On Saturday, October 10th at Bangkok’s True ICON Siam Hall, 29 women competed for the title of Miss Universe Thailand and the opportunity to represent Thailand globally at the Miss Universe Pageant. The Miss Universe Pageant is the largest in the world in terms of live TV coverage, airing yearly in more than 190 countries to an audience of over 500 million people.
The theme for the pageant this year was “Real you, Real Universe,” and “Empowering Beauty.” At the end of the evening, it was the empowering beauty of 27-year-old Phuket-born Chalisa “Amanda” Obdam, who won over the judges to take the title and Mouawad Crown.
Amanda had the attention of the judges and the audience throughout the contest. Her confidence showed thru when wearing a dark gray two-piece swimsuit and a gorgeous red dress during the Swimsuit & Evening Gown segments of the competition.
A University of Toronto graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a major in economics, Amanda impressed the judges as much with her brains as her beauty.
To win, Amanda had to make it thru the cuts of the Top 20, Top 10, Top 5, and finally Top 3.
After making the top 5 cut, the women were asked, “A hundred years from today, who would historians select as the most influential woman of the 21st century and why?” Amanda answered, “All women have a chance because we are very strong.”
When the final Top 3 cut was made, the women were asked, “The Temple of Dawn symbolises Thailand’s spirit and is a landmark; how would you represent yourself as an icon of Thailand?” Amanda’s replied that even though she was born Thai-Canadian, she is truly a Thai lady, and she is going to present all of her Thai-ness to the world.
The Thai-Canadian Amanda is a pageant veteran, having already won Miss Tourism Metropolitan International 2016 and Miss Grand Rising Stars 2016.
One of the many perks of winning the title is the Mouawad Crown that goes with it. Mouawad is a jeweler to royalty, high society, and the uber-rich, and has been for more than 120 years. Last year Mouawad entered into a partnership with the Miss Universe Organisation. For Miss Universe Thailand, they provided a resplendent crown valued at Bt3.5 million. This year’s crown has the design theme of “Power of Authenticity,” recalling the traditional motif of headwear worn by Ayutthaya nobility and intricate patterns of Thai temples. It is decorated with red, white, and blue gems to signify the Thai flag.
Miss Universe Thailand First runner-up was Praveenar Singh, a Thai of Indian descent from Chiang Mai province. The Second runner-up was Punika Kulsoontornrut from Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Ms.Praewwanich Ruangthong was third runner-up, and Alexandra Hänggi fourth runner-up.