Kevin Lilliana of Indonesia was crowned Miss International 2017 in Japan today, November 14.

Also hailed as Best Dresser (Best in Evening Gown), Lilliana bested 68 other gorgeous ladies from around the world, including Philippine’s bet, Mariel De Leon who failed to make it to the Final 15. Mariel followed the fate of what people believed is the “curse” of the Mikimoto crown wherein current title holders’ next candidates do not make the cut.

Filipina beauty queen, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa crowned Kevin after the 3.5-hour pageant that was streamed live on YouTube. In her speech earlier in the night, Kylie said her reign gave her a chance to visit 15 countries to advance one of her causes, which is to advance cultural exchange and international understanding. She told her successor, “May you prove to be the best version of yourself during your reign.”

Curacao’s Chanelle De Lau placed first runner-up while one of our top favorites, Miss Venezuela Diana Croce, 20, placed second runner-up.

Third runner-up is Australia’s Grace Bondoc who also won Miss Perfect Body (Best in Swimsuit) while fourth runner-up is Japan’s very own Natsuki Tsutsui who also won Best in National Costume.

Diana Croce Miss Venezuela International 2017
Diana Croce Miss Venezuela International 2017
Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa
Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa

Final 8 include Ecuador’s Connie Jimenez, Laos’ Phounesup Phonnyotha, and United Kingdom’s Ashley Powell.

Completing the Final 15 are:

Slovakia Petra Varaliová
Ghana Abigail Martey
Honduras Vanessa Villars
Finland Pihla Koivuniemi
Panama Darelys Santos
Thailand Ratiyaporn Chookaew
South Africa Tayla Skye Robinson

Miss International 2017 contestants
Miss International 2017 contestants

Prior to announcing the Final 15, this Japan-based pageant announced the winners of each continets and they are:

Miss International Asia 2017 – Korea Seung Woo Nam
Miss International Europe – United Kingdom Ashley Powell
Miss International Americas – Bolivia Carla Maldonado
Miss International Africa – Ghana Abigail Martey
Miss International Oceania – New Zealand Michelle Isemonger

Only two of these five continental queens advanced to the Final 15: United Kingdom and Ghana.

Mariel de Leon represented PH well

Though Mariel didn’t enter even the Final 15, Filipinos believed she represented the Philippines well. Mariel is definitely one of the strongest and prettiest delegate we have sent to international competition by far. We however respect the decision of the organizer not to include the representative from the winning country. Should she was given the chance to be in the Top 15, we believe Mariel could even win a back-to-back for the Philippines.

Here are a few photos of Mariel we snatched from her Instagram account showing how she enjoyed her time in Japan.

Mariel de Leon, Miss International Philippines 2017
Meeting friends. Philippines’ Mariel de Leon with Miss International Indonesia Kevin Lilliana
Mariel de Leon, Miss International Philippines 2017 in Japan
Enjoying Japan, Mariel de Leon poses for this photo with one of Japan temples as the background. She shared this photo in her Instagram account.
Mariel de Leon, Miss International Philippines 2017 in Japan Photo
Mariel de Leon enjoys her time and coffee at an art gallery in Japan.
Mariel de Leon with Kylie Verzosa
Mariel with fellow Filipina, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa
Mariel de Leon in Japan for Miss International 2017
Mariel says she would just make Japan her new home for its stillness, cleanliness and peacefulness.
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