Miss World 2015: Main Contenders
|Entrant||Name||Age||Height (cm)||Occupation||Odds*||Implied Probability (%)|
|Miss Russia||Sofia Nikitchuk||22||1.77||Humanities Student||3.660||27.32|
|Miss Uruguay||Sherika De Armas||18||1.76||Model||5.040||19.08|
|Miss Gabon||Reine Ngotala||18||1.72||Economic Student||7.820||12.79|
|Miss Sweden||Natalia Fogelund||21||1.74||Law Student||8.890||11.25|
|Miss South Africa||Liesl Laurie||24||1.75||NGO Director||14.14||7.07|
The new format of the competition
The Miss World beauty pageant is taking a new path this year, with the iconic bikini round, where contestants from all over the world pose in swimsuits, being dropped.
In direct contrast to its traditional rival, Donald Trump-owned Miss Universe, that heavily promotes the swimwear part of the competition, the contestants for Miss World 2015 are hanging up their bikinis this year.
The famous swimsuit round, which was judged in front of a small panel instead of being broadcasted on TV in recent years, is removed altogether after 63 years, in order to shift the focus from physical beauty to brains and personality.
What does that mean for the delegates competing for the coveted crown of the oldest surviving international beauty contest that started off in 1951, exclusively dedicated to swimwear under the name Festival Bikini Contest?
With the organizers stating that they don’t need to see women just walking up and down in bikinis and that they are listening to them speak, the contestants are expected to step up their game in the challenge events leading to the final.
The “Beauty With A Purpose’ presentation as well as the sports and talent competitions will play a key role in determining the nationality of Miss World 2015, leading to the coronation night on 19th December. So which ladies are most heavily tipped to win this year?
Meet the favourites
Unlike last year, when reigning Miss World Rolene Strauss was leading the betting odds since the beginning of the competition, this year’s winner remains unclear from a betting point of view with plenty of value to be found across the board.
Sofia Nikitchuk, the student of Humanities and Arts with the strong communication skills that are seen as the perfect fit to the new judging criteria, leads the betting odds at Pinnacle at 3.66.
Miss Uruguay, Sherika De Armas, who is expected to win the top model competition, appears in second place at 5.04, followed by Miss Gabon, Reine Ngotala, at 7.82. The Gabonese beauty, who is a student in Oil Economics and loves to perform indigenous dances, is seen as a strong candidate to give her country a placement at a BIG four pageant for the first time.
Completing the top 6, are the candidates of Sweden, South Africa and Finland. Natalia Fogelund, the law student from Sweden, is considered a great follow-up for Olivia Asplund, the Swedish candidate who won the beach fashion award last year.
Although it is hard to imagine a back-to-back win, the reigning queen’s country is featuring high in the table. With Sweden, the UK and India having managed to win the title twice in a row, Leslie Laurie, a social activist who launched a non-profit organization to inspire young girls, stands a fair chance of making South Africa the fourth country in the list of consecutive wins.
With the photos of the Canadian contestant, Anastasia Lin, missing from the official Miss World site among wide speculations that this is due to her advocacy of human rights in China, there is a strong feeling that political motivations are a key part to the selection process. Having that in mind, it would be no surprise to see the Russian delegate being the absolute favor of a Sino-Soviet stitch-up. Will politics determine who will be crowned at the world’s largest pageant spectacle on 19th December? That’s down to the bettors to decide!
* Odds subject to change