Thai-Italian Crowned Miss Grand Thailand 2017

BANGKOK — A Thai-Italian model was crowned Miss Grand Thailand 2017 Saturday night after winning a contest known for its extravagant if not outlandish costumes, representing each of the 77 provinces in the country.

Representing Krabi province, Pemika Pamela Pansinetti, 23, is fluent in Thai, English and Italian. She sported an eagle-winged rubber costume weighing 40 kilograms Wednesday during the qualifying round for four hours, dyed her hair deep black and learned to sing a Northeastern Thai folk song to please the judges.

Pemika won the crown plus combined prizes worth 6 million baht. She will compete for Miss Grand International’s crown in October in Vietnam.

Contestants will have to promote the provinces they represent for the next 12 months.

The contest was also notable for one contestant, Miss Grand Kalasin, Wanwisa Isarapayap, falling on the floor twice within seconds while on stage, wearing a heavy and elaborate costume, parts of which broke into pieces.

It was also marred by a leaked video of Miss Grand Songkhla, Aem-orn Orn-uma Worasiri, in which she appears to verbally promote smuggled goods for tourists in her official introductory video while talking about Hat Yai city in Songkhla province.

The incident led to the city administration accusing her of distortion. The beauty pageant’s organizers said the leaked video was not supposed to have been made available to the public and that it had been removed earlier.