Pageant veteran Daryanne Lees of Cuba was crowned Miss Grand International 2014 last night, beating out 84 other contestants during the pageant night held at the Indoor Stadium Huamark, in Bangkok, Thailand.
As the new titleholder, Lees will become an ambassadress of the pageant’s “Stop the War” advocacy. She will receive US$40,000 in cash and will stay in Bangkok, Thailand, throughout her reign.
Ethiopia’s Hiwot Mamo was first runner-up, while Canada’s Kathryn Kohut was 2nd runner-up. Completing the Top 5 are Australia’s Renera Thompson and Colombia’s Monica Castaño Agudelo.
Candidates from Haiti, Indonesia, Poland, Russia, and Thailand made it in the Top 10. The rest of the semifinalists are Brazil, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Venezuela. Miss Philippines Kimberly Karlsson failed to place in the Top 20.
Pageant Focus got 16/20 semifinalists from its predictions. Check it out here.
The competition involves swimsuit, 30-sec advocacy speeches, evening gown and final question-and-answer round. Asians won all special awards: Vietnam (Best in National Costume), Thailand (Best in Swimsuit), Indonesia (Best in Long Gown), Japan (Miss Social Media) and Cambodia (Miss Popular Vote).
Lees, 27, was born and raised in Puerto Rico and competed in Miss Puerto Rico Teen, Miss Puerto Rico World 2006, Puerto Rico model contest 2007 and Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2008. Later, she moved to Tampa, Florida and competed in Miss Florida USA and Miss Florida US International 2008. Recently, she finished as runner-up in the Miss US Earth pageant (which also owns the franchise to Miss Grand US).