Miss Universe is Miss Universe! It doesn’t matter if the competition is taking place in May or December (or 17 months after the last edition), the overwhelming truth is that the die hard fans – the soul and spirit of pageantry – will follow and hype it at all cost!

And following the pageant has become even more exciting with a number of delegates already in the USA weeks before the official start of the 69th Miss Universe competition (due to pandemic protocols, among other reasons). Pageant aficionados are treated to daily photoshoots, departure looks, and even candidate meet-ups. Add to that the regular amount of exposure the ladies get from online interviews with the pageant media, former winners and sponsors, Miss Universe still remains the queen of all pageants!

And, what’s a pageant without the hot picks? It’s barely three weeks since we last updated our list but it looks like we have some changes in our leaderboard.

And we dare say Andrea Meza of Mexico is the candidate to beat at the moment! Miss Universe is a huge deal in Mexico where the quest for their third crown is a relentless annual pursuit. Andrea is ready to put Mexico where it belongs which is on the top following her 1st runner-up finish in Miss World 2017. She’s intelligent, full of class and her beauty won the hearts of many, showcasing her improvement in communication skills while actively talking about her advocacy against street harassment. Andrea is a gem that Miss Universe cannot afford to waste.

In close second is another heavy pre-arrival favorite, Janick Maceta of Peru. She’s intelligent, full of class and well-experienced (she was a runner-up in Miss Supranational 2015). She exudes that cosmopolitan vibe that we’ve seen in the past Miss Universe titleholders under WME-IMG. Watch out for her!

Climbing up to the third rank is the stunning Miqueal-Symone Williams of Jamaica. This towering beauty could easily put Jamaica into the game with her wit, charm and personality. Jamaica had numerous titles at Miss World, yet it remains crownless at Miss Universe. We would love to see a winner from country that has yet to win the Miss Universe crown and Miqueal-Symone could be Jamaica’s first.

Rabiya Mateo of the Philippines occupies the fourth spot. Her past interviews are proof that she is genuine, quick-witted, and has a solid stand on social issues – one that the Miss Universe competition is looking for in a winner over the past couple of years. But since arriving in the USA, Rabiya has shown a renewed sense of confidence, which are very evident in the way she dresses up and shows herself on social media. The support from her country is overwhelming, and she is definitely one of the delegate’s to keep our eyes on.

Rounding up the Top 5 for now is the eloquent Adline Castelino of India. Considered as one of, if not, the best Indian delegate in Miss Universe in the last 10 years, Adline is a committed and compassionate woman who wants to become India’s third Miss Universe. There is no doubt among our panel of experts that Adline has what it takes to be the winner especially after surviving Covid-19 and nailing her Beauty Talks interview the other day. Winning the title would be a glimmer of hope for the embattled country.

As the pageant heats up, it would be exciting to see if the current front-runners will truly live up to the expectations or will a surprise candidate come out from nowhere and steal the spotlight?

For now, check out the full list of our Fourth Hot Picks below:

1 Mexico, Andrea Meza
2 Peru, Janick Maceta
3 Jamaica, Miqueal-Symone Williams
4 Philippines, Rabiya Mateo
5 India, Adline Castelino

6 Thailand, Amanda Obdam
7 Romania, Bianca Lorena Tirsin
8 Australia, Maria Thattil
9 Bolivia, Lenka Nemer
10 South Africa, Natasha Joubert

11 Venezuela, Mariángel Villasmil
12 Canada, Nova Stevens
13 Great Britain, Jeanette Akua
14 Cambodia, Sarita Reth
15 Brazil, Julia Gama
16 Finland, Viivi Altonen
17 USA, Asya Branch
18 Iceland, Elísabet Hulda Snorradó
19 Nepal, Anshika Sharma
20 Puerto Rico, Estefanía Soto
21 Vietnam, Nguyễn Trần Khánh Vân

22 Czech Republic, Klára Vavrušková
23 Belize, Iris Salguero
24 Indonesia, Ayu Maulida Putri
25 Spain, Andrea Martinez
26 Netherlands, Denise Speelman
27 Argentina, Alina Luz Akselrad
28 El Salvador, Vanessa Velásquez
29 France, Amandine Petit
30 Cameroon, Kossinda Angele
31 Chile, Daniela Nicolas
32 Russia, Alina Sanko
33 Barbados, Hillary-Ann Williams
34 Colombia, Laura Olascuaga
35 Poland, Natalia Piguła