The Netherlands did it!
At the 11th finals of Miss Grand International, Miss Grand Netherlands 2023, Melissa Bottema, wrote history at the finals of Miss Grand International, being the first dutch woman to enter the top 10 and become 5th runner up. Finally after 4 times entering the top 20 in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2021 “WE” continued to the second round at the finals, this year. In 2021, Nathalie Mogbelzada just missed the top 10 as she was mentioned by Mister Nawat, the president of MGI, as one of the 13 who were nominated for the second round (top 10).
From the moment Melissa was crowned Miss Grand Netherlands 2023, beating 10 other provincial queens at the finals in Hoofddorp, she was a big favorite among the fans and followers of Miss Grand International. 12 Months of Beauty, the national directors of MGNetherlands, decided after 10 years to organise a national final with provincial Grand queens. This decision proved to be a great one. The dutch pageant was followed by many fans from all around the world.
During the many preliminary activities in Vietnam, her popularity rose to extremes heights and many considered her the best from Europe beating countries like Czech Republic and Spain. Especially at the two swimwear rounds and the press-presentation she made a huge impression on everybody. It showed not only at the hot-picks but also at the many reposts and the tiktok posts. Her “Torpedo” walk (three spins). the “Hair Flip” and the “Look” made the fans shout for more at all the events. As far as we know, Melissa is the first dutch woman to have this kind of international signature walks.
That MGI is becoming one of the most important beauty pageants in the world, one can see at the improvement of the pageant every year by adding new segments to the competition. A new segment of the Miss Grand International pageant, added this year, is the Grand Voice award. Melissa also did a great job at this competition ending in the top 18. Although she missed the top 5, it was already proved that Miss Grand NL could also sing.
Miss Grand Netherlands showed all she could and more at the prelims. After the preliminary her favoritisme stayed and many believed she could even be the first girl from Europe to win the golden crown.
The finals of Miss Grand International 2023 were very impressive. As we can expect the show fast, emotional and probably already one of the best pageants of this year. Melissa had an important part in the opening show. The dutch girls make that special dance group almost every year. Also something we can be very proud about. After the impressive opening, the top 20 was announced. There were some surprises but Melissa making the top 20 was no surprise at all. And again at the final swimwear round show, she showed all of her signatures. While many had difficulties coming down down the stairs in their bikini, Miss Grand Netherlands showed the others how to take these stairs without any problem.
But after this round it became so emotional for the whole dutch delegate and the many fans. Would Melissa make the second round for the first time in history of the Miss Grand Pageant? After the announcement of Miss Grand Myanmar entering the top 10, because she won the populair vote it was Miss Netherlands to be announced as the second top 10 finalist. Everybody screamed their lungs out.
Therefore it would also be the first time the world would hear the “Stop the War and Violence” speech from a Miss Grand Netherlands. The last words of the speech made a huge impact on the audience: “Start teaching our children to love, so that they will only know war from history books”. After this emotional moment, it was time for the final evening gown final. Melissa was wearing a specially designed evening gown at both the prelims and the finals designed by the Vietnamese couturier, Minh Tuan Nguyen couture.
Although Melissa did not make the final 5, the achievement of entering the top 10 was huge for dutch pageantry. She was crowned as 5th runner up and will have to stay in Asia, together with the other 9 finalists including Miss Grand Peru, who won the golden crown. The activities will take place in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.
For Melissa this was a dream come true as she wanted to be a beauty queen from when she was 9 years old.
We want to congratulate her and her whole dutch 12 Months of Beauty team!