Almost a week has passed since the 23-year-old Ilongga beauty Rabiya Mateo was crowned as the new Miss Universe Philippines 2020. With her morena looks, endearing personality, grace and intelligence, she truly captured the hearts of the judges and netizens during the pageant.
However, her victory was met with several issues from her fellow candidates and pageant fans online.
In an interview with MJ Marfori of TV5, the beauty queen said, “To be honest po, maybe because I wasn’t a frontrunner, so people didn’t expect me to win. And now that I have the crown… I’m sorry I’m being emotional. They are questioning my capability as a person, as a candidate. But I know that I did everything and anything that I could during that night. And binigay ko talaga. And yung mga nagsasabi na the question was given to me, that’s why I answered that way, it wasn’t given po sa akin. I did everything that I could because I want to make Iloilo City proud.”
MUP board director Albert Andrada affirmed Mateo’s win, saying, “As of this time, we are standing by Rabiya Mateo as the first winner of Miss Universe Philippines. We are also grateful to our sponsors, stakeholders and supporters who sustained us throughout the holding of the first edition of Miss Universe Philippines franchise, amid the limitations of the pandemic.”
Drew Francisco of leading pageant website Missosology.org shares who they think are the 10 strongest candidates (so far) in the next edition of Miss Universe.
Even with all that’s happened, the most important question still is: what are the chances of Miss Universe PH Rabiya Mateo to win the crown in Miss Universe 2020?
To help us analyze, we talked to Drew Francisco of Missosology.org—the leading beauty pageant website that covers the Big5 pageants—Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Supranational—to share who the org thinks are some of the strongest candidates so far in the next edition of Miss Universe.
They will surely give Rabiya Mateo a tough fight in Miss Universe 2020.
Miss Universe Brazil Julia Gama
Pageant veteran Julia is an actress and model from Porto Alegre. She previously held the title of Miss World Brazil 2014. She competed in Miss World 2014 and placed in the Top 11. Her previous pageant experience will surely play an advantage in Miss Universe.
Miss Universe Canada Nova Stevens
If Miss Universe is likely crown another woman of color, Nova is surely a shoo-in for the crown. Standing a whopping 183-cm. tall, she is an actress, spokesperson, mentor and activist who aims to bring change to her country and for the people from her culture.
Miss Universe Curacao Chantal Wiertz
Another early favorite among pageant observers, Chantal's beauty reminds us of former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. She is a professional model and was first runner-up in Miss Universe Curacao 2019 pageant.
Miss Universe Dominican Republic Kimberly Jiménez
Kimberly is another former national pageant runner-up, this time she was voted to be as her country's representative to Miss Universe. This statuesque beauty was born to a Dominican father and a Puerto Rican mother. In 2017, she competed in Miss Universe Puerto Rico and finished second runner-up. She represented La Romana in last year’s Miss República Dominicana Universo pageant.
Miss Universe India Adline Castelino
The sleeping powerhouse is finally starting to wake up with the crowning of the lovely Adline. This professional model from Mumbai is expected to give India another Top 5 finish in Miss Universe 2020 with her good speaking skills and effortless charisma.
Miss Universe Netherlands Denise Speelman
With Miss Universe now gearing towards women's advocacies, Denise is emerging as another frontrunner. Speaking from experience, she is raising awareness about eating disorders and body positivity.
Miss Universe Nicaragua Ana Marcelo
This country is not a powerhouse in Miss Universe, but Ana is getting a lot of buzz among pageant fans because of her beautiful face. She is an agro-industrial engineer, too!
Miss Universe Panama Carmen Jaramillo
Another pageant veteran who could give the girls a run for their money is Carmen. She was a heavy favorite in Miss Earth 2015 but failed to enter the semifinals.
Miss Universe Thailand Amanda Obdam
Much talked-about Amanda will surely be up there with her effortless beauty and gift of gab. Prior to joining Miss Universe Thailand, she won Miss Tourism Metropolitan International in 2016 with the Philippine representative as her first runner-up.
Miss Universe Venezuela Mariángel Villasmil
Finally, no pageant talk is complete without the powerhouse Venezuela. Psychology student Mariángel is here to bring her country back on top of the Miss Universe pageant.
Photos from Missosology.org