ABQ’s FINAL Top 15 Choices in Miss Universe 2012!


Okay. This IS the FINAL list. I am exhausted after all the deciding but very happy with my choices. BTW, this list will be featured in Rappler, I’m so thrilled!

Now… there were SIX girls that consistently scored high with me in their photos (professional and candid shots), web interview, gown competition and swimsuit competition. I tried hard but couldn’t pare them down to five. I am a terrible judge!

Here goes:  (in alphabetical order)

1) Cayman Islands – Lindsay Japal

Lindsay Japal of Cayman Islands MU2012

Lindsay Japal of Cayman Islands MU2012

Cayman Islands doesn’t really have a track record in Miss Universe but Lindsay Japal will most likely break that silence. She has that American appeal combined with Island flavor. And the best thing about her is that she doesn’t seem to know just how sexy she is!

2) Kosovo- Diana Avdiu

Diana Avdiu of Kosovo MU2012

Diana Avdiu of Kosovo MU2012

Diana Avdiu is already a winner in the Miss Universe 2012 with the Miss Photogenic award in her clutches. And may I just say that she deserves it? Her photos take my breath away. She also happens to remind me of Catherine Zeta Jones and would make a fine Miss Universe.

3) Mexico -Karina Gonzales

Karina Gonzalez of Mexico MU2012

Karina Gonzalez of Mexico MU2012

Well, lets hope we don’t get knocked out again by Mexico! Karina Gonzales is obviously going for the crown like a prize fighter. Her smile, which is brighter than the lights of Las Vegas, is her winning asset. Unfortunately, she’s not smiling in this photo, but if you click here, you’ll see what I mean!

 4) Philippines – Janine Tugonon

Janine Tugonon of the Philippines MU2012

Janine Tugonon of the Philippines MU2012

It is not impossible for Janine Tugonon to come home this Christmas with the crown as a gift for the Philippines. Just like our two previous queens Shamcey Supsup and Venus Raj who placed in the Top 5 of Miss Universe, Janine is vivacious, stunning in photos, regal on stage and has a fantastic body!

5) Puerto Rico – Bodine Koehler

Bodine Koehler of Puerto Rico MU2012

Bodine Koehler of Puerto Rico MU2012

Bodine Koehler is a complete package – angelic face, divine body, height of 6 feet… all of that spells G-O-D-D-E-S-S! The extra plus is that she sings, plays the piano and dances. I believe that selecting a Miss U winner who can perform for the public CAN translate into extra revenue which matters to Donald Trump.

6) Venezuela -Irene Esser

Irene Sofia Esser Quintero of Venezuela MU2012

Irene Sofia Esser Quintero of Venezuela MU2012

You put on a sash that says Venezuela and your beauty levels-up in a wondrous manner. IMHO, this is a good thing. But for me, its not only about sash factor. With or without it, Irene Esser has a beautiful winner’s face that exudes innocence, fun and elegance all at the same time.

The girl that is the biggest threat to the 6 I mentioned above is…

7) Croatia -Elizabeta Burg

Elizabeta Burg of Croatia MU2012

Elizabeta Burg of Croatia MU2012

I wasn’t satisfied with her swimsuit shots. However, I have to say that she is one of the prettiest faces in this batch of queens. Elizabeta Burg projects like Snow White. Beautiful enough to overcome any shortcomings (or short-legged-ness) and enter the Top 5!

My next set of favorites: (In alphabetical order)

8) Albania -Adrola Dushi

Adrola Dushi of Albania MU2012

Adrola Dushi of Albania MU2012

Adrola Dushi has been compared to Italian actress Sophia Loren and I agree, Albania’s contestant to Miss Universe 2012 has a classic type of beauty that appeals to all ages and lasts thru time. The only trouble is that she’s a little too laid back for a pageant as competitive as Miss Universe.

9) Aruba -Liza Helder

Liza Helder of Aruba MU2012

Liza Helder of Aruba MU2012

When I choose my favorites I always look at photos first. And I was not attracted to Liza Helder’s shots, specially her early Miss Aruba photos. But when I saw her web interview, I quickly changed my assessment. She is attractive, gorgeous and smart!

10) China – Ji Dan Xu (Diana Xu)

Ji Dan Xu of China MU2012

Ji Dan Xu of China MU2012

Beauty should be beyond politics so I’m going to act like the territorial issue between us and them isn’t happening. Anyway, I like Diana Xu (Ji Dan Xu) because there is a certain charm about her. I love her height (5’11”) and her warm smile which I believe are her best assets.

11) Ecuador -Carolina Andrea Aguirre Perez

Carolina Andrea Aguirre Perez of Ecuador MU2012

Carolina Andrea Aguirre Perez of Ecuador MU2012

Initially, I was not impressed with Carolina Andrea Aguirre Perez’ photos although I thought she was cute. I started singing a different song when I saw her in action in the web interview and the evening gown competition. Ecuador is a charmer!

12) Jamaica -Chantal Jaky

Chantal Zaky of Jamaica MU2012

Chantal Zaky of Jamaica MU2012

Out of all the Ebony Queens in this year’s batch, Jamaica is THE standout. Although I find her styling to be a little strong (too much contouring) you can’t put a beautiful woman like Chantal Jaky down.

13) Malaysia – Kimberly Leggett

Kimberly Legget of Malaysia MU 2012

Kimberly Legget of Malaysia MU 2012

Kimberly Legget is the only beauty queen in Miss Universe 2012 that smoulders on stage. That’s what convinced me to put her in my list!

14) Thailand – Nutpimon Farida Waller

Farida Waller of Thailand MU2012

Farida Waller of Thailand MU2012

Nutpimon Farida Waller captured my heart with her Cupid bow lips. Just a little bit more angst or edge and she can make the semi-finals, at least!

15) Russia -Elizabeta Golovanova

Elizabeth Gologanova of Russia MU2012

Elizabeth Gologanova of Russia MU2012

Her critics have assailed her for her over-powering long hair and uneven teeth. And they do have a point. I like Elizabeta Golovanova anyway because of the stunning fashion shots they took of her in Miss Universe. Just look at the photo above. Kitang-kita ang kanyang kagandahan!

My Dark Horse Collection: (In no particular order)

1) Norway -Sara Nicole Andersen

Sara Nicole Andersen of Norway MU2012

Sara Nicole Andersen of Norway MU2012

If the judges like women with child-like beauty then Sara Nicole Andersen could bust into the Top 16!

2) Belgium – Laura Beyne

Laura Beyne of Aruba MU2012

Laura Beyne of Aruba MU2012

Laura Beyne has one of the sweetest smiles and for me has the most doll-like face among the Ebony Queens.

3) Angola – Marcelina Vahekeni

Marcelina Vahekeni of Angola MU2012

Marcelina Vahekeni of Angola MU2012

Marcelina Vahekeni with her simple walk in the Evening Gown Competition was tops! Lovely and queenly. But succeeding Leila Lopes (the current Miss Universe who represented Angola last year) is going to be tough!

4) Curacao -Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen

Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen of Curacao MU2012

Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen of Curacao MU2012

For me Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen had the best projection in the Evening Gown Competition. She is a stronger version of our very own Angel Aquino.

5) Guyana -Ruqayyah Boyer

Ruaqyyah Boyer of Guyana MU2012

Ruaqyyah Boyer of Guyana MU2012

Could her Miriam Quiambao-like fall at the Prelims of Miss Universe 2012 and her graceful save propel her into the semi-finals? It’s possible. Ruqayyah Boyer has class and she shows it!

6) Paraguay -Egni Eckert

Egni Eckert of Paraguay MU2012

Egni Eckert of Paraguay MU2012

Oh what a feisty Latina! Egni Eckert caught my attention when I saw her glowing like an iced ember in the Evening Gown Competition.

7) USA -Olivia Culpo

Olivia Culpo of the USA MU2012

Olivia Culpo of the USA MU2012

I have trouble with Olivia Culpo, this year’s Miss USA, I am so wanting to include her in my list – she’s beautiful, smart, sexy etc. but I just don’t feel the X-factor. However, USA does have the sash-factor so there’s a mighty chance that she’ll enter the semi-finals in spite of what I feel.