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MANILA, Philippines - The Miss Universe Preliminary Competition is happening on December 13, 7 pm in Las Vegas (December 14, 11 am Manila time). All 89 candidates will compete in their swimwear and ballgown.
The event will determine the 16 semi-finalists that will be announced on pageant night on December 19 (December 20 Manila time). A big factor in the selection of semi-finalists is the amount of online votes each candidate gets at the Miss Universe website.
Designer Jian Lasala is one of the many Miss Universe fans who have been following the pageant closely, year after year. With hours before the preliminary competition, Rappler asks Jian for his bets for top 16.
Here they are:
1) Miss Venezuela Irene Sofia Esser Quintero
2) Miss Malaysia Kimberley Legget
3) Miss South Africa Melinda Bam
4) Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon
5) Miss USA Olivia Culpo
6) Miss Cayman Islands Lindsay Japal
7) Miss Bahamas Celeste Marshall
8) Miss Puerto Rico Bodine Koehler
9) Miss Australia Renae Ayris
10) Miss Paraguay Egni Eckert
11) Miss Brazil Gabriela Markus
12) Miss Czech Republic Tereza Chlebovska
13) Miss Ukraine Anastasia Chernova
14) Miss Kosovo Diana Avdiu
15) Miss Croatia Elizabeta Burg
16) Miss Lithuania Greta Mikalauskyte
According to Jian, his list is based on the pre-pageant photos (swimwear, evening gown, glamshot) and activities (welcome party and video interviews).
We asked Jian what he thinks Janine should wear at the preliminary competition in order for her to stand out.
"Something that would complement her morena skin color, like yellow, vermillion, red or silver," says Jian. "Not white — it'll make her look flat amidst the other contestants and on TV."
He also suggests that the gown be body hugging to show off Janine's great figure.
"I heard that she might wear something in powder blue," Jian tells Rappler.
But why did he pick Venezuela as his number one?
"Her performance so far," says Jian. "Her outgoing personality is also very natural."
Jian is quick to add that Miss Philippines Janine has an edge:
"She has a sophistication and charisma," says Jian. "She has to beat the odds and do her best."
Who do YOU think will be in the top 16? Let us know by posting your comments below! - Rappler.com
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