Philippines' Samantha Bernardo slays in swimsuit walk, aces in Miss Grand International challenges

Earl D.C. Bracamonte - Philstar.com
Philippines' Samantha Bernardo slays in swimsuit walk, aces in Miss Grand International challenges
Miss Grand Philippines Samantha Mae Bernardo at the MGI swimsuit competition
Miss Grand International via YouTube, Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — The Miss Grand International organization formally opened the 2020 competition last March 15 with a portrait session for national titlists who already completed the 14-day quarantine and passed the swab tests.

The first batch of candidates were photographed in a hawker stall set-up, complete with street food and fruit stands. As the earliest candidate to arrive in Bangkok, Miss Grand Philippines Samantha Bernardo was among those who participated in the photo shoot.

Garbed in a Kenneth R. gem-encrusted, rib-baring dress with a thigh-high slit, Sam rocked the photo and video shoot with confidence and panache.

After the shoot, the girls were then whisked off to their first dance rehearsal.



Day 2 saw the remaining contestants, now out of quarantine, doing their photo session while the first batch of 20 candidates went to the Blue Elephant Cooking School to learn a few things about Thai cuisine.

Since Day 2 was Salad Day Challenge, the 20 girls had to prepare their version of Som Tam, or green papaya salad, after being taught how to.

The first three to finish were the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar. Sam's version was loaded with garlic, Miss Vietnam's was sweet, while Miss Myanmar's was spicy. Apart from the three, the other girls who joined in the cookfest were Italy, Paraguay, Peru, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Cambodia, Panama, Thailand, Indonesia, USA, Venezuela, Colombia, China, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Mauritius and Germany.

While aboard the shuttle bus on their way back to rehearsals, the girls sang a birthday song to Miss Grand Ecuador, Sonia Luna.

The day ended with Sam, together with Misses Mexico, Myanmar, Ecuador and Indonesia having dinner with MGI president Nawat Itsaragrisil, as incentive for them being in the leaderboard of the first online challenge - "How to Know Me in 1-Minute."

For their next event, the candidates made a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, as well as the Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

During the swimsuit competition, Bernardo scorched the runway with her signature Grandnada walk - acing the challenging stairwell descent and the slippery platform, where all the contestants took a bow before exiting. This challenging part of the choreography's routine tested how prepared the contestants were in their pasarela skills.



A few contestants had a hard time coming down the steps. Miss Grand Cuba and Miss Grand Scotland tripped during their walk, while Miss Grand Peru and Miss Grand Thailand had near slips.

The other candidates who showed an impressive pasarela were Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Puerto Rico and USA.  

The score for this event, together with the preliminary night ratings, will determine the Best in Swimsuit recipient, as adjudged by the same online panel of judges.

Fans of the candidates, who desire their bets to reach the Top 10, can cast their votes via *789 using the Star app. It is hoped the minor rift between Missosology and the MGI organization will soon be ironed out. Nawat called out to the pageant site to seek his permission before using footage on their Youtube channel.

The following day, all the candidates went through the closed-door interview, in batches of four, with Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil, VP Teresa Chaivisut, and reigning Mis Grand International Valentina Figuera as jurors. Miss Grand India was finally able to join the Welcome Dinner, hosted by sponsors Golden Tulip Sovereign and Piyavate Hospital, completing the roster of candidates - with Miss Grand Bashkortostan, who was able to join the girls in the swimsuit prelims.

The National  Costume competition will unfold on March 24, while the pageant preliminaries will take place on March 25. The coronation rites will happen on March 27. All three events will happen at the Show D.C. Hall at 7 in the evening, Thailand time, and will be broadcast live through the Grand TV Youtube  channel and its  Facebook Live coverage. — Video from Miss Grand International via YouTube

RELATED: COVID-19 survivors make it to Miss Grand International swimsuit, preliminaries


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