Graphics by Krizza Enriquez [@kxxenriquez] and Michael Ralph Montejo [@michaelralphmontejo]

Text by R. Galvez [@the4ofustraveling]

The competition is quite fierce at Miss International 2023. The Final Hot Picks was revised for like the nth time before the beauty experts and core members of Missosology have finally arrived to a consensus. At the surface, it shouldn’t be difficult to see on who are the frontrunners. Missosology has boots on the ground. A seasoned correspondent and photographer saw it first hand on how the contestants fared on the preliminaries. And then, there’s the battle-tested beauty experts who knew exactly what Miss International wants.

Perhaps because of the collective trauma, thanks to several years of failing to predict the winner, there’s abundance of caution and indecisiveness in this year’s Final Hot Picks. The last time Missosology got it right was in 2017 and we’ve resigned to the fact that Miss International is the most unpredictable among the Big5 Pageants.

This year, Miss Colombia Sofia Osio has been tagged as “The One” since Day Zero of the competition. She is naturally beautiful and well spoken but then, so is Miss Philippines Nicole Borromeo. The obvious question right now is whether we will see Philippines adding a 7th crown in its kitty or will Colombia will finally have its 4th titleholder.

One must also watch out for contestants who shined at the last minute like Miss New Zealand Georgia Waddington. There are also consistent frontrunners and may have some cards up their sleeve reserved for the finals night like Miss Dominican Republic Yamilex Hernandez and Miss Puerto Rico Amanda Solis.

Let’s not forget though that Miss International has its own unique way of disappointing people. The memories of 2022 are still fresh in everybody’s mind. How the pageant ignored the frontrunners from Asia (save for the Philippines) and how it passed over an opportunity to make history by crowning its first winner from Africa was pretty much astounding! So, if this Hot Picks is suggesting a narrative that the crown will simply go to either Colombia or Philippines, well, take it with a grain of salt.

Here’s full list of Miss International 2023 Final Hot Picks

1. Colombia – Sofia Osio

2. Philippines – Nicole Borromeo

3. New Zealand – Georgia Waddington

4. Dominican Republic – Yamilex Hernandez

5. Puerto Rico – Amanda Solis

6. Venezuela – Andrea Rubio

7. Cuba – Sheyla Ravelo

8. Peru – Camila Diaz

9. United Kingdom – Alisha Cowie

10. Zimbabwe – Charlotte Muziri

11. Thailand – Supaporn Ritthipruek

12. Vietnam – Nguyễn Phương Nhi

13. Mexico – Itzia Garcia

14. Mongolia – Javkhlan Munguntsatsralt

15. India – Praveena Aanjna

Bubbling up

16. Ecuador – Georgette Kalil

17. Greece – Zoi Asoumanaki

18. Paraguay – Jazmín de la Sierra

19. Spain – Claudia Gonzalez

20. Hongkong – Verna Leung