Preliminary interviews are decisive in a Grand Slam contest, especially when among the judges are the president and vice president of the company that produces the event, Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil, and Ms. Teresa Chaivisut, respectively, in addition to the reigning queen, Valentina Figuera. The 63 candidates for the title of Miss Grand International 2020 were interviewed by these three key figures on Sunday, March 21. Miss India, Simran Sharma, was the last one to come out of quarantine and enter the competition at this very important time. “I was very glad to finally see her!”, said the very friendly Aurra Kharishma, from Indonesia.
Malaysia, Jasebel Robert, commented that it was quick and fun, more of a friendly chat than a tough interview. Japan, Ruri Saji, mentioned she was glad to learn that the judges loved Japan. Suzan Lips, from the Netherlands, was glad she had the chance to really be herself. Ambika Joshi Rana of Nepal expected Mr. Nawat to be very strict, but in her own words, he was the one laughing and making her feel comfortable throughout her interview.
Bulgaria, Viktoria Lazarova, was glad to learn that Teresa, vice president of MGI, had been to her country and knew how friendly the people there are. Sara Michelle Winter, Miss Grand Canada, came out of the interview room very satisfied after her favorite portion of the competition, that moment she gets a real chance to show who she is. Samantha Bernardo of the Philippines confessed she was a bit emotional but glad she had the chance to apologize for the Filipino fans who caused so much trouble on the internet in recent days. Bernardo also thanked the support from her friends, fans, and the good people of the Philippines, and asked her country to be united: “Please stop the war”.
For Lala Guedes, Miss Grand Brazil, it was a good opportunity not only for the judges to know her better, but also for her to know a bit more about them, who she described as “super nice”, just like everyone else in Thailand. Fiona Tao of China mentioned that she was thrilled to meet Valentina, who´s a role model for her. The Dominican Republic representative, Lady Leon, was happy that she was able to be herself at all times, which she believes is “the most important thing when you are competing in a beauty pageant”.
Sonia Luna of Ecuador was happy to share with the judges that part of her that goes beyond “all the dresses, high hills, and makeup”. Though Luciana Martinez of El Salvador is not fluent in English, she put an effort and was able to communicate quite well with the judges, having fun during the whole process. For Guatemala´s Ivana Batch, it felt like chatting with friends, while Miss Finland, Liina Malinen, was very honest: “I thought it went OK, but it could always be better!”.
For Nam Chantarapadit, Miss Grand International, it felt like home and there was some laughter from the moment she entered the room, after all, the three judges are already family for her. Though Kenya´s Irene Ng’endo does not know the judges as well as Miss Thailand, after her interview she expressed the Thai representative´s same feeling: “They feel like family”.
Other delegates described their experience as “comfortable”, “nice”, and “relaxing”, which makes us conclude that the judges wanted to feel their personality and communication skills more than discussing tough issues.
All videos are on Grand TV.