Happy Holidays Everyone! Along with the festive Christmas season, I can also feel the Miss Universe fever in the air and in just a few days from now, the universe's most beautiful women will converge in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave with the fervent hope to win the world's most prestigous crown. So come and let's get to meet these gorgeous and accomplished ladies who made it to my 'Pre-Arrival Hotpicks'.
Russia (Yulia Alipova) - If there would be a European delegate who can take it all the way to the final five, then Yulia Alipova of Russia is definitely on the lead. Russia's hosting stint last year would certainly give her the edge over her peers and if ever the organization gives her the favorable nod, the ever gorgeous Yulia undoubtedly deserves it.
Colombia (Paulina Vega) - Paulina Vega is the face of the competition. Her angelic beauty is just perfection. Penetrating the winning circle of five would be as easy as eating peanuts for this incredibly beautiful Colombian lady.
India (Noyonita Lodh) - The moment I see Noyonita Lodh she reminds me of Philippines' Venus Raj. A ravishing exotic beauty in the most gorgeous way. But I have to admit, Noyonita is more facially mesmerizing than Venus.
Philippines - Mary Jean Lastimosa is a one tough lady. It took her three years to clinch the rights to represent the Philippines in the universe and now that she's living up her dreams, she'll definitely make the most of it. MJ's determination to win is just palpable and I'm very confident that she will deliver:)
USA (Nia Sanchez) - Needless to say, she's got the homecourt advantage but more than that Nia Sanchez is undeniably a stunning beauty. Let's see if she'll be able to keep up when the competition officially begins.
Venezuela (Migbelis Castellanos) - The universe wouldn't be complete without Venezuela! Migbelis Castellanos is on fire to clinch the crown. Will it be another back-to-back Miss Universe victory for the world's beauty powerhouse?
Brazil (Melissa Gurgel) - Five feet and five inches tall Brazilian bombshell model, Melissa Gurgel is in the hunt for a four-year-top-five consecutive streak. Will she finally nab the most coveted crown this time around?
Trinidad and Tobago (Jevon King) - Fierce, exotic and beautiful. I'm counting on for this dark-skinned contender to nail a commendable spot in the finals.
Poland (Marcela Chmielowska) - An aspiring lawyer from Warszawa, Poland, this 5'9" Polish stunner is one of the strongest contenders in the European continent and will never leave any stone unturned to achieve her highest goal.
Lebanon (Saly Greige) - After her defeat in Miss World, Saly will be bringing up again her A game to try her luck in the world's most prestigious beauty derby. There's no doubt that she's a stunner, but she's got to work her way up to stand out and topple the seasoned favorites.
Serbia (Andjelka Tomasevic) - A Miss Earth 2013 Top 8 finalist, beautiful Andjelka will certainly make heads turn in Doral. Her beauty is just unforgettable!
Turkey (Dilan Cicek Deniz) - A towering height coupled with a captivating facial beauty. Turkey indubitably sends a delegate that would surely make some waves in the universe. If Dilan will play her cards right, she would never go home empty handed.
Spain (Desire Cordero) - An international model with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Desire hopes to finally nab the crown after Patricia Rodriguez's first runner-up finish last year. Will she be able to surpass her predecessor's achievement?
Ukraine (Diana Harkusha) - The goddess Anna Andres was supposed to represent Ukraine but due to some personal circumstances she was replaced by her first runner-up Diana. A pageant veteran and an aspiring lawyer, Diana is clearly a worthy successor who can best represent her country in the universal stage.
Puerto Rico (Gabriela Berrios) - Daring Gabriela is sending me some sensual latina vibes through her Miss Universe portrait. Will lady luck give her nod for Gabriela's favorable journey in Trump's beauty derby?
Indonesia (Elvira Devinamira) - After last year's semi-final placement, Indonesia is gearing up for a higher notch and Elvira is undoubtedly a pleasant follow-up but will she be able to live up to the expectations?
My favorites would surely change the moment they set their feet in the battlefield. Let's see who will fade and who will bring forth their aces in the competition. Stay tuned!