Over the last two weeks, the 86 contestants for the 65th Miss Universe Pageant graced ancillary events, wowing pageant fans during the terno fashion show in Vigan City, the flower float parade in Baguio City, the Yamamay swimsuit presentation in Cebu City, the photo and video shoot in Pico de Loro, Batangas, and the Mindanao tapestry show in Davao City.
After exhilarating, and at times, exhausting, pre-pageant events, the ladies finally got down to serious business and paraded in swimsuits and evening gowns under competitive conditions yesterday at the MOA Arena before a preliminary set of judges who will determine the top 12 contestants on Monday’s finals.
Under new rules set by WME/IMG, the top 12 (instead of the previous top 15) will be narrowed down to a top 9 after the swimsuit round. The top 9 in turn will be narrowed down to a top 6 after the evening gown round. The top 6 will then advance to the Q & A round. The final 3 will then undergo a “final look” to determine the successor of our very own Pia Wurtzbach.
On all rounds in Monday’s finals, the composite scores of the panel of judges, including former Miss Universe winners Sushmita Sen, Dayanara Torres, Riyo Mori and Leila Lopes, and the online fan votes around the world will determine who will be crowned to reign as Miss Universe 2016.
Pageant Watch made a bold attempt to single out six ladies who are most likely to battle it out for the coveted crown. They are Mariam Habach of Venezuela, Andrea Tovar of Colombia, Marina Jacoby of Nicaragua, Raissa Santana of Brazil, Iris Mittenaere of France and Maxine Medina of the Philippines.
Completing our top 12 list are the delegates from the USA, Australia, Barbados, Thailand, Malaysia and Kenya.
Pageant Watch wishes all the contestants the best. May the most deserving contestant win and carry on the brand that has become a source of inspiration for millions of girls all over the world, the universe rather!