Before we get into our predictions for Miss Universe 2016, here are some predictions made by titleholders like you!
Want to cast your vote before the pageant? Click here to visit our predictions page and let your vote be heard!
There is still a level of mystery of what “type” of winner IMG gravitates towards. In the days of the previous ownership, it was often the most traditionally beautiful women. However, IMG seems to favor stories, personalities and confidence more than ever before.
Given that 33 percent of the contestants’ scores are derived from the brief, private interview, there is an X-factor that we cannot always account for in the Miss Universe Organization predictions. (Read: Miss Universe 2016 Candidates Help Out in #IRiseAgainstHunger)
Given this information, I have watched fashion show videos, considered headshots, and most importantly (and telling!) are candid images of the representatives throughout their time in the Philippines. (Read: Miss Universe 2016 Contestants Model Mindanaoan Fashion)
You may have already heard that instead of the traditional top 15, we will meet a top 12 in the hopes that the audience will get to know the women on more than just their surface-level beauty.
An incredibly competitive group, it was impossibly difficult to narrow down to such a small group. Most notably excluded from this list are Miss Mexico, Miss Dominican Republic and Miss Venezuela. All come from pageant powerhouse countries that you know will be flawlessly prepared and have striking looks. Any one of these three (and MANY others) could walk away with the crown this year.
Miss Universe 2016 Predictions
12. Miss USA, Deshauna Barber
We KNOW Deshauna can work a stage flawlessly. Girl can turn it on when she needs to, and we know that Miss USA always comes ready to win. Deshauna’s branding was PERFECT for Miss USA, however, I’m not sure how it will translate on a global scale. Regardless, she has a powerful confidence that will be difficult to ignore.
11. Miss Philippines, Maxine Medina
Home-field advantage is a real thing. Not in the sense of scores being doctored, but there is something to be said to be announced and hear the crowd roar for you. It boosts your confidence and sends a subconscious message to the judges to give you a little extra consideration. Miss Philippines has a beautiful look and a quiet presence, very similar to Pia last year.
10. Miss Australia, Caris Tiivel
Australia has this super laid back, charming contestant thing down. Its delegate is always effortless and never overdone and this year is no exception. I think Caris will ace the private interview portion and we will see her name called on finals night.
9. Miss Iceland, Hildur Maria
Personally, I think Iceland has one of the best faces of the pageant. She has a timeless beauty that translates in all cultures. However, I will say in promotional photos leading up to the pageant she does not have that edge that so many successful past contestants have had. If she can glam up her presentation and increase her energy level, she could do well.
8. Miss Indonesia, Kezia Warouw
Indonesia brings an innate sex appeal to the Philippines. We have seen pageantry start to shift towards a fuller figure than we were used to seeing in the early 2000s, and Indonesia really owns her body and it translates extremely well. (I’ll just reiterate that I’m not saying Indonesia is “full figured,” just that it is an evolution from the super skinny bodies we used to expect, mmmmkay?)
7. Miss Puerto Rico, Brenda Jimenez
Puerto Rico is one of those contestants that you naturally gravitate to in group photos. She has a fantastic, sassy presentation that caught my attention in the swimsuit show videos, which, in my opinion, makes her even more attractive (is that possible?).
6. Miss Sierra Leone, Hawa Kamara
Sierra Leone stands out in every group photo and shoot – even in her individual photos she pops. Her unique look, both regal and funky, will draw positive attention from the judges and she will stand out among the mountains of pageant curls.
5. Miss Ukraine, Alena Spodynyuk
Ukraine gives off that nostalgic Miss Universe look – like she was born to be queen. She is impeccably styled and has facial features that project a regal elegance. She definitely has a more sophisticated vibe than most of the other contestants that could work in her favor.
4. Miss Barbados, Shannon Harris
Okay, Barbados is my dark horse. There has not been a representative from Barbados in many years, and this young woman means BUSINESS. She was a bit over-styled at her national pageant but is perfectly balanced in the Philippines. She holds her own in a lineup – I even thought she looked stellar in a photo next to Pia. She has a natural beauty that shines. If her wardrobe is on point, she could easily sneak into those top spots.
3. Miss Colombia, Andrea Tovar
Miss Colombia was crowned in November 2015. To be honest, it is exhausting being an active titleholder for an extended period of time prior to your next pageant. Andrea has a stunning facial structure (in fact, she actually could pass as a sister of Jennifer Lopez who, let’s face it, is a goddess). If she can keep her stamina up one more week, work her angles, and amp up her personality, she can and will go far! Plus, you know Colombia is coming back with a VENGEANCE so she will be ready.
2. Miss Thailand, Chalita Suansane
Thailand looks like a celebrity in every single photo I see, especially in her candids. She could so quickly and easily assimilate to red carpets of all levels and slay those unexpected paparazzi shots. She also has a fierce walk that will ensure she gets noticed.
1. Miss Brazil, Raissa Santana
Brazil simply has the wow factor. I gravitate towards her in every photo no matter who else is pictured – it helps that she has a few inches of extra height on the other contestants. She has an infectious smile that makes me want to learn more about her. She is also in many ways a chameleon, looking flawless in all styling. I would look forward to following her year of service as I think she would keep us all on our toes with her dynamic presence.
Did your favorite make our list? Let us know by commenting below!