ABQ’s Best Evening Gown Performances in Miss Universe 2012!


The Prelims of the Miss Universe 2012 just blew this blogger away – from the rambunctious audience, the elegant stage to the Snow Queen lights and the great hosts, I was so entertained!

Having the choreographer Michael Schwandt introduce the show was also a wonderful touch – in fact, I liked him SO much that I wished HE hosted the entire Prelims! But the actual host – Las Vegas radio and TV personality Chet Buchanan was lots of fun. Love his voice – so strong and full of energy. Plus, he said “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” so I had to like him, lol! Miss Universe 2011  Leila Lopes was stunning (I adore her profile) and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way she would hype up each country name.

So, for me, the prelims was a huge success and now my expectations for the coronation night has jumped up a few notches. Anywho, who cares about all that? Let me tell you who I liked best in the Evening Gown competition:

(All gown photos from Ohmygossip.com!)

L-R - Albania (Adrola Dushi), Angola (Marcelina Vahekeni) and Aruba (Liza Helder). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

L-R – Albania (Adrola Dushi), Angola (Marcelina Vahekeni) and Aruba (Liza Helder). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

Albania (Adrola Dushi) – Beautiful. Soft. Kittenish. Just some of the words that came to mind when Adrola Dushi of Albania opened the Evening Gown Competition at the Miss Universe 2012. Her yellow gown gave her the life that she needed; she tends to be very laid back and had a weak greeting. But I love her anyway!

Angola (Marcelina Vahekeni) – The African and Carribean Queens did quite well in the gown competition (at least for me) and Angola’s Marcelina Vahekeni with her simple walk was tops! Lovely and queenly. While the red on beige gown suited her well, I really wished it was cut to show off her shoulders.

Aruba (Liza Helder) – This synchronized swimmer is beginning to grow on me! Liza Helder’s beauty is magnetic and I like the way she walks. Very simple and very pretty. The leafy greenish mustard gown with silver accents suited her but I am ambivalent about the tattery look of it’s lower half.

L-R - Belgium (Laura Beyne), Canada (Adwoa Yahmoa), Cayman Islands (Lindsay Japal). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

L-R – Belgium (Laura Beyne), Canada (Adwoa Yamoah), Cayman Islands (Lindsay Japal). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

Belgium (Laura Beyne) – I know ‘cute’ isn’t really a good beauty queen adjective but, by golly, Belgium is adorably CUTE. And at the same time she radiates elegance like a beauty queen should. Her fuscha red gown complimented her mocha color. I don’t think Laura Beyne knows just how sexy she is in this gown!

Canada (Adwoa Yamoah) – Another black beauty in my list of best in gown performances! While I am not a fan of extremely white gowns (most of us look awful in it) Adwoa Yamoah of Canada just made me say WHITE ON BLACK IS WOW!

Cayman Islands ( Lindsay Japal) – Sexy lady this Lindsay Japal. She’s consistently in my lists of favorites (Photo and Video) and I’m praying she does the Cayman Islands proud since that nation doesn’t really have a track record in the Miss Universe beauty pageant. At the end of her walk, Lindsay Japal had a great head swing, turn and pose that made up for her hair partially covering her face at the start.

L-R - Croatia (Elizabeta Burg), Curacao (Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen) and Ecuador (Carolina Andrea Aguirre Perez). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

L-R – Croatia (Elizabeta Burg), Curacao (Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen) and Ecuador (Carolina Andrea Aguirre Perez). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

Croatia (Elizabeta Burg) – The words I wrote in my Miss U notebook when I saw Elizabeta Burg come out in her emerald beige gown: Winner! Super beautiful! Gorgeous! Even if I prefer gowns that display the shoulders and arms, she looked perfect in this one! Elizabeta Burg looked like a woman you would want on your arm at a formal ball (if you’re a guy ha?!).

Curacao (Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen) – For me, Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen had the best projection among all the contestants in Miss Universe 2012! She also had this Angel Aquino vibe going on and a beautiful shifting of emotions on her face. Faaaabulous!

Ecuador (Carolina Andrea Aguirre Perez) – Red lipstick definitely suits this Ecuadorean competitor. And the red lips matched her ruby gown which… well, doesn’t look so good in the photo above. It looks a little better in the video. Very pleased with Carolina Andrea Aguirre Perez’ smooth glide and teasing smile!

L-R - Georgia (Tamar Shedania), Guyana (Ruqayyah Boyer), Jamiaca (Chantal Jaky). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

L-R – Georgia (Tamar Shedania), Guyana (Ruqayyah Boyer), Jamaica (Chantal Jaky). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

Georgia (Tamar Shedania) – Although Tamar Shedania is not in my list of favorites for the crown, the Georgian candidate wowed me out during the Evening Gown Competition at Miss Universe 2012! It was like Fashion Week when she began her walk. Her Paris Hilton-ish vibe was juicy, the angled mirrors on her gown were intriguing and her styling was worthy of Vogue magazine!

Guyana (Ruqayyah Boyer) – This coffee-colored Guyana beauty in bright blue did a Miriam Quiambao – she fell right at the front of the ramp, got up like a Geisha and after a couple of stilted steps (the audience was stunned) she resumed her elegant stride. Host Chet Buchanan came in the nick of time to save her with an excellent adlib. Then, in her last pose, Ruqayyah Boyer gave a victorious smile that said – I survived! (China almost fell twice but I didn’t like the way she dealt with it. As if it didn’t happen. Guyana had a more evocative expression, IMHO.)

Jamaica (Chantal Jaky) – I told you I had a lot of Ebonies in my best in gown list! In her long gown performance, Chantal Jaky of Jamaica proved that cool can also be hot, hot, HOT!

L-R - Kosovo (Diana Avdiu), Malaysia (Kimberly Leggett), Mexico (Karina Gonzalez). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

L-R – Kosovo (Diana Avdiu), Malaysia (Kimberly Leggett), Mexico (Karina Gonzalez). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

Kosovo (Diana Avdiu) – This Albanian beauty from Kosovo is consistently in my list (Photo and Video) and after winning an early award – Miss Photogenic – in the Miss Universe 2012 pageant, it would be a shock if Diana Avdiu didn’t enter the Top 5 or even win the Miss Universe 2012 crown. While I abhor the Greek-themed gown she wore, she did look like Diana, the goddess (and Catherine Zeta Jones) while gliding on stage. I heart Kosovo!

Malaysia (Kimberly Leggett) – Miss Malaysia is another beauty I initially did not have on my list but she ended up somehow growing on me. The term ‘smouldering beauty’ is an apt description of Kimberly Leggett and so far no other contestant in this batch of Miss Universe 2012 aspirants can smoulder like she does, LOL!

Mexico (Karina Gonzalez) – Should we fear this year’s contestant from Mexico? I think so! Her beauty can knock you out cold in the 6th round! (Sorry, Manny!) Her cutsie-pie red gown-swimsuit hybrid (golly, what do I call it?) gave us a clear view of her right leg and I imagine the left one looks just as fine. However, I am not sure if I like the outfit as much as I like the leg. This knockout beauty toyed with audience and had them cheering loudly! No matter my feelings for the gown, Karina Gonzalez deserves to be in this list!

L-R - Paraguay (Egny Eckert), Philippines (Janine Tugonon), Puerto Rico (Bodine Koehler). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

L-R – Paraguay (Egni Eckert), Philippines (Janine Tugonon), Puerto Rico (Bodine Koehler). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

Paraguay (Egni Eckert) – I was not a fan at the start but when I saw Egni Eckert glowing like an iced ember in the Evening Gown Competition at Miss Universe 2012, I became a convert! I now see what all her fans online were saying – Miss Paraguay is indeed a ticking time bomb! Her smile, as she floated like a cloud in her baby blue gown, was so alive and so radiant! I fan Paraguay!

Philippines (Janine Tugonon) – When Janine Tugonon looked out into the audience while flashing her regal smile, thoughts of former Miss Universe winners Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran flashed through my mind. Miss Philippines is a blend of classic and modern beauty and can carry either style with excellence. Her Cobra Walk did not fail us either – she owned the stage and garnered the loudest applause even before she could take her first step!

Puerto Rico (Bodine Koehler) – Always in my list of favorites (Photo and Video), Bodine Koehler was eye-candy in her off-white-near-pink (what color is it?) gown.

L-R - Tanzania (Winfrida Dominic), Thailand (Nutpimon Farida Waller), USA (Olivia Culpo) and Venezuela (Irene Sofia Esser Quintero). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

L-R – Tanzania (Winfrida Dominic), Thailand (Nutpimon Farida Waller), USA (Olivia Culpo) and Venezuela (Irene Sofia Esser Quintero). Evening Gown Competition Miss Universe 2012

Tanzania (Winfrida Dominic) – This Tanzanian beauty’s strength is her stage performance. Her choker-neck light metallic gown boosted her elegant bearing and her smile was sweet and inviting. I honestly was surprised at how well she projected herself even with such simple styling! Winifrida Dominic seemed flat in the web interview but after seeing her in the Evening Gown Competition, I was very impressed. She just proves that one doesn’t need a gorgeous mane of hair to look like a beauty queen!

Thailand (Nutpimon Farida Waller) – Simple and elegant, Thailand’s Nutpimon Farida Waller tugged at my heartstrings with her Cupid bow lips. Such a lovely face, so clear and beautiful…

USA (Olivia Culpo) – USA finally enters my list, in spite of the Fuschia nightmare she is wearing. (Olivia Culpo wasn’t in my Photos list or in my Video list.) She looks like she’s hiding a baby bump under that table skirt. I’m sorry for saying that because I am normally not a catty person but this gown brings out the worst in me. Thankfully, it did not seriously affect my perception of Miss USA because I somehow found Olivia Culpo so regal as she rested her eyes on the audience and gave them a gentle smile. She made me think of Queen Victoria. To her styling team – we all make mistakes so just admit it and do better next time.

Venezuela (Irene Sofia Esser Quintero) – For me, I thought her gown would have been better if it had bright colors, but at least it wasn’t horrible like the previous one. Irene Sofia Esser Quintero flirted with the audience to the max – something I normally find irritating. However these Venzuelan girls seem to know how to flirt so well, I end up loving them anyway. And I certainly love this particular candidate and expect Irene Esser to enter the Top Circle in Miss Universe 2012!