Miss Grand International 2015 Finals Review
Miss Grand International 2015 Finals: Okay, so the whole TGPC-ville was madly waiting for the grand finale because the clear front-runner of the Miss Grand International 2015 pageant is Miss India Vartika Singh and TGPC-ville is largely dominated by Indians. Everyone was literally counting minutes to the finale. Finally it started at 6.30 PM as per Indian Standard Time.
- Opening: The show opens in a grand way with Lees Garcia, 2014 winner, leading the other girls in a dance number. It was fun and energetic!
- Hosts: Along with a male host, Lees Garcia hosted the evening. I have to say I am impressed by Lees. She is not just beautiful, she is very poised and well-spoken. Honestly, I can’t imagine the reigning Miss Universe Paulina Vega hosting the show as well as Lees did.
- Best in National Costume: Philippines! Very well-deserved. Parul is a great performer on stage. She showed it in national costume show and now in finals too.
- Top 20: Absolutely no surprises. All the favorites like Dominican Republic, Philippines, India, Brazil, Spain, France, Thailand, Japan, Sri Lanka and Netherlands made the cut. There was some dissappointment over Macedonia’s non-placement. She had won some fans by her unusual presentation skills in the prelims.
Top 20 Finalists: India, Poland, USA, Australia, Angola, France, Thailand, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Brazil, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Mexico, Japan
- Top 20 swimsuit competition: Oh so we have girls coming in alphabetical order! I kind of liked that because it’s unusual. Nothing unfair thought anyway! I loved Dominican Republic, Philippines, Thailand, Australia and Japan in particular during this segment. These girls have the energy. Most of the girls were fit. Netherlands certainly had little trouble in walking down the ramps, but she is beautiful. Sri Lanka had perhaps one of the weaker bodies but she made it up with her charm.
- Best in Swimsuit Award: Costa Rica! I got a bit of surprise there. I expected Dominican Republic or Thailand to grab this one. But anyways, Costa Rica was definitely good in swimsuit competition of finals.
- Popular Choice Award: Sri Lanka! I thought India or Philippines would grab it. Nonetheless I am happy because Sri Lanka goes forward now!
- Top 10: Absolutely no surprises. All the best girls made the cut. Few missed Netherlands in Top 10, but honestly her walk was a little weak. I am happy Shauny made the cut in the pageant. She couldn’t place in her previous two major international pageants.
Top 10 at Miss Grand International 2015 Finals: Sri Lanka, Philippines, Brazil, Thailand, Japan, Spain, Costa Rica, India, Dominican Republic, Australia
- Speeches: The girls had to give speeches about “Stop the war” movement that is the primary advocacy of the pageant. They were wearing white suits.
Australia with teary eyes gave a very good and powerful speech.
Brazil gave a nice answer with some singing.
Costa Rica – I wish we could no what she spoke. It was spanish and there was no translation!
DR spoke about the devastations caused by wars and she too shed tears.
India gave a nice, short positive answer and ended it with “Kapoonkha”. She was the only girl who did that! I remembered how Natalie Glebova was the only girl who did that in Miss Universe 2005 that was also held in Thailand. Hence I became more optimistic about India’s win.
Japan spoke about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She was very assertive in her speech, it almost sounded arrogant. But it was acceptable given the context and the fact that she is from Japan which has seen the ill- effects of wars in a strong manner.
Philippines gave a positive answer talking about the work done by ancestors to establish peace. She was good!
Spain spoke how we should ensure peace for the children.
Sri Lanka gave her personal story about how war affected her life. She was sincere.
Thailand spoke in an accent which was not very clear. She said, “we can’t stop war but we can make it better. So please stop the war” (paraphrased).
- Lees Garcia bids Farewell: Lees gave a very emotional speech about her work during the reign. Just falling in love with her more and more. She declared at the end of her speech that she will be staying in Thailand even after her reign. Mr. Nawat then took her crown for the successor. Then crowned her again, perhaps with a replica? Not sure. But this overall was a very sweet and touching segment of the show.
- Evening Gown round: Australia was classy in her presentation. I liked the cape with Brazil‘s gown. I knew Costa Rica’s journey would end here. Dominican Republic missed a cue but she got a lot of applause. India looked like a star. Japan came out in a gown which I personally didn’t like much. Philippines wore a red gown which was a bit similar to that of Ximena Navarette in Miss Universe 2010. Spain was all sexy while Sri Lanka was graceful. Finally Thailand concluded the round with her slow and seductive moves. So who was the best? In terms of looks, may be India. In terms of moves, may be Philippines. Overall it was a good watch.
- Top 5: Ok so all favorites made it. Majority of fans will be happy with their predictions. I somehow missed Sri Lanka. The girl put in her heart, it was quite visible. It would have been “nice” to see her in Top 5! Anyways, the deserving ones made it. Happy! I personally feel this Top 5 was better than the Top 5 of Miss Universe 2014.
Top 5 of Miss Grand International 2015 Finals: India, Australia, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Philippines
- Final Round: Okay, so the girls were asked, “Who is the most influential person in your life? And why?”
India – she spoke how Mahatma Gandhi is her biggest influence. She begun her answer wit his quote about non-violence. Overall it was impressive.
Australia – she said how she admires Lees Garcia and wants to continue her work. Well, it was a very good answer and delivered with utmost eloquence.
Thailand – Honestly, I don’t know what she said. The accent was awkward. She choked while answering! It was obviously end of competition for her.
Dominican Republic – She shocked everyone by saying that the most influential person in her life is her father (she is a rape-child). More on this later!
Philippines – She spoke about her father and the diverse backgrounds of her family. It was a very good answer. Although it is usual for girls to mention their parents in their answers to this popular pageant question.
At this point of time, my Top 3: India, Australia and Dominican Republic. I thought India would win with either of the remaining two as her runner-up.
- Best In Evening Gown Award: Miss Japan! This is a surprise again. Thought India or Thailand would win this one.
- Best Social Media Award: India! Not a surprise. Her campaign about promoting the cause of the pageant by inviting photos from fans was quite cool.
5th Thailand – Expected! She got good air-time inspite of being 4th runner-up
4th Philippines – Expected!
3rd India – Whoa! Shocking! Based on overall performance, I though Vartika had this one in her bag
2nd Australia – She did answer very well and based on that her Top 3 placement is understandable
1st Dominican Republic – Not a surprise! Anea was a favorite from Day 1
Now addressing the controversy around Anea Garcia‘s answer: “Miss Drama Republic wins!”, “Drama queen wins”, “Sob and win the crown”, “She used tears to win!”, “Nawat likes latinas” – these are just come of the comments in TGPC-ville. I can understand why everyone is dissappointed. Vartika Singh did very well and could have been a great choice for Miss Grand International 2015 title. However, I would like to defend Anea Garcia’s answer a bit because it seems it was not understood that well. Firstly, she did answer the question. The question was not “who is the most positively influential person in your life”. It was “who is the most influential person”. While the general tendency is to assume that influence is meant in positive way, but at the end it is just an assumption. When Anea said her rapist father is her biggest influence, you have to understand that she is refering to the stigma and pain she had to suffer being a child of rape. Her father did influence her life by giving her a lot of pain and stigma due to the rape he committed. So technically she was correct in her answer. She further says that she wants to live in peace and so she wants to forgive him. If he would be in front of her, she would forgive him for giving birth to her. Honestly this was quite a statement. The pageant is pro-peace and forgiving such a horrendous crime by sharing your personal life on international stage citing “gain inner-peace” as the reason for forgiving, this is quite a move. I, for one, was impressed. I think she did great. And I will not believe that her tears were fake. The agony of being a rape-child is perhaps something most of us will never understand.
Conclusion about the pageant: I think Miss Grand International pageant has achieved a LOT in just three years! The pageant was fun to follow and watch. It is unbelievable how this pageant has surpassed many other major international pageants in terms of production value and overall presentation. I think it would not be foolish to count it among the Top 4-5 pageants of the world. In few years, it can be in the Top 3 too!
Summary of compete results: Miss Grand International 2015 Finals Results
All in all, I think Anea is a spectacular woman. Having followed her since her Miss USA stint, I can say this for sure. She will be a good queen!
Image Credits: Miss Grand International Facebook