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.
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.
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.”