Australian beauty is crowned Miss Grand International 2015

BANGKOK, April 1st — During a special ceremony held in Bangkok, Claire Parker from Australia received the crown, sash and trophy that confirms her as Miss Grand International 2015.  She was crowned by Lees Garcia, the winner of 2014.

Parker thanked all her fans and the organization, and it was announced that her first trip will be to Vietnam, to do charity work and help those who in one way or another, were affected by the war.

This ceremony marks the beginning of Claire Parker as the new titleholder.  Good luck!

Miss Grand Anea Garcia steps down! Welcome, Claire Parker, the new queen!

“Breaking News!!
With immediate effect, Miss Anea Garcia will step down from her position as Miss Grand International 2015 due to unable to fulfil and follow the contractual agreement with Miss Grand International Organisation.
We are pleased to welcome Miss Claire Elizabeth Parker to take over this honourable position and continue the honourable duty as Miss Grand International 2015.
Congratulations to Miss Claire Elizabeth Parker as the new Miss Grand International 2015.
Miss Grand International Organisation”.

Claire Parker is from Australia and placed 2nd in last year’s Miss Grand International 2015. She will soon be officially crowned.

The last time Australia had won a Grand Slam title was in 2004, when Jennifer Hawkins won Miss Universe in Quito, Ecuador. Now the Aussie have a new Grand Slam queen!

MGI2015: a final review

Top 10 facts, figures and opinions about Miss Grand International 2015 final show:

Number 10 – A perfect Opening Number!

MGI can still be considered a baby among the biggest beauty contests on the globe, however, it has been acting just like a grown up: the opening number for the 2015 edition was one of the best and most energetic in the Grand Slam in a long time, perhaps in over a decade! With MGI 2014 Lees Garcia taking center stage, the candidates danced to Fergie’s A Little Party Never Killed Nobody and one by one,they introduced themselves. It was just perfect to kick off a great show!

Number 9 – A Top 20 with few surprises and a black-out

Most names called as Top 20 quarter-finalists were actually expected, but the few other favorites left out this early in the competition were all black: Suriname, Ghana, Colombia, Haiti. The only African woman to actually make the cut was the biggest surprise of the night, Miss Angola (a good surprise, by the way). All in all, the judges’ selection made sense and was within the expected, although it was a pity to see such amazing black stunners ignored (unfortunately a trend in most international beauty contests, especially in Asia). All heavy favorites were through and took the stage on a very well-prodeced and sexy (without being vulgar) swimsuit competition.

Number 8 – Perfect Top 10 

When one of our correspondents talked to Miss Netherlands the day after the pageant, the only hot favorite not to be included in the group of 10 semi-finalists, she told him: “I looked at the 10 women who made it and I could not think of any who did not deserve it, so I was just fine with it”. And that’s indeed how tough the competition was! The judges nailed it, and Spain ended up taking Europe’s highest rank, deservingly so. The group was completed with Dominican Republic, Brazil, Costa Rica, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Philippines and Thailand. How do you pick just 5 out of these 10 fantastic women?

Number 7 – A flawless production with elements of the other 4 Grand Slam contests

This year MGI did what many thought to be impossible: it put together a show which was upbeat, fun to watch, in which everything flowed with perfection. Something interesting about it, however, is that elements of all other 4 Grand Slam contestants were present: Miss Universe’s swimsuit, opening and evening gown’s format; Miss World emphasis on a noble cause, in MGI’s case, “Stop the War”; the Top 10 speech is an old Miss International tradition; and finally, all the dancing and a few fashion elements found in Miss Supranational. When put all together, the magic was done and a great show delighted the viewers!

Number 6 – Rehearsed or coming from their hearts, the Top 10 speeches passed the test

All 10 delegates did a really good job with their Top 10 speeches. Speaking English or Spanish (Costa Rica), the semi-finalists did the their homework and impressed everyone with their words. Some sounded rehearsed, others genuine, but all did just fine here, making the judges’ challenge even more difficult. The crowd went wild especially with Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Thailand and India. One of these 6, could not advance, and in the end, the one left behind was Miss Brazil. Why? The Brazilian beauty, who’s a singer in her native country, ended her speech singing a few words from John Lennon’s Imagine. Organizers claimed they were not allowed to sing, only to talk. So the judges decided that Miss Brazil’s participation in MGI2015 would end at that point. The other 5 favorites went on to fight for the crown.

Number 5 – The Top 5 and their final answers

“Who’s the most influential person in your life?”. A perfect question to this question could lead a contestant to the crown, cash prize, and an exciting year ahead as Miss Grand International 2015. It was time for them to use their well kept weapons, and that’s what some of them did. Australia went for Lees Garcia, Miss Grand International 2014, for her amazing work and inspirational words; India may have given one of the best answers, naming Mahatma Gandhi; and Miss Dominican Republic said that her father, who raped her mother and brought her to life, was the most influential person in her life. “If I could I would hug him and forgive him. That’s  the only way I can live and spread a message of peace”. As controversial as such answer might have been, it worlked for Anea Garcia, who ended up winning the title, with Australia as runner-up and Miss India in 3rd place. Philippines ranked 4th, and Thailand, who really got lost when giving her answer, finished 5th after an otherwise flawless performance.

Number 4 – Lees Garcia, a queen with a heart

Lees Garcia’s farewell walk and speech were very touching, which did not surprise anyone, after all, she was an amazing queen. Garcia traveled to over 10 countries entering regions facing war and conflicts, being always kind, saying the right words, touching hundreds of people’s hearts. She left a very positive mark in pageantry and will always be remembered as a perfect ambassador for peace and good-will. We wish her the very best in the future!

Number 3 – What to expect of Anea Garcia, the new Miss Grand International?

Anea Garcia of the Dominican Republic was always a favorite among pagent fans and those who were not following the pageant from a close distance, after all, she participated in Miss USA, one of the most important and talked about national pageants in the world, and placed 3rd earlier this year (she is the current Miss Rhode Island USA). Nevertheless, Anea was not one of the most popular choices among the contestants, perhaps because she was too focused on her goal and did not travel to Thailand to make friends. The judges, however, were impressed by her perfeormance and convinced by her answers, she won the crown, the crowd went wild, and now she will have a whole year ahead to show her real essence. We wish her and MGI the best of luck, and hope the new queen can follow  the steps of Lees Garcia and Janelee Chaparo, two excellent titleholders.

Number 2 – The Hispanic Caribbean reign supreme in Miss Grand International!

Three editions, three winners from Spanish-speaking countries and territories located in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico (2013), Cuba (2014), and now Dominican Republic (2015). Will another Caribbean beauty storm hit Miss Grand’s shores again in 2016?? As for the Dominican Republic, this is the country’s 3rd Grand Slam victory, after winning Miss World 1982 and Miss Universe 2003.

Number 1 – Tonga and Macedonia: queens without a crown

They did not win MGI 2015. As a matter of fact, they were not even among the Top 20 quarter-finalists. However, they left their mark in pageant history, we risk to say, after being noticed for different reasons. Miss Tonga won GB’s special award “Woman of Substance” for the fantastic human being that she is. If her type of beauty is not the usual doll-like to succeed in pageants, she showed that beauty truly goes beyond it. Miss Tonga is smart, charismatic, confident. By the end of the competition, she had thousands of faithful followers and supporters.

Also on a league of her own, Miss Macedonia delighted all of us with her unique and unforgettable diva performance in swimsuit and evening gown in the preliminary competition. When covering the preliminary round of interviews, we saw Miss Macedonia being asked the following question: “What do you want to be 5 years from now?”, to which she answered: “I don’t want to be. I AM… Beauty has always been in my family, I’ve won many trophies and awards, so I AM now…”. Indeed YOU ARE! Thank you Misses Tonga and Macedonia for making this year’s MGI even more special!

GB photos | Leonardo Rodrigues