2020 Binibining Pilipinas Grand, Samantha Bernardo was perfection on stage during the Miss Grand International preliminary competition! Held at the Show DC Hall in Bangkok, the preliminaries featured all 63 candidates performing in their swimsuit and evening gowns…
For the trained eye of this pageant connoisseur, it was quite clear that Samantha’s preliminary performance is arguably the best in this year’s batch. The 5’8″ Filipina stunner delivered a consistently well executed performance from the Swimsuit press presentation, the National Costume show and now the MGI preliminaries.
EVENING GOWN & SWIMSUIT PRESENTATION
The Miss Grand International preliminaries opened with the evening gown competition, a deviation from the usual swimsuit-then-gown prelims by other international pageants. So it wasn’t surprising that most of the ladies opted to wear their hair down for the rest of the evening.
Samantha’s preliminary gown is designed by Louis Pangilinan. At first glance the gown looks like it was inspired by the MGI gold and emerald crown but it is not. It is in fact inspired by the Yellow-throated Leafbird endemic to Samantha’s province, Palawan.
This gown takes inspiration from the small bird with broad wings that is undoubtedly recognizable by its green body color and yellow throat called “Yellow-throated leafbird.” This bird is endemic to Palawan, one of the worlds most beautiful island where Samantha Bernardo grew up. This emerald green-colored gown is hand-embroidered with beads and sequins. Accentuated with gold crystals as a representation of the yellow throat of the bird and feathers from fibers extracted by hand and worked into fine threads woven together in the lower part of the gown. Emerald green shows a woman’s growth, humility, and courage – characteristics that made our queen Samantha grand and awe-inspiring.
Samantha’s gown performance was smooth and glided with class onstage. If she brings the same energy to the finals on March 27th, we believe that she would be a shoo-in for the crown. Her finals night evening gown is designed by Sir Yeye Pantaleon and according to her stylist Sir Kenneth Ramil Yturralde, it is decked with ‘jewels’. And fans know how the pageant loves anything shining, shimmering, and splendid as the song goes…
The swimsuit segment had candidates parading in three different swimsuit designs in multicolored stripes. Thankfully the preliminary swimsuits’ cut was more forgiving for those with less than ideal body figures than the usual 2-piece does.
Samantha’s swimsuit choice was perfect for her body type. The gathers on the waist (although a couple of inches too high) cinched her waist to look smaller and the legs look longer. But what made Samantha’s swimsuit performance is her camera registers. She knew how and when to give good face on camera and it really showed that she was enjoying every minute of the competition.
When we last met Sir Rodgil Flores of the Kagandahang Flores camp, he let us in a secret. He showed us a couple of videos of Binibining Pilipinas Grand Samantha Bernardo’s pasarela training, complete with her perfectly executed choreography, poses and twirl. And what a sight it was.
Her walk is clean, refined, more polished than ever before. Imagine putting together Parul Shah’s stage presence and Liz Clenci’s unparalleled class in Sam’s walk, what a powerful combination. Sir Rodgil said that the aim was to put those two together.
Her choreography also allows for great poses. There are no extra movements, no unnecessary flicks of the hand or feet, everything is where it should be. Best of all, is Samantha starters off her choreography with a grand twirl, an uncomplicated but powerful turn that shows you how much of a performer Sam is onstage. Put these together with a strong stage presence and powerful delivery and Samantha with her banging body will nail a 1-2-3 top finish.
OUR MGI2020 PRELIMINARY FAVORITES
If we are going to name 16 ladies that we think performed exceptionally well in the preliminaries, they would be the following (in random order):
- Philippines, Samantha Bernardo, 27 – arguably the best performer during the prelims
- El Salvador, Luciana Fernanda Martìnez Cienguegos, 20 – underrated but performed quite well
- Guatemala, Ivana Elizabeth Batchelor , 22 – clean performances in both EG and SS
- Brazil, Alaise Clementino Guedes, 27
- Thailand, Nam Patcharaporn Chantarapadit, 22 – her personality jumps off from the screen
- Argentina, Mariana Jesica Varela, 24 – watch out for this lady, she’s not an Osmel Sousa trained beauty for nothing!
- Indonesia, Kharisma Aura Islami, 20
- Panama, Angie Keith, 26 – not a fan of the evening gown but she managed to pull it off (quite literally too!)
- Peru, Maricielo Gamarra Alvarado, 25
- Puerto Rico, Krystal Valentin, 21
- Czech Republic, Denisa Spergerová, 20 – despite a tumble at the evening gown she performed better in the swimsuit round
- Kenya, Irene Ng’endo Mukii, 22 – severely underrated but delivered a strong performance during prelims
- Dominican Republic, Lady Laura Leon Rosario, 27
- Mexico, Angela Michelle Leon Yuriar, 19 – one of the Latinas to beat IMHO
- South Africa, Anronet Roelofsz
- United States, Abena Akuaba Appiah, 27 – she’s always a diva in any pageant she competes in