Miss World 2018: Head-to-Head review Groups 9-12

Albin Beart is back with his great comments on Miss World´s Head-to-Head challenge, Groups 9-12. You will see average scores are from our 4 judges: Albin Beart, GB´s own Andre Sleigh and Henrique Fontes, and Miss World expert and writer Sally-Ann Fawcett. In the end, take a look at our updated GB HTH Leaderboard, Groups 1-12.


Unfortunately, if this was an extremely interesting group from a cultural point of view, it was also quite disappointing in terms of what it showcased. Not that anyone was bad, but no one stood out in any particular way. If I had to pick one winner, it would be Miss Malaysia, who came across as mature, focused and also very charming. But it was not what I would call a compelling win. It will be interesting to see how fans respond.

I was expecting a lot from Miss Indonesia, who is riding on one of Miss World's big hot streaks. I had a lot of expectations from Alya Nurshabrina, but somehow, like Tya Nielsen last year, she did not live up to her potential. Sure, she is intelligent, elegant and accomplished, but because she's not physically one of the stronger delegates, she needed to let her personality drive the train and I felt the whole thing was a bit too over produced and over rehearsed. The little acronym, the pantsuit, the body language - it was all trying a little too hard. Tya failed because I felt her whole approach was too casual. Alya seems to be overcompensating. If she makes it to the next round, I would advice Miss Indonesia to just relax, and let her natural intelligence and personality shine! GB SCORE: 8,765

Similar to Indonesia, Albania came across as intelligent and accomplished! What a strong Miss World group. But unlike Indonesia, Nikita Preka was a bit of a hot mess, styling wise. In her photos, she has a pretty smile and is very vibrant. She needs to find a way to translate this to screen because otherwise, she is going to be lost in this competition. GB SCORE: 7,746

Malaysia is the one that struck the right note for me - balancing eloquence, charm and focus. At the same time, she came off as effortless, and very mature for her age. Her looks don't captivate on first pass, but the more you see, the more you like. But to go further, Malaysia needs to find the right styling to elevate her beauty, which right now is just coming off as cute. GB SCORE: 8,863

Miss Kazakhstan, on the other hand, has the beauty. I think she is one of the most stunning girls in the competition, although I found her styling in this H2H to be a bit of a stringy mess. Someone give this girl a hot roller! She surprised me though with an intelligence, eloquence and level of ambition that her photos do not immediately suggest. Well done! Where Malaysia scored over her in this round was in her charm - if Kazakhstan would just smile more, she would be an easy contender for a semi-finalist position! GB SCORE: 8,313

Maybe Miss Rwanda stole Kazakhstan's smile! She was vibrant, and I loved her video and enthusiasm. Rwanda is a great addition to Miss World and I am sure that in the years to come, they are going to send a top contender, if Liliane's potential is anything to go by. For now, she was let down by her inexperience, but I thought she handled everything as well as she could! GB SCORE: 8,193

Miss England has one of the more beautiful faces in this year's contest, but like Kazakhstan, she was let down by her styling here. I was a bit confused by her to be honest. If Indonesia came across as too rehearsed, England was perhaps a little too raw. Her story was touching and she clearly was speaking from the heart. How people will react is hard to predict. For me, the challenge was that I came away with a better sense of her friend than her. But I'm curious to see more. GB SCORE: 8,457


Another relatively weak group, on the whole. The only girls who stood out in any way for me was Guadeloupe. Morgane Theresine almost won Miss France last year and if luck had been a little different, maybe we would have seen her at Miss World last year with a different sash. She was a huge favorite of fans and critics at Miss France and I think a lot of us were happy to see her re-compete for the Miss Guadeloupe national preliminary. Perhaps it was always her fate to be at Miss World! And she has certainly come to make an impression. With a beautiful face, an interesting life story and eloquence, she made a strong impression, and is absolutely a girl to keep an eye on as the competition progresses. Could she beat Miss France? She may not have Maeva's incredible presence, but based on this interview, I would not count her out if they were both left holding the mike in the end! GB SCORE: 8,623

Serbia (GB SCORE: 8,488) and Nicaragua (GB SCORE: 8,053) also impressed with their eloquence and sincerity, and Nicaragua in particular, I think complemented it with excellent styling and a pretty face. I'd argue the same for Lesotho, who gave me a little Bokang Montjane (Miss South Africa 2011) flashback. They were all nice to watch but I am not sure that they did anything to separate from the pack.

Lesotho is pretty and quite interesting, I like her. GB SCORE: 8,229

Slovenia on the other hand was a nice surprise, very vibrant, and I loved her outfit and styling. She had a couple of minutes to make an impression and she did! What a great smile! GB SCORE: 8,566


This was a solid group but my favorite was Miss Armenia, who was very natural and charming. She was a very pleasant surprise - her photos make her look a little awkward but on TV, that brilliant smile elevates her beauty. She was natural, and she found a way to be unique and memorable. She'd be a very interesting and refreshing choice in the semifinals. GB SCORE: 8,532

New Zealand was perhaps the favorite coming into this group, and she did not disappoint. Like Canada, she has come ready to compete at Miss World with a a very polished version of the girl who won her national title, but she is still true to herself and not a programmed robot. She's pretty, passionate, intelligent, eloquent. Nothing not to like! GB SCORE: 9,264

Misses Guatemala (GB SCORE: 8,049) and Myanmar (GB SCORE: 8,965) also did a nice job across the entire segment, both girls have a memorable look and were composed and articulate in their answers. Myanmar was more polished but Guatemala was more natural. Neither stood out as a contender but I would not be surprised to see either go further.

Italy was interesting to me. Her country has a solid track record in Miss World, but I am on the fence with this year's delegate. Her look is very strong - you either love it or not. Either way she is memorable, but I found her responses a bit robotic. GB SCORE: 8,228

Belize was cute, bubbly and I wish she had had more time to prepare. Her look in the segment was not the most flattering but she has a unique beauty that could shine with some maturity and the right styling. GB SCORE: 7,881


Wow, this was a strong group. I loved every single girl! After a few ho-hum segments, I was thrilled to have to strong batch again, and it made me wish I could have sprinkled some of these girls across the other groups.

For me, Miss India completely stole this segment. From the moment Anukreethy took the proverbial mike to answer Frankie Cena's opening question, she took control of the group, and showed how she won the Miss India crown over a contender as strong as Miss Grand International's runner-up, Meenakshi Choudhary. If she had any pressure on her shoulders with India's win last year, she did not let it show, and like the best in this segment across all the groups, found a perfect balance between being prepared and spontaneous. Her body language, her voice, her smile, all came together to create one impressive package of strength, intelligence and charm. I think Vietnam and Panama are more beautiful but India still stood out in this very strong group, so extra credit! GB SCORE: 9,183

Panama also made a very good impression, with a good video to set up her response. Solaris Barba showed that she has more to offer than a beautiful face, leaving me wanting to see more! GB SCORE: 8,795

Montenegro (GB SCORE: 8,301) and South Sudan (GB SCORE: 8,480) were also on fire. Both came across as smart, passionate women with large hearts and did an excellent job with their responses, making a compelling case for their personal advocacy based on their life stories. In terms of the ability to command a room while speaking, South Sudan is one of the few who could sit in the room with India.

Egypt was another excellent representative, maybe the best we have seen from her country in a couple of decades! She had one of the best videos that I have seen and she was able to channel her experience and love of art into a compelling narrative that suggests that there is more depth to her than first impressions suggest. GB SCORE: 8,548

Vietnam was without question, the most beautiful girl in this group. She was also incredibly charming and I give her so much credit for speaking in English, a language that we understand that she is not really fluent in but in the end, I think that it may have been a mistake in a group with such strong speakers. If history is any indication, Vietnam is going to win the public vote and while I think she is deserving of a semifinalist spot, I don't know that I would have given her that place based on this particular performance. GB SCORE: 8,693



1 New Zealand 9,264

2 Japan 9,219

3 Sierra Leone 9,184

4 India 9,183

5 France 9,139

6 Cook Islands 9,127

7 Jamaica 9,118

8 South Africa 9,108

9 Chile 9,035

10 China 9,021

11 Australia 8,987

12 Senegal 8,970

13 Myanmar 8,965

14 Philippines 8,897

15 Brazil 8,875

16 Malaysia 8,863

17 Mauritius 8,853

18 Panama 8,795

18 Ireland 8,795

20 Indonesia 8,765

21 Korea 8,752

22 Vietnam 8,693

23 Denmark 8,692

24 Canada 8,676

25 United States 8,653

26 Guadeloupe 8,623

27 Zimbabwe 8,569

28 Slovenia 8,566

29 Egypt 8,548

30 Armenia 8,532

31 Bolivia 8,518

32 Serbia 8,488

33 South Sudan 8,480

34 Dominican Republic 8,461

35 England 8,457

36 Nigeria 8,413

37 Scotland 8,402

38 Germany 8,392

39 Guyana 8,377

40 Latvia 8,371

41 Finland 8,367

42 Venezuela 8,365

43 Lebanon 8,353

44 Kazakhstan 8,313

45 Montenegro 8,301

46 Peru 8,290

47 Cyprus 8,283

48 Czech Republic 8,263

49 Lesotho 8,229

50 Italy 8,228

51 Cameroon 8,213

52 Bahamas 8,196

53 Rwanda 8,193

54 Equatorial Guinea 8,189

55 Slovakia 8,166

56 Georgia 8,164

57 Gibraltar 8,122

58 Cayman Islands 8,113

59 British Virgin Islands 8,112

60 Ethiopia 8,078

61 Paraguay 8,077

62 Bangladesh 8,058

63 Botswana 8,053

63 Nicaragua 8,053

65 Guatemala 8,049

66 Norway 8,010

67 Iceland 7,989

68 Wales 7,933

69 Barbados 7,912

70 Belize 7,881

71 Albania 7,746

72 Ghana 7,518

GB COMMENTS: We have a new leader, folks: New Zealand! New Zealand has one of its strongest candidates in decades in Miss World, someone who has everything to win it all! It´s interesting to see Oceania with such a competitive group, after all, Cook Islands and Australia are also strong competitors this year. India nailed it once again and should do well. We love Myanmar and believe she could be a surprise in this year´s exciting competition.