22-year old Maria Fernanda Cornejo Alfaro, from Quito, Ecuador, was crowned Miss International 2011 during the conclusion of the annual pageant held at the Sichuan Province Gymnasium in Chengdu, China, on November 6th. This is Ecuador’s first win of a Grand Slam pageant beauty crown.
The 1st runner-up was favorite Jessica Barboza, from Venezuela; and the 2nd runner-up was Tugsuu Idersaikhan, from Mongolia. The top three winners will stay in China for an extra week to attend commitments with sponsors of the pageant.
The 3rd runner-up was Puerto Rico (Desiree del Rio) and the 4th runner-up was Panama (Keity Mendieta).
Rest of the top 15 were: Brazil (Gabriella Marcelino), Latvia (Lelde Paulsone), Lebanon (Maria Farah), Netherlands (Tali Hertsenberg), Philippines (Dianne Necio), Russia (Elena Chepilchenko), Sweden (Denise Andree), Thailand (Kantapat Peerdachainarin), Trinidad & Tobago (Renee Bhagwandeen) and Vietnam (Truong Tri Truc Diem).
Miss Photogenic was Miss Venezuela, while there was a tie in the Miss Friendship award between Hawaii and Mexico. China won Miss Talent, Thailand won best National Costume, Philippines won Miss Internet and Ecuador bagged the titles of Miss Beauty and Best Figure.
It was surprising to see the exclusion of Miss Japan, a country that the Miss International organization ALWAYS put in the semi finals, since 1971 (except in 1993). Once again (and not surprising), no African contestant placed in the finals. Local press favorites from Colombia, Bolivia, South Africa and Paraguay also failed to reach the Semi Finals.
Note: The webcast was a disaster due to Chengdu TV’s servers which are not configured to handle the capacity or traffic during these days.