries their individual gowns. Here is my Top 20 picks for the Evening Gown Preliminaries.

 V
Venezuela really wowed me during the evening gown presentation in the preliminaries. She was stunning, elegant and full of poise and grace as she is my clear winner during this segment. France makes up for an average Swimsuit portion to slay her gown in impressive form. Add to the fact that her gown was such a beauty she was able to really shine. Philippines may not have the best gown but her presence and superb catwalk brought her above most of the contestants. She really made people notice her in this prelims. Mexico also rebounded after a so-so swimsuit round. She managed to put sexiness and elegance under one place.

Colombia rocks the white feathery gown and proved to be one of the stronger ones during the night. Egypt was kind of a surprise. But with a gown that shows all her right curves, she strutted like someone who is eager for the top. Iceland was simple yet very impressive in her look at the evening gown. Her over-all performance was solid and she looks beautiful on that lovely dress. Korea continues to impress in the prelims. After a strong swimsuit round, she backed it up with an elegant display of her beauty during the Evening Gown parade.

USA's decision to ear a yellow gown did her well. She popped out and stood out with the right contrast of her color and the bright yellow gown. With solid performances like this, she is rest assured to land a spot in the semis. Angola stood tall and made heads turn during the evening gown portion. Her beauty was noticeable as it shines through the simple yet stunning silver/white gown. Lebanon is beautiful no doubt about it but she has been in the shadows for majority of the competition. Good thing she really nailed her evening gown and then we took notice. Hot in pink, Indonesia braved the odds but still look effortlessly gorgeous on her hot pink piece. Her outstanding presence did her pretty well as this gown was not one among the best praised gowns.

Thailand's gown was a classic and she is once again beautiful but her confidence and presence on stage is somehow questionable as she seems a bit nervous during this round. A good performance but good isn't enough to win the crown. Japan's red dress was an attention grabber during the prelims. Packed with a great smile and personality she was able to outshine some of the other early front-runners. Panama was another surprise that night. Her gorgeous evening gown was well carried and she walked the part and did her best to be among the best. Malaysia is stunning hands down but this red piece which was somehow more sexy than regal may have hurt her chances to move higher on the ranks.

Paraguay followed up his powerful run at the swimsuit round with a scintillating take on the evening gown competitions. Her towering figure was amplified the more with the great cut on her chosen gown. South Africa has slowly dwindled. It helps her cause that she is really gorgeous and beautiful but this sad green gown may have hurt her chances for an easy pass to the semis. Great Britain may have made some jaws drop with her revealing red dress and she really let us see that she is beautiful and sexy indeed. Australia is also on a downturn and an average performance in the prelims may have hurt her chances. After all she is bracketed against Asia and Africa which is turning out to be a pretty crowded bunch.




Friday, November 24, 2017

MISS UNIVERSE 2017: TOP PICKS (SWIMSUIT - PRELIMINARIES)

The initial impressions on the delegates is important for the build up but the preliminaries is what matters most as it is the ticket to the semifinals. Last year it is during this stage that we had some surprises that was able to make big waves and enter the semis. Will that be the same for this year? Here are my Top 20 picks for the best Swimsuit. I judged them from their physique and body structure (sexiness, shape and appeal), ramp (confidence and poise) and factoring in beauty as well (grace and facial beauty).

 Topping my list is Philippines with a beaming smile emanating from such a pretty face and a body to die for, she was sure on fire. She strutted the runway and showed the entire universe that she means business And those legs are so perfect. Venezuela also did a splendid job. Parading her white Yamamay swimwear, Keysi wowed everyone with her curves and her confidence and presence on stage. Colombia's body was just the bomb and that together with her fierceness on stage made us really notice her. Peru rounds up my Top 4 as she gracefully walked the runway. And she was one of the sexier ones of the night.
 Indonesia did a splendid job and with a face like hers and a gorgeous body like that, she can spell trouble for the ladies on top. It is a given that South Africa is hot and sexy and her over-all aura spells that as well. But she was overshadowed by some of the other delegates who simply put the ramp ablaze. USA does not have the perfect body but her over-all confidence beams making her look fiesty in black. Surprise package at the swimsuits is Saint Lucia. Suddenly coming with a bang, if her other scores would be above average, this swimsuit round would definitely catapult her to the semis.
 Mexico sits in at 9 for me. She is a crowd pleaser and her nice curves were put into good use as she walk the ramp and all we could say was wow. Malaysia is one of the few front-runners pre-arrival and she has proven that the hype is not a fluke. Confident and graceful, Malaysia captured the eyes of many. Brazil packed a solid run at the swimsuit rounds but with the rest too far ahead, she needs to step it up soon. Costa Rica is somehow not a surprise as I think she is one of the few people who have really gorgeous bods in the competition. The swimsuit round proved it all the way and she did impress.
 Korea is another surprise in this round as she stood tall edging out some of the more favored contestants along the way. Australia started the pre-season hot and on fire but this preliminary is not s strong as the others. Solid but could not keep up with the rest. France slowly faded in the swimsuit rounds. She does not have the best body and she really looked less confident with that. Thailand may not have the best body and her walk was somehow awkward but her presence is just electrifying enough to merit her as one of my Top 20 picks in the Swimsuit round.
 Spain is regal in her form and she showed brilliance in her catwalk and those abs are definitely an eye-candy. Paraguay used to be one of the best there is and for this year, this is one of their stronger performances in the past few years. Honduras was the bomb. Her body was really great looking and she obviously enjoys her time at the pageant. A bit off on her runway walk have hurt her chances of even being higher on my list. Iceland is a charming and despite being in the club of select curvaceous delegates, she managed to stand out and be noticed.


Monday, November 20, 2017

MISS UNIVERSE 2017: BEST NATIONAL COSTUMES

The National Costume parade is always one of more anticipated portions on Miss Universe. This year, I think very few were really stand outs but a lot of countries had clean solid and wonderful costumes showing their unique heritage. Here are my Top picks for the National Costume in the 66th Miss Universe.

 Myanmar once more wows the audience with its outlandish costume yet I have to give my pick to Guatemala with the intricate details of her costume and the vibrant wonderful colors that really shows her nation's culture. Korea, Thailand and Laos were all solid and well crafted as well.
 Brazil is simple yet stunning and Spain also made me take a second look. Cambodia, India and El Salvador's designs were also fluid and a wonder to watch.
 Japan and Mexico in its simplicity was able to stand out and the usual feathery affairs from Jamaica, Costa Rica and Nicaragua could never go wrong.
 Going out of the traditional. Philippines did a good job with the Sarimanok costume. The rest of the group were also nice and Vietnam, Peru, Turkey and Guyana nailed the catwalk in presenting their costumes on stage.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

MISS UNIVERSE 2017: 2ND HOT PICKS

You have seen my pre-arrival picks and my best in their glam shots. The past week saw some delegates step it up and make some noise. Factoring in my scores on pre-arrival together with the glam shots, recent TV and print appearances together with the newly included "Head Shots" in the Miss Universe website, here are my new Top 20 picks for Miss Universe 2017.

 1. Australia
Previous: 3
With a strong glam shot and head shot photos, Olivia finds herself vaulting some of the favorites moving into the pivotal days before the pre-pageant and the actual pageant.

2. Thailand
Previous: 6
Maria wowed all of us with her last week as strong as it maybe. Every TV appearance was a must watch and we are all one in agreeing that she is indeed so beautiful. Strong head shots and glam shots also make her move steadily up the ranks.

3. Philippines
Previous: 5
Rachel also moved up 2 notches on this power list. Despite having critical comments to her glam shots, she slayed her way with a sweet yet stunning head shot. That together with great praises with her interviews makes a good week for Philippines.

4. Venezuela
Previous: 2
Keysi was solid and consistent but with some of her co-delegates stepping up their games in the last week, she has slipped down by a bit. Her personality continues to shine making her a darling of the crowd.

5.  USA
Previous: 9
A strong week for USA sees her jump into the Top 5 power picks. Her pictures and her interviews were all on point and she seems to flourish more as the pageant progresses. Truly someone to keep an eye for.


 6. Colombia
Previous: 4
Laura was very good on all aspects for this week but that may be the case for her slip in the rankings. She is just good but not great. Solid catwalk, nice interview comments and good pics did well for her chances. Now it is time for her to step up her game.

7. Indonesia
Previous: 11
A very so-so glam shot caused her to not gain much but still she did wow everyone with a stunner of a head shot. Her great media visibility is also working on her favor and she is slowly making heads turn. Great poise and presence over-all that helped her move in the power rankings.

8. Nepal
Previous: Unranked
Big surprise in the past week was Nepal. I had her unnoticed on my previous hot picks and did not even have high marks with her Glam Shots. But this week was simply Nagma's week. Her screen presence is felt in interviews and the general public was put in awe with her wonderful headshots which for me was one of the best on the entire competition.

9. South Africa
Previous: 1
A relatively passive week for South Africa saw her slip from frontrunner to people on the heels. Not much media buzz was given to her and her photos were rather average. Still her strong pre-arrival buzz has kept her in my Top 10 thus far.

10. Ghana
Previous: 19
Ghana is slowly but surely making a lot of people take notice and the others should be a bit nervous. Her meteoric rise this week was buoyed by her great backstory and powerful performances on both photoshoots. Her shots were on point and definitely deserves the big bump in the rankings.
 
 11. Ukraine
Previous: Unranked
Another beauty to grace the rankings first time is Ukraine. Yana Krasnikova surprised even the keenest eyes of pageant experts as she beamed with a smile on her head shots and the rest of the world noticed how beautiful she is.

12. Peru
Previous: 10
A slight drop on our rankings, Peru was also one of the few that did well this past week but was not able to wow everyone. Consistent with her walk, pictures and communication skills she just needs to have one last charge to the top or she will continue to fade with the rest of the ladies surging ahead.

13. Lebanon
Previous: Unranked
Jana Sader also surprised me this week. Her strong head shots and a good glam shot just barely missing my Top 20 was able to push her ahead of the other early front-runners. She just needs to maintain this and she can sneak into the semifinals.

14. Israel
Previous: 17
I love Israel and although she did move up the rankings, I am not totally convinced she can make a push to the top. She moved up just because the others were not able to deliver solid performances and she just remained in status quo. Still her pretty face saved her from being left stuck with the rest of the group.

15. Aruba
Previous: Unranked
This few days are really more on beauty as the contestants are tested with a tons of photoshoots and press meet-ups. Aruba performed above expectations and she was specially gorgeous with her Head Shot. One name that is lurking at the sidelines but people need to be ready as she is waiting for her best moment.


16. France
Previous: 15
Slightly slipping into 16th is France. The photos that were released this week did not show her best potential as she remains stucked at the back of the chasing pack. I am eagerly waiting for more catwalks and presentations which France is strong.

17. Japan
Previous: Unranked
Japan took me by surprise in the past week. She is not the tallest, prettiest or the sexiest but she managed to make herself get noticed. She had solid photos to boot this week and with a lot of good press for her she might be slowly turning into a contender.

18. Jamaica
Previous: Unranked
I love Jamaica when she won her national pageant but as many other girls got their crowns, she slowly faded into the background. Good thing that she had a relatively good week last week. Once more, we were shown how pretty Davina is with her stunning Head Shot.

19. Mexico
Previous: 18
Steadily going with the flow, Mexico continues to trail the front runners. But she did pretty well this past week coming up with nice photos that was able to keep her in my Top 20.

20. Iceland
Previous: Unranked
She overperformed the past week making a bit of a noise and landing several top picks from fashion gurus and pageant specialists. She has that different look which might do her well in the days to come.

A lot of candidates slipped off my Top 20 this week. Russia, Spain, Great Britain, Malaysia, Puerto Rico and Brazil took the bubble this week after average performances. Let us see what will happen in the next few days to come if they can recover.

Friday, November 3, 2017

MISS UNIVERSE 2017: TOP 20 GLAM SHOTS

Here are my Top 20 Glam Shots. This is solely based on their glam shots and not factoring any other criteria. I have to say that this year's glam shots did not live to much hype and expectations. Some of the ladies looked too edited and some are actually way better looking in other pictures. But anyways, here are my top picks for the Glam Shots for Miss Universe 2017.

Colombia, Thailand and South Africa all nailed their respective glam shots and USA and Australia did pretty well with theirs. This is a good move for USA as the pre-arrival picks have shown her at the lower spots.


Surprise in the Top 10 Glam Shots are Austria and Dominican Republic who were both stunning with their shots. Venezuela and Israel did a good job but was overshadowed by some of the other candidates.

I was a bit sad with how Philippines looked with her glam shot so as with Spain. Surprisingly, Haiti is in this list whereas I did not notice her on the pre-arrival lists.
 Indonesia and France were also not as strong as the others delegates as they narrowly missed the Top 10 in the Glam Shots. Costa Rica surprised me with this picture enough to land her on my Top 20.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

MISS UNIVERSE 2017: PRE-ARRIVAL PICKS

The 66th Miss Universe is around the corner and again loads of beautiful women will be fighting off for the year's most prestigious pageant. This 2017, around 90 contestants are vying for the crown and here are the Top 20 ladies that have captured my attention so far. Factors for this list are the general news or buzz about the candidate and factoring in pre-pageant videos and pictures taking into account how they won their individual national pageants.


1. South Africa (Demi Leigh Nel-Peters)
South Africa have not fared too well in the past few stagings of MU but this 2017 they are coming out as early frontrunners. If you can see all the media buzz around Demi Leigh, then you're surely gonna think she can go big in the pageant night. All of her pictures show how gorgeous and beautiful she is beaming with that wonderful smile of hers.

2. Venezuela (Keysi Sayago)
After last year's non-inclusion in the semifinals, it seems likely Venezuela won't have a back to back scenario. Keysi does not only have the beauty and elegance but also a pleasing personality that makes her likeable. Her sweet demeanor could easily win over lots of fans and for sure she is one tough competitor.

3. Australia (Olivia Rogers)
Australia is again coming in strong for this year's Miss Universe and with a candidate as lovely as Olivia they look like they can go deep into the competition. Her recent pictures are so lovely and all her interviews and TV appearances are all worth the time showing she is a woman of beauty and intellect as well.

4. Colombia (Laura Gonzalez)
This year Colombia fields in yet another strong contender. Laura is definitely one to watch out. What I like is how different she seems from old Colombia representatives. Laura seems more likeable and relatable and definitely charming in all aspects. Plus judging from her pictures I know she has drop-dead gorgeous body which would help her in the competition to come.

5. Philippines (Rachel Peters)
Pageant crazy country Philippines sends one strong delegate once more. Rachel is beautiful, sexy and very intellectual. She seems to be a darling of the crowd and the press and that exposure could help her in the entire pageant. Coupled with elegance, poise and strong walk, she can be a fierce competitor come November.

6. Thailand (Maria Poonlertlarp)
Thailand has that queenly aura in her and this is what makes her a possible finalist moreso a winner. Her strength is definitely her pretty face which is among the best in the bunch. Her style have some misses along the way but over-all she is coming strong as the days approach for the actual pageant.

7. Russia (Ksenia Alexandrova)
Another candidate with a very pretty face, Ksenia has been an early favorite pre-pageant although the arrival of newly crowned beauties have slowed down her meteoric rise. She is still one of the favorites to date and she seems to improve by the day.

8. Spain (Sofia Del Prado)
This is potentially the strongest candidate of Spain in years and Sofia is truly waiting for the right moment to really shine. Not as highly publicized as the rest of the girls in this list but once you take a closer look at her you will see a pretty lady that can fight for the crown.

9. USA (Kara McCullough)
USA has always sent great candidates and this year is no exception. While a lot of the countries focus more on beauty titlists, USA seemed like they are going on a different route. Their past few delegate may not be the prettiest in the bunch but definitely one of the brightest. Her strong communication skills will be to her advantage as we go along the pageant.

10. Peru (Prissila Howard)
The first thing I noticed with Miss Peru is her drop-dead gorgeous body. And she knows how to strut it pretty well making everyone take notice. And her recent pictures have shown a different side of her making us see a more elegant and sophisticated Prissila.

11. Indonesia (Bunga Jelitha Ibrani)
Indonesia is doing very well in pageants in 2017 and with their MU delegate, their streak might go on. Bunga is beaming with personality and it has really shown on her TV appearances and her shoots. One of the stronger Indonesian candidate in years for Miss Universe, Bunga will surely try to grab a spot in the semifinals.

12. Malaysia (Samantha James)
Another Southeast Asian beauty that captured my attention as we approach the pageant period is Miss Malaysia. Samantha is not your typical Malaysian beauty as she seems more like a mix of different nationalities and in a good way. If she can build up momentum she can be a force in the pageant weeks to come.

13. Puerto Rico (Danna Hernandez)
Danna is another one of the stunners in this year's pageant and Puerto Rico is raring to go back to higher spots on the rankings for Miss Universe. Though some people may have mix reactions on her, I still think that if she consistently perform above expectations she can land in the semifinals.

14. Great Britain (Anna Burdzy)
Great Britain is coming on war mode this year and Anna is holding the Britain's flag up high. Her pleasing personality and a great set of pictures as we go through the road to the crown has proven helpful in her bid to make it into the semifinals.

15. France (Alicia Aylies)
Alicia is hard pressed this year as the reigning queen Iris is from France. And Alicia is up to the challenge as she has shown how wonderful a lady she is. her unique look may be to her advantage as she may stand out in a pool full of Latina looking beauties.

16. Brazil (Monalysa Alcantara)
Brazil continues to surprise us with their choices of delegates and this year is no different. With her wonderful locks, she can easily become a stand-out. She however has the more difficult route to stand out as France and USA are of the same looks as her. But with a strong personality, she can make things happen and fare well in the pageant.

17. Israel (Adar Gandelsman)
Israel is making waves this year. Not only because of Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) but also with their 2017 MU delegate. Adar is one of the prettiest face in the competition and could be on a lot of critic's hot picks. Her young looks may be a breathe of fresh air for the pageant or it could also possibly cause her to fade into the backgrounds.

18. Mexico (Denisse Franco)
Mexico is another lady to watch. With features that strikingly resemble Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere, she is potentially a contender in the pageant night. She seems to also be well loved by the press and that makes her more visible to the public which would help her in the long run.

19. Ghana (Ruth Quarshie)
Ghana is perhaps the only colored candidate that really caught my attention pre-pageant and pre-arrival. Ruth is stunning and her color makes her stand out among the rest. With a great presence on stage she can possibly surprise people during the pageant night.

20. Namibia (Sune January)
Another strong delegate from Naminia, Sune does not have the traditional beauty queen looks but that's what makes her interesting. With that and her over-all elegance, she can come out as one of the surprises of this year's pageant.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

HAPPY 34TH BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

And this one is definitely another great year for me. I am happy to celebrate my 34th birthday with the people I love the most. This year saw me show some unknown facts about myself as I ran through 34 things you may or may not know about me as part of my 34 Definitive Guide to Echo on my Facebook page. Happy days are sure ahead.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

BEYONCE ROCKS

Beyonce continues to be a beacon of fashion and style despite having a baby bump. I so love Queen B in this set of pictures that shows how proud she is with her new found form.


Such a sexy lady indeed.

Monday, April 3, 2017

MOVIE REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

This Disney modern retelling of the well loved animated 1991 classic created a buzz and it lived much to its hype. This live action film following the likes of Cinderella and Maleficent is a welcome addition to the family of animated classics re-imagined into live action. While I still prefer and love the animated one much better, this film is of course with a lot of merits and should not be ignored.

Emma Watson is convincing as Belle, effortlessly flashing smiles and doing dances an singing along the way. She seemed like she is born for the role and we could have not asked for more. The new “Beauty and the Beast” is a touching, relatable and very watchable experience.The musical scenes were well executed and the cinematography was superb. You could easily say you have been drawn into the actual moment. The over-all music and soundtrack added to the charm of the film as it somehow makes a way to each one's heart with new versions of old classics not swallowing the essence of the original songs.

While as compared to its animated counterpart this one is really not intended for kids. The plotlines and the over-all feel of the movie was much more darker than what people have expected but I am not complaining. It works in a way that sets this film separate from the original. I find the inclusion of all lovely characters very charming and well played into the center of the story. The only thing I would have to say that does not work much to me is casting Dan Stevens as Beast. I feel his charm was much more when he was portraying the Beast rather than the Prince. Somehow, makes you think that the former is a better choice despite the physical deficiencies.

Beauty and the Beast is a well crafted movie and is a gem of its own. We are again made to realize how seeing things superficially should not be the case. It makes us see the beauty within each one of us and loving people not for what they look like but for they are inside and out. This is a must watch and should be on your to-watch-list. 8.5 out 10 popcorns.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

TOP MALE MODELS: BENCH FASHION WEEK SPRING SUMMER 2017

This time it is the men's turn. In this edition, they are topbilled by their newest model Pietro Boselli who I would have to say is really hot and very charming. This set shows us some great choices of wonderful clothes to wear for this summer. Comfortable, easy to the eyes and fashionable, these designs grabbed more attention with the great selection of gorgeous models donning the clothes. Here are the Top 10 guys who made headlines in the Bench event.











Photos courtesy of Preview

Saturday, March 25, 2017

TOP FEMALE MODELS: BENCH FASHION WEEK SPRING SUMMER 2017

Bench is really the trailblazer in terms of Philippine fashion with their easy, fashionable and wearable clothes and for this Spring Summer Collection, they have once more proved they are the brand to beat in the RP market. Here are the top 10 female models who did their fair share of ramp at this year's event.











Photos courtesy of Preview

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