Saturday, 25 December 2010

Twilight Investigation

My first post on a series part of the TVB 44th Anniversary. I must admit I fell in love with this series. The plot is actually quite engaging and interesting, it is definitely one of TVB's best comedy/mystery series. I just found this series a bit different to the normal fare of TVB and the cast is decent. I would definitely put it as one of my favourite TVB series this year and it will be a strong contender, for me, in the 44th Anniversary Awards. It's a shame that it's broadcast time is just after the awards ceremony and right around the Christmas period, generally a filler position. It's ratings haven't been high, which is a shame, because Twilight deserves much better than 28/29 points.

Clichéd but there's a gap in my life without Twilight Investigation! Very few TVB series have made me feel this way but this year three managed that, A Fistful of Stances, No Regrets and now Twilight Investigation. The ending however left me split. I didn't really know how to react, though I must say it was a very good ending. But should I feel sad that Wong Hei died? Or should I be happy that he is reunited with Linda Chung, both as humans. It feels so weird that a happy ending requires the main lead to die. However in my heart I always knew if there was a "logical" happy ending Wong Hei would need to die and meet Linda again. Whilst I loved how they filmed the final scenes where they were reunited as children I think it would have been even better if they linked it back with how Linda told Wong Hei how he could find her, like the dried prawns thing.

There were flaws in the story, I admit. The cases were at times typical of TVB standards. However most of the cases were generally engaging but I found the last case, which rounded off the series, a bit bland. It was quite obvious how the story was going to develop. However what made this series, in my opinion, better than many of its kind, was that it focused on developing one main plot - the relationship of Wong Hei and Linda Chung, the cases were only a side comment to the series. Yes there were many other interesting relationships, which is another key to its success, but it did spend enough time in making the romantic link between Wong Hei and Linda believable. I find many TVB series just make the romantic link and then leave it, nothing continues, the story seems to head in other directions when they get together but in Twilight Investigation they kept that main plot going.

Acting wise nobody really gave an award winning performance but I think they all had their strengths and I would happily consider many actors or actresses in this series for awards. So here are, yet again, my nominations...

Best Actor
Wong Hei
I haven't liked most of Wong Hei's recent characters but Gei On Gui, love the name, was a good character for him. Wong Hei still provided some quite cringe-worthy moments, he doesn't deliver comedy that naturally so it was a challenge for Wong Hei. However I liked Wong Hei in this series, he and Linda had an interesting chemistry. But I think Wong Hei has past his heyday, his best portrayals were when he was playing the brash, tough and slightly arrogant characters he did 10 years ago such as Burning Flame I and II, definitely not III because III was boring - that's why TVB don't make a Forensic Heroes III - I'm not a huge fan of Forensic Heroes but it doesn't need any extra episodes!

Anyway it was quite funny when Linda used Johnson to tell Wong Hei that he should wear looser shirts, he did like to wear shirts which were a bit too tight - I wonder if it was his own wardrobe or styled?

Best Actress
Linda Chung
Many may argue that Linda Chung overacted in this series but I think that was necessary to make her character seem rather childish and slightly over the top. Yes there were times when Linda may have slightly overdone it but in general Linda did very well in this role. It's interesting to see Linda play this type of character as she is always likeable and quite cute in these roles, just like in Legend of the Demigods. I think the role of a ghost really made this character one of the best in her repertoire, I was so shocked to find out that Linda Chung was actually a ghost, that was really the turning point in this series - the point when I became intrigued.

Whilst Linda won't win any awards for this character I think she deserved to be considered for Best Character at least because Tuk Chai was just so adorable.

Best Supporting Actor
Raymond Wong
Another series of Raymond Wong, but I'm still not tired of seeing him! He does still have his stiff moments where his eyes look like they are about to pop out of his skull, they just don't seem to convey as much emotion as the rest of his body. But I liked Raymond's comedy input into this series. One side mention, his character was quite well dressed! I think his charisma really helps viewers gravitate towards him.

Power Chan
I really liked Power, especially in his earlier scenes when he just got to know Linda (when Linda still didn't know she was a ghost). I'm not sure Power's character was allowed to develop that much but out of the three (Wong Hei, Linda Chung and Power Chan) Power Chan was the most consistent, acting wise, but that also may be because he wasn't in as many scenes. It's amazing seeing Power Chan transform with every role, he manages to portray these quite outspoken characters despite being nothing like that in real life. It's time Power Chan got some recognition! Sadly TVB will never consider him in a series like this. I would have liked to see Power's character develop a bit more, the part when he stayed in jail because he thought he needed to repent was a bit rushed in my opinion.

Best Supporting Actress
Rebecca Chan
Twilight Investigation allowed Rebecca to shine through based solely on her acting merit. Her character was engaging and actually quite lovable. I loved her name Gei Ho Yan (which sounds like "slightly nice person" in chinese, fits with her character perfectly). I haven't seen Rebecca portray many characters like this but it gave her a lot of memorable screen time and she stood out from most of the cast.

Queenie Chu
Without a doubt Queenie Chu performs the best acting as a serious, commanding woman. Her best portrayals seem to be when she is as a policewoman. Yet again there are still some obvious flaws in her acting but I enjoyed the story so much I didn't really focus too much attention of them. I think Queenie should develop along this route, portray "strong woman" characters and carry on from there. She is actually very believable as a policewoman and she seems to get her "discerning, thinking, angry" expressions very well.

I just have to add, it was really funny seeing how many actors got to try their hand at Linda's character (as Linda occasionally "used their bodies!") but Queenie's scene was one of the most amusing. Queenie was in a coma but her boyfriend, Ben Wong, wanted her to die, Linda saw all of this and used Queenie's body to stop him. The scene that led from this was just so funny, seeing Queenie so exaggerated and Ben so scared that she had suddenly sprung alive and then went back into a coma - priceless.

Best Couple
Linda Chung and Wong Hei
On paper this pair would never work but it did in Twilight Investigation. Maybe it was more to do with the story but I really got to like the Linda/Hei couple.

Raymond Wong (Agassi Cheng) and Queenie Chu
Something about this pairing just worked even when the two weren't together! I wanted to see a lot more scenes of them! But this couple would be incomplete without mentioning their son Agassi Cheng. The fighting and bickering between the two just really worked. From the get go I loved this pair, I remember Queenie was interrogating Raymond at the police station and then Raymond's phone rang, he then asked Queenie in front of everyone in the police station, whether he was going to their sons school or her. I just love those moments in this drama. Twilight Investigation seems to do really well at changing what your initial conception into something else.

Most Improved Actor
No Nominees

Most Improved Actress
Lee Yee Man
Lee Yee Man has been in a few series but I don't really remember any of them but here she did relatively well - good job.

Queenie Chu
Expect to see Queenie in my Top 5 for Most Improved at my 44th Anniversary Awards!

Favourite Male Character
Raymond Wong
Funny and charismatic Raymond Wong's character Chow Ka-sing really stood out as an extremely likeable character and his relationship with his son was adorable.

Favourite Female Character
Linda Chung

Breakthrough Performance
Oceane Zhu
I believe this is Oceane's first TVB series, already I'm loving her! It would be nice if she could speak in Cantonese, as it'll limit the roles she'll be able to take in the future, but in this series it was integrated well and her acting is very realistic.

Best Chemistry
Everybody that could see Linda Chung

The Wong Hei-Power Chan-Linda Chung trio and Wong Hei-Johnson Lee-Raymond Wong-Linda Chung quartet were both great, especially the trio, it was heart-warming to see the three reunited in the ending.

Most Annoying Character
Ram Tseung
Why destroy the harmony! The car crash he caused was so damn evil! And he tried to use being mentally ill as an excuse for his crimes! His character was plain annoying but then couple that with Ram Tseung! I like Ram but his laugh just annoys me, especially when he tries to laugh evilly!

Recognition Award
Johnson Lee
Whilst individually I don't think he was strong enough to be nominated he made a great duo with Raymond Wong, it was weird seeing TVB writing a bromance relationship!
Agassi Cheng
Agassi was such an adorable kid and definitely one of the more natural child actors on TVB.

Mandy Lam
Mandy needs some recognition! She's beautiful and actually a very good actress.

Macy Chan
A good performance from Macy, her character was also very interesting.

Janice Shum

Sorry can't find a good image of her but I was slightly teary when I saw her in the interrogation room admitting her crimes she was so emotional.

Now I leave you with a fabulous graphics to round off my first review for a TVB 44th Anniversary series.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Cosmo: Valley Leisure Park, Croydon

Cosmo boasts a plethora of Pan-Asian food; Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Korea, Thai etc. and supposedly there are 20,000+ people eating there every week - now those are big big numbers. What struck me when I went in was the number of people queuing, I'd definitely advise on booking before going. However for some reason not all tables were used but there were lots of people inside. Anyway onto the food. If you are looking for the best Pan-Asian food then Cosmo isn't the place but I guess it's decent for buffet food. Trays upon trays of Asian buffet food lay in front of you, most of which are deep or shallow fried. The less popular dishes are funnily enough the non-fried foods though! There is also a teppanyaki grill inside where you can chose from a selection of seafood; scallops, prawns, mussels, or meats; chicken/pork skewers, sirloin steaks, to cook, however you may need to queue for this. 

In my opinion the place is poorly laid out, yes it's easy to find everything but most people chose to avoid the Indian section and relatively few tasted the dim sum and sushi on offer. I personally didn't taste the Indian food because I didn't know how long it had been left there. The sushi didn't look all that appetising either whilst the dim sum were clearly cooked from frozen. You can't really go wrong with the deep fried stuff but of course too much of it will give you a sore throat! I tried the noodles, which were ok, but the rice was too bland. There were a selection of pizzas and roasts but I didn't try those either because yet again I wasn't sure how long they were left there. If you want to order something, e.g. some seafood, then prepare to wait a while - or simply don't bother. What you get after waiting 30 minutes to an hour is not worth it. Two small pieces of crab in some sauce is what you get for your patience. Don't get me wrong there were some nice things but I just don't remember them. Nothing was disgusting (well actually there was one thing that didn't taste of anything) but it's not necessarily gourmet food.

The place claims to have a delectable selection of desserts but I wasn't too sure about that. Whilst there seemed to be a wide variety of desserts such as cakes, ice creams, chocolate or vanilla fountains and a selection of small bites, most of them looked unappetising to me. The small bites were possibly ok but I didn't try any of them because they didn't look very pleasant to me, especially when some of them looked a bit gooey and sludgy. I did try a piece of cake, but that tasted average and it didn't seem fresh. If you want a drink you'll have to buy it from the bar, but they aren't too expensive.

Overall the place wasn't to my liking, it's just a larger version of a Chinatown buffet - which I don't particularly like. You'll find a mix of people there; young or old, asian or non asian (though mostly non asian), the decor is ok and the staff are ok. I would probably go there if I was in a large group and had nothing else to do but I wouldn't chose to go there, especially when there are other restaurants around the same area. And all that for £12.99 per person (though it's £13.99 for Fridays and Saturdays), was it worth it? You decide.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing Series 8

Strictly has finally finished and what a series it has been. Kara & Artem were the rightful winners, Kara was fantastic throughout the series and in my opinion the best couple on the show. I was really happy for them as a few weeks ago it didn't look that likely to me that Kara would win.

2nd was Matt & Aliona, the favourites for the title by the bookies. I loved Matt but regrettably I think he didn't reach his full potential on the show. I just remember being mesmerised by his first week performance but that rarely came to fruition towards the latter stages. However Matt was a worthy finalist. Pamela & James came in at 3rd. It was a shame to see them go after seeing them perform brilliantly, and get the highest judges scores. Pamela & James are my favourite couple this series so it was a shame not seeing them in the final 2.

I think this is the first cycle where I genuinely liked all of the Final 8, of course I liked a few a bit more than others but I didn't really want anybody to go.

Anyway on the other couples.

Scott was a weird one, I loved him but he was so inconsistent, it's almost like he fell asleep in some dances or something. At the early to middle stages of the competition Scott was becoming the huge favourite but then he withered. Gavin wasn't that great at dancing but he did provide some good performances, I liked him but I was slightly shocked he stayed that long.

Ann Widdecombe, generally I don't like the comedy act but I loved Ann, she had to go though. I loved Patsy as well! I loved everyone! It was a shame to see her leave because she was really getting into it. Felicity just amazes me by her "bendiness" for that age! Michelle looked a bit crazy at times but I just love her! Go Michelle!

It's weird but for the first time I feel Strictly went kind of to my plan. Whilst I thought Tina and Jimmy were good dancers and technically deserved to stay longer than they did I personally didn't like them as much as most of the others. It was a shocking elimination but I didn't mind! Whilst Goldie, Paul Daniels and Peter Shilton definitely had to go in the first 4 weeks.

Anyway it has been great following Strictly this year, congratulations to Kara and hopefully next year will be even better.

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Apprentice UK Season 6 Up to the Finals! - Spoiler Alert

I have just finished watching the latest episode of The Apprentice, it was great to see Stuart go and in that fashion! Stuart's ass-licking had finally lost its charm with Lord Sugar who claimed that he was annoyed how he fired Liz before "Stuart Baggs the BRAND". Stuart should have never gotten this far, he hasn't shown the ability to be a fantastic entrepreneur, all his worth lies in his mouth and his credentials were mostly made up. In the end Stuart did provide good television, I almost feel happy that Liz was fired to let Stuart in the interview stages because we wouldn't have seen the humiliating firing of Stuart if not.

Anyway the final 2 didn't correspond to my predictions but I think whoever watched the penultimate episode would have guessed that (SPOILER!) Stella and Chris would make the final. Their interview edits, in my opinion, looked the best out of the five and they had the best feedback in the boardroom. Whilst watching the episode would have made it an obvious decision the two are quite different to the usual finalists we see on the Apprentice. I have been nagging on about those loud mouthed street smart sellers, I'm not sure either were edited to be classified as that. It seems Lord Sugar has had a change of heart somewhere between Season 4 and 5 because Yasmina and Kate were already slightly different to the final two in the previous 4 cycles. What you have with Stella and Chris are two level headed, eloquent and smart businesspeople. I think in previous years Lord Sugar has looked for that raw spark, that potential brilliance, but these two are quite developed in their skillsets but also have the ability to expand into becoming multifaceted entrepreneurs.

I think my initial prediction of Joanna and Jamie tended towards this raw talent idea, it seems a few bookies also thought this as I read up somewhere that Joanna and Jamie were favourites to win out of the Top 5, it's definitely uncharacteristic of a final two to be missing somebody that can go slightly crazy when needed. I underestimated Lord Sugar's opinions on Stella, I thought Lord Sugar wouldn't be able to see through Stella's corporate personality, which has been a reason for many eliminations in the past, however with Karen's praise it seemed Stella was set for another week, similar with Nick's praise towards Chris. I should have guessed from last week when Lord Sugar was not willing to even consider Stella to be fired, when he picked up that she technically didn't do the "quick money-making" aspect of the business, that Stella was going to be a strong candidate for the final.

I don't know who is going to win, relative to previous years it's quite difficult to predict but at the moment I'm leaning towards Stella but I can equally see Chris winning.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Imperial China: London Chinatown

I have always had fond memories of Imperial China, maybe because it's a slight detour to get to the restaurant unlike the usual fare at Chinatown. However Imperial China's fanciness has made it less attractive to the Chinese who simply want cheap, cheerful and traditional, they don't really care about the environment that they're in.

Today I decided to revisit Imperial China, realising I haven't actually been there for lunch before. The décor was definitely more attractive compared to any old Chinese restaurant and I still love the bridge leading to the front door. Me and my dad ordered scallop dumplings, Vietnamese spring rolls, Shanghai dumplings, Shanghai stir fried noodles and Shaomai. 

The scallop dumplings were filled to the brim with ingredients, which was lovely to see as many other restaurants don't do that. The pastry did taste a bit dry though, for me, but it was well made and a nice, light snack. The Vietnamese spring rolls were very nice. They were crispy on the outside but still retained moisture on the inside so it wasn't too dry to eat. I do find that Vietnamese spring rolls either come too dry or too soggy but here they were just right. Shanghai dumplings are a favourite of mine and I have to congratulate Imperial China for this because they definitely made some very good dumplings for UK standards. The skin was thin but made just well enough to hold the soup inside - and it did have soup! However if you were to compare it with Asian standards it wasn't as fragrant or fresh but it was a delight for usual London fare - even my dad praised it! The Shanghai stir fried noodles were nice but I would have liked more mushrooms. Shanghai stir fry can be scarily oily but Imperial China made it so it wasn't too oily looking but still looked like a proper Shanghai stir fry. Finally the Shaomai, they were lovely. The crab caviar didn't really do anything besides decoration but it did look pretty. I like how the meat was tender because sometimes you find chewy bits in Shaomai.

Overall for the 5 dishes it cost us £23.50, which I think is a decent price, not the cheapest but not ridiculously expensive either. I would definitely recommended Imperial China to anybody that hasn't been. It may seem a bit intimidating walking into that alleyway but what you find at the end is definitely worth a look.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Beauties of 2010

Interested in the 2011 list? Have a look here Beauties of 2011.
And now fresh off the oven my 2012 list! Beauties of 2012.

This year has been a fantastic year for pageantry. There were a lot of memorable delegates this year and even though we might have differing opinions on the 4 who became the Grand Slam beauty queens of 2010 I have to say all 4 are beautiful. I must say whilst this year was dominated by Venezuela, in all but one pageant, the Asian continent did remarkably well and produced women of the calibre of Honey Lee and Zhang Zilin. In memory of the amazing year that was 2010 I have my 50 favourite delegates of 2010 for you. I'm not saying this list is exhaustive of the delegates I liked nor are the girls on this list ranked on facial beauty alone, this list was made celebrating the delegates that left an impression on me. It's my own opinion so I know not everybody will agree. Feel free to comment and tell me if I've missed anybody you think was a great candidate because it's likely I've missed one or two in this list. Just a word of warning, there's an eastern European delegate that everybody loved but I haven't put her in my list because I don't see "it". She participated in Miss Universe btw.

Now here's the list starting at No.50

50. Yeidy Bosques
Miss Puerto Rico Earth (3rd Runner Up/Miss Earth Fire)

To be honest I wasn't a huge fan of Yeidy at Miss Earth. First of all I didn't really pay much attention to Miss Earth as it was so long and secondly I focused on particular delegates at Miss Earth. But when reviewing the four pageants Yeidy popped out as a sexy women with a beautiful body, I love her skin tone too! Facially Yeidy doesn't always do it for me but the photo above is testament to what Yeidy can be like at her best.

49. Diamanto Gasteratou
Miss Greece World (Unplaced)

Something about Diamantou makes me think about her every time I make this list. I remember one day whilst looking through the Miss World photos I landed on Miss Greece. Of course I knew Greece was participating but I hadn't seen Diamantou in Miss World before that, I couldn't believe she wasn't even considered for a spot in the Top 25. Yes she was a bit raw but she was undeniably beautiful. I just wished she had more press so that I could have seen a bit more of her.

48. Melinda Elvenes
Miss Norway Universe (Unplaced)

When I was looking back at the opening routine for Miss Universe 2010, which I loved, I saw Melinda. Melinda didn't really stand out in Miss Universe but whilst making this list I reviewed all 4 of the pageants and Melinda was one of those girls that I knew could make my Top 50. I do have to admit many girls that feature around the 35 and below mark are sometimes delegates I didn't really notice in the pageant but when reviewing them I just found them captivating, Melinda is one of them.

47. Johanna Acs
Miss Germany International (Top 15)

Johanna has some great photos out there, like the one above, but she also has some not so great photos too. Photos like these were what made her one of my Top 15 for Miss International but I just want to see her photos in the pageant. For now Johanna makes my Top 50 because I remember her as a beautiful European girl who left an impression on me.

46. Marina Kishira
Miss Japan Earth (Top 7 Finalist)

I admit I'm biased towards Asian delegates but when a girl comes out with personality like Marina's it's hard to forget her. Marina isn't the prettiest Japanese delegate I've seen but what Marina possesses is that edge which made her a stand out in Miss Earth and a favourite to make the Top 4. I myself didn't really notice her at the start of the pageant but slowly I warmed to her, her personality is infectious.

45. Joo Ri Kim
Miss Korea Universe (Unplaced)

There hasn't been a Korean delegate that has impressed me since Honey Lee, whilst Joo Ri Kim's performance in Miss Universe disappointed me she is the first Korean delegate I have liked since Honey. I love Korea and its' culture so I may be slightly biased in my view but Joo Ri is undeniably pretty and elegant that's why she makes my Top 50.

44. Braneka Bassett
Miss Bahamas Universe & World (Unplaced and Top 25 Semifinalist)

Braneka was once on a reality TV show - Janice Dickinson's Modelling Agency - so I've seen her before, I didn't recognise her though, but I liked her because she had a beautiful smile. Whilst I agree she may not have been a top contender at Miss Universe I think she deserved to be placed at Miss World.

43. Jennifer Pazmino
Miss Ecuador Earth (1st Runner Up/Miss Earth Air)

Personally I think Jennifer is a bit up and down. At times she has awesome photos, like the one above, but on other occasions she just looks a bit plain. However with photos like the one above and a huge fan base I couldn't ignore her, especially considering I haven't seen as much of her as other pageant fans have. However to win 1st Runner Up in Miss Earth beating several other strong contestants must mean something so she features on this list.

42. Maria Nowakowska
Miss Poland Universe (Unplaced)

Maria was one of a bunch of girls that were fighting for a spot in my Top 15 when I was following Miss Universe. I liked her fresh look but it wasn't until now that I considered her one of the best this year. There was one point when I thought she was going to Miss Earth but when I realised she wasn't I was quite disappointed, she had paved herself into my memory without me even realising it!

41. Dani Karlsson
Miss Sweden World (Unplaced)

For a long time I told myself I didn't like Dani, she was too "plastic surgery victim" for me to consider. But when I saw her in the final of Miss World everything changed. Suddenly I saw how beautiful Dani could be and I began to appreciate her outspoken personality. Whilst she represents a very different kind of delegate I think she made Miss World 2010 more interesting and that's why she features in this list.

40. Giuliana Zevallos
Miss Peru Universe (Unplaced)

Why has Giuliana placed? Because when I was going through the Miss Universe delegates she was one of the girls I chose immediately simply because I remember her. To not feature in the Top 15 but still leave an impression on me must mean something. She was a sexy diva and knew how to make her catwalk stand out. She also won Miss Continente Americano btw.

39. Davia Chambers
Miss Trinidad and Tobago World (Unplaced)

I have featured some obscure girls in my Top 50 list but Davia is probably one of the most obscure delegates to feature here. Many of you will probably be scratching your heads trying to remember her, well that's why Miss World shouldn't have 115 delegates! I saw little of her but from what I saw she looked beautiful. I wish I just saw more of her.

38. La Toya Woods
Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe (Unplaced)

I remember looking at the Miss Universe delegates pre arrival and LaToya was one of those girls that stood out. She just seemed to have that air of elegance and authority that made her a one to watch. Whilst she didn't make a splash in Miss Universe she still leaves a deep impression on me as a "Queen of the Caribbean".

37. Anabel Solis Sosa
Miss Mexico World (Unplaced)

The 6th unplaced girl in a row, do I like unplaced girls? Well the next one will be a big jump from that. Anyway Anabel was an underdog to me at Miss World. I remember seeing photos of her and she looked beautiful but she never really gained any momentum in the pageant. It's hard to stand out in a group of 115 girls and sadly Anabel was one of those beautiful girls that didn't really make an impression but she definitely has a beautiful look.

36. Alexandria Mills
Miss USA World (Winner)

The first winner to feature on my list! Alexandria is a pretty girl and she seems perfect for Miss World, pretty, sweet, elegant and pure. Whilst she may not have been my choice for Miss World she was a better choice than Mariann Birkedal.

35. Nondyebo Dzingwa
South Africa Earth (Top 7 Finalist)

Due to my lack of attention to Miss Earth 2010 Nondyebo was another girl I didn't really consider. However when looking back at the list Nondyebo was obviously one of the best delegates in Miss Earth 2010 because of her sweet smile and gorgeous complexion. It's testament to her beauty that I had rarely even seen her before making this list but she still places as high as 35.

34. Maria Tsagaraki
Miss Greece International (Unplaced)

I admit I am one of many to say Maria was disappointing at Miss International but you just have to look at the many screencaps out there of her at Miss Star Hellas to realise she could have been a huge contender for the crown. I don't know what happened to her but Maria just didn't stand out at Miss Earth. Pre arrival many had her as a threat to Nicole Faria (Miss India) but as we reached the final stages of the pageant nobody even considered Maria. It's a shame because she had so much potential.

33. Emma Wareus
Miss Botswana World (1st Runner Up)

Personally I didn't like her that much before the finals night but when I saw her in that yellow dress I just couldn't keep my eyes off her - she was stunning. Emma has an elegance to her which very few other girls have, she was definitely the Queen of Africa at that moment. Her performance on that night was enough to put her at 33 on my list.

32. Marina Georgievova
Miss Slovakia World (Unplaced)

Marina was one of the few frontrunners excluded from the generous offering by Miss World of 25 semifinalists. Marina looked beautiful in Miss World and it was a shame she didn't place. Whilst looking at her pre arrival photos I'm amazed how much she improved in Miss World because she looks fresher and prettier at Miss World compared to at her national pageant.

31. Aideliz Hidalgo
Puerto Rico International (Top 15)

Aideliz is like a barbie doll, she looks so prim and gorgeous. She was a frontrunner at Miss International but she lost some steam. I really liked her throughout the pageant her height and her look really made her stand out from the crowd but Miss International 2010 was a very strong year and she had Elizabeth Mosquera to compete with who she can be categorised with.

30. Irina Sharipova
Miss Russia World (Top 25 Semifinalists)

Irina was an awkward one. Her flat and wide face and trout mouth made her quite awkward looking on some angles but on others she looked beautiful. Irina was a contender at the start, whilst some may dislike her look I found it quite refreshing and something that made her who she was.

29. Kateryna Zakharchenko
Miss Ukraine World (Unplaced)

I totally missed this stunner at Miss World, that's why 115 is too many for a pageant! To place 29th despite me having no memory of her at Miss World whatsoever you must understand that she really impressed me when I searched for her on google.

28. Fonthip Watcharatrakul
Miss Thailand Universe (Unplaced)

I loved Fonthip at Miss Universe. She had the style, the personality and the performer's spirit in her which made her one of my favourite Asian delegates in the bunch. Before Miss Universe Fonthip didn't stand out to me but that drastic change really made her a hot contender and her portrait above is one of my favourites in the competition.

27. Piyaporn Deejing
Miss Thailand International (1st Runner Up)

I love Piyaporn and was so happy for her at Miss International but I must say I liked her more at Miss Earth 2008. I didn't like how she looked on the finals night to be honest but Piyaporn is a beautiful girl and that's why I was so happy for her to place at Miss International over other contestants.

26. Manasvi Mamgai
Miss India World (Unplaced)

Manasvi is a beautiful girl, it's easy to see why Femina chose her for Miss World because she is elegant, classy and beautiful, what you expect from a Miss India and a Miss World. However Manasvi failed to shine as she did in Femina, whilst I argue she still looked pretty in many of her photos she evidently didn't look as stunning as in Femina. I still remember the photos where she was wearing her yellow dress which looked gorgeous on her, if only she had kept that up throughout the competition.

25. Bat-el Jobi
Miss Israel Universe (Unplaced)

Bat-el Jobi was one of those haunting and mesmerising faces you don't expect to see in a beauty pageant. She looked stunning in many of the photos I had seen of her but she just didn't stand out at Miss Universe. I don't know if it was the inexperience from her side or her sash that left her overlooked but it was definitely a shame not to see Bat-el make the cut.

24. Mariana Vicente
Miss Puerto Rico Universe (Top 10)

Mariana looked like a beautiful barbie doll and she was a hot fan favourite for the Top 5. Sadly I think her frizzy hair didn't work for the judges, nor did it work for me. I think it detracted from her look and made her a bit ditzy looking. Anyway she was definitely a great delegate.

23. Malika Menard
Miss France Universe (Top 15)

I wasn't a huge fan of her before the pageant but when I saw her looking sleek at Roland Garros she converted me. She has this look that is sweet and stunning but at times she can look a bit messy and undone. I think she wasn't ready for a pageant to be honest because her walk was disastrous but she was definitely one of the stunners of Miss Universe 2010.

22. Natalia Navarro
Miss Colombia Universe (Top 15)

Natalia was a standout at Miss Universe but she was harshly underscored in the swimsuit segment, thus she didn't make it any further. I think two huge problems in her quest to make the Top 10 were how harsh she looked with her make-up on the night, it put centre attention on her angular nose and how much Natalie Morales looked like her! Honestly.

21. Krista Kleiner
Miss Philippines International (Top 15)

Oh it was so amusing when I heard Krista Kleiner had not made the Top 3 at Miss International. It's so great when you see an over-hyped contestant lose out. Sorry to the Filipino fans. But, I admit, if Krista had made the Top 3 I wouldn't have mind because she is indeed a fantastic contestant. She has a beautiful smile and charisma but her nose really does irk me. Nonetheless I put her this high because she was one of the best at Miss International and did make the pageant very interesting.

20. Lucie Smatanova
Miss Czech Republic International (Unplaced)

Lucie was one of those girls that I had seen little of but from what I saw I loved. Lucie was beautiful and fresh looking in many of her photos and I was disappointed she didn't make the cut. Yet again I wish I had seen more of Lucie because she should have been a contender at Miss International.

19. Ximena Navarrete
Miss Mexico Universe (Winner)

The second winner out of the 4. Where will Elizabeth and Nicole place, or will they even place! Ximena is a beautiful girl but something just didn't feel right for me. She was a steady contender but she never really stood out for me, she is good looking but there were many lookers of Miss Universe 2010. Nonetheless I have placed her higher than my early favourites Puerto Rico and Colombia because both had ailing weak points whilst Ximena didn't really besides her personality which wasn't as dynamic as previous winners.

18. Venus Raj
Miss Philippines Universe (4th Runner Up)

In direct contrast to Ximena is Venus Raj. Venus isn't conventionally beautiful, she does have gorgeous angles but more often she her face looks square and her features small in comparison but what Venus had was great stage presence and charisma. What many Asian delegates fail to do is strike the right balance between fierce and elegant which delegates like Honey Lee, Riyo Mori, Kurara Chibana and Venus Raj had. Many say that Venus' final "major major" answer caused her to lose the crown, I won't go into that now but all Asian delegates should learn from this mistake which was probably caused by nervousness and joy to be in the Final 5 for an Asian country.

17. Nicola Mimnagh
Miss Scotland World (Top 25 Semifinalist)

Flying the flag for the UK is Nicola. Some bias may have been in this to lead to Nicola's placement but I think Nicola was a decent candidate at Miss World. She did look a bit drained towards the end of the pageant but Nicola was truly a great delegate and did us proud. Her high placement led her to win the title of Miss UK and now she will go to Miss International where I'm sure she'll do well.

16. Mariela Aparicio
Miss Costa Rica International (Top 15)

Mariela looked gorgeous throughout Miss International 2010 it was a shame she wasn't considered a huge frontrunner like Krista Kleiner was. She always seemed poised and elegant and facially she is one of the strongest out of any girl in this list.

15. Luu Thi Diem Huong
Miss Vietnam Earth (Semifinalist)

It was difficult not to notice her as she was the poster girl of the pageant, everywhere you went you'd be sure to see her because she was in her home country. But Luu Thi Diem Huong is a fantastic delegate in her own right. Her cute smile and lovely complexion made her a frontrunner at Miss Earth and she melted my heart with her sweet look. Whilst if she was competing in another pageant I may not have placed her so highly I think in Miss Earth she had everything going for her.

14. Irina Antonenko
Miss Russia Universe (Top 15)

What frustrated me so much with Irina is her wasted potential. She is absolutely gorgeous but she's just not right for Miss Universe. She doesn't have that personality or the walk to back her up at a pageant like Miss Universe and that's why I'd much rather have seen her at Miss World. If she had that bubbly personality you wouldn't be seeing Irina at 14th place you'd see her straight at No.1.

13. Nicole Flint
Miss South Africa Universe and World (Top 10 and Top 25)

Nicole carries on the line of successful Miss South Africa's in both Miss Universe and Miss World. It's amazing how well Tansey, Tatum and Nicole have all done at both MU and MW. Nicole isn't the best looking girl in photos but on stage she shines. She has that alluring charm which makes her stand out every time she walks on a runway. It would be interesting to see the next Miss South Africa as she'll have a huge task to fulfil.

12. Mariangela Bonanni
Miss Venezuela Earth (Top 7 Finalist)

This early frontrunner was just barred from a crown at Miss Earth (similarly at Miss Venezuela), I wonder how she feels to be so close both times. Mariangela is a gorgeous girl but I think she lost some steam at Miss Earth compared to some other girls. She was a true contender for the crown and a beautiful girl also.

11. Yara Lasanta
Miss Puerto Rico World (Top 25)

I remember the first time I saw her photo I thought she looked a bit like Rima Fakih, I think it was because of her skin tone. I don't really see it now, thank god! Yara is a gorgeous girl, one of the best at Miss World. But sadly she got shut out from the Top. Her smile is infectious and her body deserves that beach beauty title. Would have been interesting to see whether she'd place higher than Mariana Vicente if she was in Miss Universe.

10. Marelisa Gibson
Miss Venezuela Universe (Unplaced)

I hear a few haters screaming at me from afar! Marelisa was like marmite to many pageant fans, you ever loved her or hated her. I loved her for her personality and infectious smile. She may have been styled badly but she managed to make the most of it. Osmel worked wonders for many of his previous delegates but to me he sabotaged Marelisa. It is rare for me to think a Venezuelan looked better at Miss Venezuela than at Miss Universe. Her obvious nose job sealed the deal and it's a shame to see a great looking girl being destroyed like that.

9. Emma Waldron
Miss Ireland World (3rd Runner Up)

Emma Waldron was beautiful, elegant and talented, that's why she placed so highly at Miss World. On the night Emma looked beautiful and truly deserved her place in the Top 5. Even though she's Irish and not part of  Great Britain I still feel a sense of patriotism for her. Emma proved that even though you're a Miss Talent doesn't mean you're not a worthy contender!

8. Rozanna Purcell
Miss Ireland Universe (Top 10)

Personally before the show I found Rozanna a hit or a miss. Her lips just looked too much for me on certain photos but on the finals night I was won over. She looked amazing in both rounds, I was left screaming at my computer screen when Rozanna scored so lowly on the evening gown segment when to me she was one of the best. Rozanna will be remembered as one of the best delegates ever at Miss Universe.

7. Elizabeth Mosquera
Miss Venezuela International (Winner)

Our 3rd winner and 3rd Miss Venezuela plops in at No.7. Elizabeth's win was met with utter shock by the die hard Krista Kleiner fans but once all the shock had subsided I think most would agree Elizabeth was a worthy winner and it wasn't her fault Krista didn't place and there was somebody less worthy in the Top 3 (cough China cough). Elizabeth was a beautiful delegate who was overlooked by most because everybody was focused on Krista but Elizabeth was definitely a great winner for Miss International.

6. Watsaporn Wattanakoon
Miss Thailand Earth (2nd Runner Up/Miss Earth Water)

Watsaporn was gorgeous, bubbly, infectious, sweet, elegant and everything else you'd want from a delegate. It's rare to see an Asian girl be liked by both pageant fans (asian and non asians) as well as the organisers, Watsaporn managed both. Her placement was deserved and it's great to see Thailand doing so well this year as they have sent 4 great delegates this year, lets hope there's more to come.

5. Adriana Vasnini
Miss Venezuela World (2nd Runner Up)

What made Adriana's placement so fantastic was that I didn't think she'd make the Top 7. Adriana is gorgeous but whilst I wouldn't have had it any other way at Miss Venezuela with Marelisa winning I definitely think Adriana performed the best out of any of the Miss Venezuela's this year. She has that beauty which can look both demure and sexy. It was lovely seeing her place after the shock exclusion of Marelisa at Miss Universe.

4. Nicole Faria
Miss India Earth (Winner)

Our last winner, that means 3 none winners made it above her! What makes Nicole so endearing is that she's so unconventional for an Indian delegate, just look at Neha Hinge and Manasvi Mamgai this year. Nicole was stunning throughout Miss Earth and she did us Asians proud, that's why I love her and placed her at 4th place. Will India be coming back?

3. Yuwaret Sirirat Rueangsri
Miss Thailand World (Top 25 Semifinalist)

I had noticed Yuwaret since the day of her crowning and at Miss World she was as good as I had hoped. She isn't the prettiest delegate I have featured on this list but she has personality, charisma, vibe, elegance and sexiness all mixed up into one which makes her utterly desirable. Miss World probably wasn't ready for somebody like Yuwaret, I wonder if Miss Universe would have considered her. But Yuwaret will always be one of my favourite delegates.

2. Etsuko Kanagae
Miss Japan International (Top 15)

Etsuko is stunning! She is as good as Honey Lee - now that's a HUGE compliment. I have waited so long for a Japanese delegate to both stun me and do well at an international pageant and she comes in the form of Etsuko Kanagae. She is sweet, elegant, beautiful, funny, endearing and charismatic. She just has everything likeable packed into one. I would have loved to see her in the Top 3 of Miss International but that wasn't ever going to happen if the pageant was hosted in China with Chinese judges.

1. Yendi Phillipps
Miss Jamaica Universe (1st Runner Up)

Yes Yendi is my favourite delegate of 2010. I am the first to admit there are prettier delegates in this years bunch but I hate it when pageant fans just say her personality and presence won them over, she isn't ugly you know! Yendi was just sizzling on Miss Universe and her performance was powerful. I rewatch the opening of Miss Universe 2010 over and over again just to see Yendi dance to "Commander by Kelly Rowland". Yendi's placement at Miss Universe was deserved, it was a shame she didn't win because she'll fit in perfectly with the likes of Dayana, Stefania, Riyo - girls with personality and presence but she did well to be considered by Miss Universe despite being Miss Jamaica.

So there you go My 50 favourite delegates of this year. There are a handful of others I liked but I didn't want to make an odd number for a list so I stuck to these 50.

I did a little tally Greece, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago all had 2 delegates in the Top 50. 3 countries managed the seemingly impossible task of having all 4 of their delegates make the Top 50 which are Puerto Rico, Thailand and Venezuela. The four Puerto Ricans were a strong bunch who all featured heavily in their respective pageants, it was a great year for Puerto Rico. The 4 Thai delegates were all beautiful and some of the best ever sent by Asia. Thailand really usurped itself as the Best in Asia this year with India at 2nd and Philippines at 3rd (for me). Whilst Venezuela continues the streak as being the best country at pageantry with 3 girls making my Top 10! and the 4th making my Top 15. I have to say imo this has been the best 4 sent by Venezuela despite all the people who think otherwise.

My Top 50 was obviously biased towards Miss Universe because I had focused the most attention on it and watched the actual pageant. Therefore 18 of my Top 15 come from MU. Then Miss World with a very close 15 then Miss International with 9 and Miss Earth with 8 - a very high score considering I didn't really pay attention to it.

Hopefully next year will be as good as this year!