Text by R. Galvez [@the4ofustraveling]

Graphics by Krizza Enriquez [@kxxenriquez]

To say that there had been major shakeups at the Miss Universe pageant is an understatement. To begin with, many national organizations – most of them are battle tested and prestigious – lost their franchises. Look at what happened to Indonesia. The Miss Universe Organization – for whatever reason it may be – decided to award the franchise to a newly minted organization. The scandal that ensued rocked Indonesia and thus tainting the Miss Universe brand. 

There are many other shocking and completely useless changes at Miss Universe. For example, many established beauty pageant websites and blogs were not awarded with press access last year. The Miss Universe Press Site which was established in the late 1990s was abolished. Requirements for joining the Miss Universe were dismantled piece by piece in the name of inclusivity but at the expense of its prestige. 

What the Miss Universe pageant will look like in the next five years is up for debate. Many analysts say the pageant will eventually be in the right side of history. Indeed, Miss Universe Organization is genuinely trying to shape the pageant as a contest with substance that empowers women. There’s a noble effort to make a pageant less of an entertainment and to make it more purpose driven. Other analysts however disagreed saying it’s a slippery slope from here onwards. Perhaps the results Miss Universe 2023 pageant will be harbinger of things to come. 

Despite of these drastic changes, our tradition dictates that we should have the ball starts rolling. It is now the time for the Missosology’s Miss Universe 2023 First Hot Picks. Remember, in 2021, Nadia Ferreira topped the first Hot Picks. Last year it was R’booney Gabriel of USA who led the pack. It’s probably safe to say that however will top in this list will has a pretty good chance to win the crown.

Here’s the complete list of Missosology’s Miss Universe First Hot Picks as selected by the core members and pageant experts:

1. Dominican Republic – Mariana Downing

2. Nicaragua – Sheynnis Palacios

3. Thailand – Anntonia Porsild

4. Colombia – Camila Avella

5. Mexico – Melissa Flores

6. Puerto Rico – Karla Guilfu

7. Ukraine – Angelina Usanova

8. USA – Noelia Voigt

9. Venezuela – Diana Silva

10. Philippines – Michelle Dee

11. Peru – Camila Escribens

12. Argentina – Yamile Dajud

13. South Africa – Bryoni Govender

14. Canada – Madison Kvaltin

15. France – Diane Leyre

16. Czech Republic – Vanesa Svedova

17. Jamaica – Jordanne Levy

18. Vietnam – Quynh Hoa Bui

19. Bahrain – Lujane Yacoub

20. Honduras – Zuheilyn Clemente