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Indonesian model is Miss International 2017

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It was a sweet victory for Indonesia’s candidate when she was named the new Miss International as it was also the first-ever win for the Asian country in the 57-year history of the pageant.

Kevin Lilliana Junaedy, a 21-year-old model, was crowned by outgoing Miss International Kylie Verzosa from the Philippines. She bested 70 candidates who vied for the title at the pageant held in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday night.

Miss Indonesia Kevin Lilliana (R) receives the 2017 Miss International crown from 2016 Miss International Kylie Verzosa from Philippines during the Miss International Beauty Pageant final in Tokyo on November 14, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Miss Indonesia Kevin Lilliana (R) receives the 2017 Miss International crown from 2016 Miss International Kylie Verzosa from Philippines during the Miss International Beauty Pageant final in Tokyo on November 14, 2017.
(AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Junaedy finished interior design in her hometown.  Reports say the Miss International 2017 winner was named after Kevin McCallister, the lead character (played by a young Macaulay Culkinin) in the blockbuster movie “Home Alone.”

Completing the Miss International 2017 court are:  Miss Curacao Chanelle de Lau as first runner-up; Miss Venezuela Diana Croce, 2nd; Miss Australia Amber Dew, 3rd; and Miss Japan Tsutsui Natsuki, who is half-Filipino, placed 4th.

Special awards went to Miss Japan as Best in National Costume, Miss Indonesia as Best Dresser, and Miss Australia, Miss Perfect Body.

The titles of Continental Queens were won by the following candidates:  Miss International Asia was won by Miss Korea; Miss International Europe by Miss United Kingdom; Miss International America, Bolivia; Miss International Africa, Ghana; and Miss International Oceania, New Zealand.

Miss Philippines Mariel de Leon failed to advance to the Final 15 which was filled out by candidates from Curacao, Venezuela, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Ghana, Honduras, Japan, Ecuador, Finland, Laos, Indonesia, Panama, Thailand, Australia, South Africa.

(Front L to R) Eight finalists, Miss Curacao Chanelle Wihelmina Maria, Miss Ecuador Jocelyn Mieles, Miss Japan Natsuki Tsutsui, Miss Laos Phounsap Phonnyotha, Miss United Kingdom Ashley Powell, Miss Venezuela Diana Macarena Croce Garcia, Miss Indonesia Kevin Lilliana and Miss Australia Amber Dew pose with other contestants during the Miss International Beauty Pageant final in Tokyo on November 14, 2017 in Tokyo. (AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA / MANILA BULLETIN)

(Front L to R) Eight finalists, Miss Curacao Chanelle Wihelmina Maria, Miss Ecuador Jocelyn Mieles, Miss Japan Natsuki Tsutsui, Miss Laos Phounsap Phonnyotha, Miss United Kingdom Ashley Powell, Miss Venezuela Diana Macarena Croce Garcia, Miss Indonesia Kevin Lilliana and Miss Australia Amber Dew pose with other contestants during the Miss International Beauty Pageant final in Tokyo on November 14, 2017 in Tokyo.
(AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Philippines has previously held the Miss International title six times:  Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), Bea Rose Santiago (2013), and Kylie Verzosa (2016).

The five-foot-eight 2017 Philippine bet  studied cookery at the North Shore International Academy in New Zealand and plans to open her own cafe in the Philippines.

At 19, De Leon joined the Bb. Pilipinas beauty pageant in 2013 where she was able to join the Top 15, with Ariella Arida emerging as the winner.

Mariel has began shooting her scenes for her debut film “Ang Panday,” an entry to the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival.

Having bankable actors as parents, the daughter of Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong  is still undecided if she would seriously pursue acting.

Given the chance, Mariel said that she would like to appear in horror movies. “I want screaming and running for my life.”

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