Miss Grand International 2017: National Costume Competition
The National Costume Competition of Miss Grand International 2017 took place on Thursday night in the ballroom of the Sun Spa Resort in Quang Binh, Vietnam. The 76 delegates (Miss Lebanon was the last to arrive) were presented in their costumes in front of a packed audience - there was not an empty seat in the house! Once again, it was an elegant and well-organised event that went off without a hitch. The venue was absolutely amazing and we were extremely impressed by the quality of the stage and the webcast. Miss Grand International is doing exceptionally well in the way they are ensuring that all the events leading up to the grand final are of the highest quality, which makes us really excited about what they have in store for the final show.
Hosting the event was last year's fourth runner-up from the United States, Michelle Leon. She is only 20 years old and we were impressed by her poise on stage. Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil shared with us that the event was watched by more than 4 million people, which is truly amazing.
We were pleasantly surprised by the costumes that we saw on stage. One important thing to mention is that while some countries (like many of the Europeans, Korea, China and Vietnam) wore national costumes that have been part of their cultures for ages, we must bear in mind that there is also a fantasy element to this competition. Some of the traditional national costumes were more simplistic but a true reflection of the cultures of these countries, while the fantasy costumes brought the drama and glitz that pageant fans love. We feel there's value in both to ensure that we have an interesting show to watch. The choreography was great and it was an opportunity for the girls to show their stage presence. Fans have been invited to vote for their favourite costumes on the Miss Grand International Facebook page and the judges will then make their final decision. The winner of the Best National Costume award will be announced during the final on October 25th.
As always, we have some tidbits for you:
* Miss Philippines, Elizabeth Clenci, wore the same national costume that she wore during the Binibining Pilipinas Pageant earlier this year. It looked really impressive on stage.
* Miss Cuba, Lisandra Delgado's costume represented Ochún, the Orichá of love, in the Santeria religion.
* Miss Czech Republic, Nikola Uhlirova, looked stunning on stage. She shared with us that her national director is Miss Grand International 2015 top 20 finalist, Tatana Makarenko. Uhlirova said that she is lucky to have an amazing director who helped her with everything imaginable and is always there to support her. It makes a huge difference when you compete in a 3 week long international pageant.
* Miss Japan, Erika Tsuiji's costume (though it can't be described as a national costume) was one of the most creative of the night. Her Super Mario outfit represented the gaming culture of Japan. She speaks very little English, so it has been hard to get to know her. Miss Paraguay, Lia Ashmore, joked that she wants to know what is in the water in Japan as Tsuiji who is 27 years old still looks extremely young, like a teenager.
* Some of the standouts on stage (presence) on Thursday night were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, the USA, Venezuela and Vietnam.
* Last year's second runner-up, Supaporn Malisorn from Thailand, is now a successful singer and actress in her country. She will arrive in Vietnam on the 20th as she is currently shooting a movie.
* Something very interesting about the Miss Grand International Pageant is the way they have been allocating roommates. In some other pageants, girls from the same region are grouped together, but at Miss Grand International girls from different parts of the world are roomed together. One of the other interesting facts is that they get different roommates when they move to a new place. The idea behind this is for the girls to get to know each other better and to learn about cultures different to their own. We find this quite refreshing as it is very common in pageants to see girls from the same region or similar cultures sticking together.
Keep watching this space for Global Beauties' Top 20 in National/Fantasy Costumes!
Photos: Leonardo Rodrigues / Global Beauties