Yeah it sorta looks like Kudo has picked her favorite new member out. :) I think we all know who Sayumi's favorite new member is. (also mine, so happy for Maria!)
Kudo also wrote on her blog that she is losing her title as youngest member as Maria and Akane are younger. I'm sure she figured this day would come but maybe not so quickly. Also sounds like Miki is our English speaking Musume, can't wait to hear her.