This year Miss Grand International celebrates its 10 years’ anniversary. Over 70 girls wil travel to the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia, where the pageant will start. The finals will take place in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, on October 25th.
The Netherlands will be represented by the beautiful Marit Beets from Volendam, who won the honor earlier this year at the 12 Month of Beauty finals that took place in Amsterdam.
Robin and Stefan from 12 Months of Beauty have been the national directors for MGI from the start of the pageant in 2013.
Let’s have a look at the first 9 years of Miss Grand International and Miss Grand Netherlands…
Miss Grand International 2013
Winner: Janelee Chaparo, Puerto Rico
Back in 2013, 12 Months of Beauty received an email from MGI. Mister Nawat Itsaragrisil had started to organize a new pageant: Miss Grand. At that time Robin and Stefan were in the middle of the Miss Supranational Netherlands pageant. The email, which included a video of Miss Grand Thailand 2013, looked very promising and they decided to give it a try. Also because of the “Stop the War and Violence” campaign. All the finalists for Miss Supranational Netherlands 2013 also wanted to be in the running for the first ever Miss Grand Netherlands.
At the finals in Claus Event Centre in Hoofddorp, Talisa Wolters showed by an absolutely great performance to the audience and the judges that she had to be the one to travel to Thailand. Talisa later told us that the moment Robin and Stefan told the finalists about this new pageant in Thailand, she felt that that was hers to win.
From the moment Talisa was crowned Miss Grand Netherlands 2013 she was in instant hit by the fans of the pageant. Blond statuesque Talisa, who measures 1.86m without heals, would be the first semi-finalist for the Netherlands at this new pageant. The pageant was won by Miss Grand Puerto Rico, Janalee Chaparo.
For Talisa this was the start of a very successful pageant career and the same could be said about the Miss Grand Pageant.
Miss Grand International 2014
Winner: Daryanne Lees Garcia, Cuba
After a successful start, 12 Months of Beauty signed for a new year, to send the dutch representative to the second Miss Grand International. Many pageant watchers watched the growth of the pageant and believed that MGI could well be one of the biggest pageants in the world and called it after just one year a grand slam pageant.
Miss Grand Netherlands would be crowned during a final that took place in the van de Valk Hotel Schiphol. Because of the big succes of the 2013 edition, 12 Months of Beauty asked BaroQco Jewelry to design a crown for the winner of the pageant. The design of the crown was absolutely unique and could have been worn by Tsarina’s from the past: The Grand Crown.
The first girl to wear the crown was Francis Everduim from Zwolle, Overijssel. Francis started the preparations for the international pageant immediately and showed so much growth. She was even invited to go to England to be a judge for their national final together with Talisa, Miss Grand Netherlands 2013.
Francis travelled to Thailand with in her suitcases dresses special designed for her by Bjorn Kersten. 12 Months of Beauty and Bjorn started this year a collaboration that is still ongoing.
Francis impressed many by her serine attitude and her great body. The international pageant was won by Miss Grand Cuba, Daryanne Lees Garcia.
Francis would be a finalist for Miss Nederland in 2016 and all were stil impressed by her catwalk.
Francis during the swimwear competition. Lees is the second Miss Grand International.
Miss Grand International 2015
Winner: Anea Garcia, Dominican Republic, replaced by Claire Parker, Australia
From the moment Shauny Bult was a candidate at the Miss Noord Brabant pageant, where she placed 2nd runner-up, Robin and Stefan from 12 Months of Beauty followed her career. In 2015 they asked her if she would be interested to be Miss Grand Netherlands 2015 and represent the Netherlands at the Miss Grand International pageant in Thailand. Miss Bult said yes and the preparations started. From the moment she was announced she was a big favorite to win the third edition of MGI.
During the pageant in Thailand she showed that she was indeed a favorite to win the title. At the preliminary evening wear round she was wearing her big black dress, special designed by Bjorn Kersten. The look was completed by a big necklace from BaroQco Jewelry. Once she entered the stage the whole audience went in a big OOOOH and AAAH. 12 Months of Beauty and Bjorn proofed all wrong who said that a black dress was a big no at pageants.
Everybody was a bit disappointed when Shauny only managed to become a top 20 semi-finalist. We have to keep in mind that this was the third year of the pageant and so far all expectations had been come true. This is already an important pageant. So a top 20 placement is really a very good result. Miss Grand Dominican Republic, Anea Garcia, was crowned Miss Grand International 2015. This would be the third year in a row that a caribbean island would win the grand price. Anea would later be replaced by first runner-up, Claire Parker from Australia. In 2019, Claire was also stripped of her title as she tried her luck at the Miss Universe Australia pageant. Claire would in the end not even make the finals of Miss Universe Australia.
After Miss Grand, Shauny entered the Miss Nederland 2016 pageant. She was a finalist and many believed she would take the crown, but she did not even make the top 3. After a real impressive career, Shauny said farewell to the world of pageants and started to life abroad. Well farewell? in 2022 she came over from Londen to be a judge at the 12 Months of Beauty pageant.
Shauny in her Disney dress. Sawadee
Miss Grand International 2016
Las Vegas, USA
Winner: Ariska Putri Pertiwi, Indonesia
A very prestigious pageant for Miss Grand International in 2016. The pageant would travel and leave Thailand behind. The place to be: the world capital of entertainment, Las Vegas. It’s almost impossible for any international pageant to host its pageant in this magical place. Only pageants who are originally from the USA are able to have the pageant in the Nevada dessert. But Mister Nawat showed again that if you’re really want something you can accomplish it.
The pageant and the finals took place at The Westgate Hotel and Casino. This Hotel became famous because this was the place were Elvis Presley had his famous Las Vegas concerts. The Hotel also played an important role in the James Bond movie, Diamonds are Forever.
12 Monts of Beauty organized a pageant with 4 participants. The 4 got several assignments and during a photoshoot at the Brasa Dance studio’s in Amsterdam, Floor Masselink was crowned Miss Grand Netherlands 2016.
Floor traveled to Las Vegas to represent our country. Las Vegas proved to be a place for entertainment for the Miss Grand International pageant. Miss Grand Sweden broke her leg, Miss Grand Iceland left the pageant a few days for the finals and several girls did not show up during the swimwear preliminary round.
After the preliminary round, many believed that our beautiful Floor could well be a top 20 semi-finalist. She rocked every round and was one of the best dancers in the group. Floor was wearing a white evening dress with over 8000 Swarovski stones all placed by hand by the great Bjorn Kersten.
In the end Miss Grand Indonesia, Ariska Putri Pertiwi, was crowned Miss Grand International 2016. In 2017, Ariska would visit the Netherlands on invitation of Robin and Stefan. She would witness the 4th of may remembrance and the freedom celebrations on may 5th, this in the spirit of the Stop the War and Violence campaign of the pageant. Besides that she also had a meet and greet with the Indonesian community in the Netherlands, as she she is the first girls from Indonesia to win a grand slam pageant, Indonesia, we did it!
Floor would later win the television program Love Island and is an influencer on Instagram nowadays.
Floor wearing the 8000 Swarovskis at he prelims
Miss Grand International 2017
Ho Shi Min city and Phu Quock Island, Vietnam
Winner: Maria Jose Lora, Peru
The pageant returned to Asia. But not to the homecountry Thailand but to Vietnam. The start would be in Ho Chi Min City and the finals would take place on the Island of Phu Quock at the outdoor theatre of the Vinpearl resort.
12 Months of Beauty organized a final for the crowning of Miss Grand Netherlands at the Studio’s Aalsmeer in Aalsmeer. One of the big surprises would be the presence of Miss Grand International 2016, Ariska Putri Pertiwi and the vice president of MGI, Miss Teresa Chaivisut. But due to Visa problems the two had to postpone the visit to the Netherlands. Because of this, Ariska and Teresa would be present at the annual days of remembrance and the celebration of Freedom. This as we wrote above in the spirit of the Stop the War and Violence campaign. Ariska and Teresa also had a meet and greet with the Indonesian community. During the visit the two were hosted by the Indonesian ambassador in his villa in the Netherlands.
At the dutch national finals, it was Kelly van den Dungen who was crowned Miss Grand Netherlands 2017. Kelly had been 2nd runner-up at the Miss Nederland 2016 pageant. So the 2016 edition of Miss Nederland, with Kelly, Shauny and Francis was packed with Miss Grand Netherlands winners.
Kelly started an almost on-dutch way of preparations for the international finals. She took english lessons with the nuns, and trained her body almost 6 times a week with a training schedule from Brian Blijd from Body2Last, who has been the trainer for several dutch grand girls since 2013. She also had very intensive catwalk lessons from Glenda Nijland.
All paid off during the pageant. Kelly was mentioned by many as the face of the pageant and many even believed she could be the first European winner of Miss Grand International.
After the swimwear round and the preliminaries she was on top of all the pre final hot-picks. The excitement was almost unbearable.
Just before the finals would start, big dark clouds came over the Island of Phu Quock. The clouds carried a lot of rain as we witnessed during the finals. Robin and Stefan were very impressed by the whole organization, as on television you could not see that the audience was completely drained and the stage had to be dried during every break.
Like in 2014, there was some disappointment as Kelly only made the top 20. Miss Peru, Maria Jose Lora won the crown. We have to mention that Maria was absolutely the one to beat at this edition of MGI. Like Ariska, Maria would visit the Netherlands the next year.
Kelly would one year later represent the Netherlands at the Miss Supranational pageant and again place as a semi-finalist.
Miss Grand International, Ariska and vice-president of MGI, Teresa, visiting Dachau monument together with Miss Grand Netherlands Kelly and 12 Months of Beauty
Miss Grand International 2018
Winner: Clara Sosa, Paraguay
Myanmar hosted several pageants in 2018, the first one to announce this was Miss Grand International. The country had faced several civil wars and therefore it was the perfect location for MGI to promote the Stop and Violence campaign and to promote the country as a safe holiday destination to visit.
This was back in 2018 ….
In the Harbour Club event centre Vinkeveen in Vinkeveen, Kimberley Xhofleer was crowned Miss Grand Netherlands 2018. But she was not the only girl to travel to Myanmar. Also first runner-up, Safina Barsati, traveled to Myanmar, to represent her birth country, Suriname at the finals. Both girls already participated in several national and international pageants. For both this was their first grand slam pageant.
A few weeks after the final the Netherlands were again honored by the visit of Miss Grand International, Maria Jose Lora and the vice president of MGI, miss Teresa Chaivisut. Maria and Teresa were very impressed when they visited a language school for refugees. On that same day, we were able to get Maria emotional when we had lunch at a local Peruvian restaurant in Amsterdam. At the restaurant, Maria also met with a representative of the Peruvian embassy and some people from Peru including two participants of the Miss Peru Netherlands 2018 pageant. As Robin and Stefan also prepared Miss Grand Suriname, they also paid a visit to a Surinamese restaurant and the monument of abolition of slavery.
The international finals took place in the One entertainment park in Yangon. Many mentioned Miss Grand India as the main favorite to win the pageant. As the pageant was getting bigger and more prestigious, more and more national pageants were organized and the preparations for the international finals became harder and harder. Kimberley and Safina did an absolute great job at the preliminaries, but both did not make the top 20.
The pageant was won surprisedly by Miss Grand Paraguay, Clara Sosa. She made worldwide headlines as she fainted the moment she heard her name being called as the next Miss Grand International. Clara was not mentioned by many as the winner, but Robin and Stefan already noticed her as she was one of girls with a lot of energy and making jokes.
Kimberley, Robin and Stefan after the national finals. Kimberley at the welcome ceremony.
Miss Grand International 2019
Winner: Valentina Figuera, Venezuela
When it was announced that Venezuela would be the host country for the 2019 edition of Miss Grand international, many people reacted with disbelief. But Mr Nawat had his mind set on this South American country, also because he wanted to support the people of Venezuela during a difficult time. Never before a grand slam international pageant was held in this pageant powerhouse country, while the country has won the most international crowns so far. The finals would take place at the Poliedro de Caracas in Caracas, the venue for so many great finals of Miss Venezuela. To show his support to the people, Mr Nawat also invited 10.000 Venezuelans to attend the finals. Days before this took place, the participants handed out these tickets to the public.
Because of the national insecurity in Venezuela, many countries had to deal with travel restrictions and difficult visa issues. Because of this several country’s had to withdraw from the pageant. In the end there were 60 countries represented.
12 Months of Beauty also had some difficulty finding a representative as many girls did want to go to Venezuela or were not allowed by their parents. After Robin and Stefan had a talk with Milou Verhoeks from the Beauty of the Netherlands they asked Miss Beauty of the Netherlands 2018, Margaretha de Jong to represent the Netherlands in Venezuela. She said yes and she started her preparations. Before the pageant started Margaretha was a favorite for a high placement, also because of her pageant history. After the swimwear competition many were impressed by her catwalk. Margaretha had been in training by the 12 Months of Beauty catwalk coach, Glenda Nijland and the training paid off.
This time, Robin travelled alone to Venezuela, because of the unstable situation in the country. Stefan stayed home in case the situation would change and he had to take care of things.
Robin had a great time in Venezuela. He and many were quit disappointed when Miss Grand Netherlands was not called out at the top 20. Miss Venezuela, the very tall and very friendly Valentina, of course the crowd favorite, was crowned Miss Grand International 2019. At the moment the results were announced it seemed that the roof of Poliedro de Caracas came off. During the finals, it was also announced that the 2020 finals would also take place in Venezuela. But at the time of crowning, nobody would know that Valentina would be the longest reigning Miss Grand International to date and the whole world would be on hold.
Margaretha at the welcome ceremony in Caracas.
Miss Grand International 2020
Winner: Abena Akuaba Appiah, USA
What we never could have imagined happened in 2020. it seems that the world stopped turning. Because of the Corona Pandemic everywhere in the world big events were cancelled and there were hardly any flights to anywhere.
So no beauty pageants in 2020. Many national pageants did not know what to do and worried about crowning their queens.
However Robin and Stefan from 12 Months of Beauty started an online pageant to crown 3 queens, including Miss Grand Netherlands 2020. The pageant was a real big success. All the participants had to do online assignments, interviews and received al kinds of online workshops. This all let to 6 finalists who were lucky enough that the Netherlands opened up a little bit so they got some physical workshops and a photoshoot. During the photoshoot, also a fashion show was taped for the online Hollywood Red Carpet Event.
After this many other pageant organizations started online pageants.
Although 12 Months of Beauty planned a live final show, at the end they had to cancel this because the Netherlands was going into another lockdown. There was a online final showed on facebook live. During the finals there were already some rumors that Miss Grand was planning a 2020 pageant in the beginning of 2021.
Suzan Lips was crowned Miss Grand Netherlands 2020 and started her preparations. After a few months we were informed that the 2020 Miss Grand International was going to be held on March 27th 2021 in Bangkok Thailand.
All the participants had to be in quarantine for 2 weeks and after these two weeks, there was an absolutely great and very well organized pageant. During the quarantine time the girls got daily assignments and Suzan did these very well and showed her online skills and creativity as she posted a very great and original photo every day.
Suzan was also chosen to be at the main dance group, so during the opening of the finals the world good see our Miss Grand Netherlands dancing side by side with Valentina, Miss Grand International 2019.
At the end Miss Grand USA, Abena Akuaba Appiah was crowned Miss Grand International, her crowning was very well deserved.
The 6 finalists for Miss Grand Netherlands 2020, with Suzan second from left by Johnny ten Have
Miss Grand International 2021
Phuket and Bangkok, Thailand
Winner: Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien, Vietnam
Many could hardly believe what happened, but then you don’t know Miss Grand International. Just after 9 months after the crowning of Abena, a new Miss Grand International was crowned.
Because of this short period, Robin and Stefan decided not to organize a national pageant for Miss Grand Netherlands 2021, but to appoint their delegate.
They asked Nathalie Yasmin Mogbelzada, who already represented their organization very successfully at Miss Supranational 2019, to be Miss Grand Netherlands 2021. Like in 2019 she was thrilled and very thankful to represent the Netherlands yet again at a grand slam beauty pageant.
Just a week before the girls would leave for Phuket, all covid restrictions were cancelled by the Thai government. So nothing stood in the way for an old fashioned Miss Grand pageant.
The moment Miss Grand Netherlands set foot in Thailand, she started to shine like a real 12 Months of Beauty queen. Where she could take the camera and the microphone she took the opportunity to get into the spotlight and take over the show.
As Nathalie knows a lot about NFTs and as a successful influencer, Nathalie had a real connection with Mr Nawat, president of Miss Grand International.
Many considered her as a contender for the semi-finals, so there was no surprise when she was called out in the top 20. After the finals, Mr Nawat even mentioned that Nathalie was among the 13 girls to be in the top 10.
The pageant was a huge success and Miss Grand showed again, they could make the impossible, possible. Two big finals within 9 months, we are Grand the one and only!
Miss Vietnam won the crown and as the covid restrictions were limited, Tien could travel to many countries al over the world, unlike Abena, who could hardly travel due to the covid pandemic. Therefore Tien is a very popular queen, especially in Asia.
Miss Grand candidates travel in style. Nathalie is dressed by Bjorn Kersten, crown and jewelry by BaroQco.
Miss Grand International 2022 is now on.
Keep an eye on our social media and the social media of Miss Grand Netherlands, 12 Months of Beauty and Marit Beets, to get updated about this year’s pageant.
We Are Grand The One and Only !
Photography: Johnny ten Have
Hair: Sanjay Ramcharan for Addict Haarlem
Mua: Dave Sewtahal for Seductive Glamor
Dress: Bjorn Kersten