TOKYO, JAPAN – “Thinking about Miss International title, I think it’s not just crown, it’s not just the title, it’s one of the hardest responsibility. As Miss International, I want to send a message of love, peace, and unity.” – Valerie Hernandez consolidated with this speech her triumph as Puerto Rico’s second Miss International crown since 1987 of Laurie Tamara Simpson.
Valerie Hernandez went to Japan with her Miss Teen International 2012 charm, as she was appointed to compete at Miss International 2014 replacing Patricia Quiñones as national first runner up. Patricia Quiñones, Miss Puerto Rico International 2014, abdicated the throne due to personal reasons – opening the doors for a great comeback charm for the Caribbean pearl Puerto Rico.
The 21 year-old Puerto Rican beauty completed a come-from-behind victory over the 72 other contestants during the Miss International 2014 Pageant held at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa in Tokyo, Japan and was named the successor of last year’s Bea Rose Santiago from Philippines.
Stunning ebony beauty Zuleika Suarez of Colombia was 1st Runner-Up (second place) – she was our bet to take it all, while Punta Kulsoontornroot of Thailand repeated her Miss Earth 2013 finish by making it as 2nd Runner-Up. Victoria Charlotte Tooby of the United Kingdom and Milla Rompannen of Finland topped it as 3rd and 4th Runner-Up, respectively.
Completing the Top 10 of Miss International 2014 was Argentina’s Josefina José Herrero, Brazil’s Deise Benicio, Indonesia’s Elfin Pertiwi Rappa, a huge crowd favorite Miss Mexico, Vianey Vázquez, and Miss Panama, Aileen Bernal.
It was a night of surprises indeed as heavy favorite Vianey Vasquez of Mexico failed to advance to the Top 5. But also that Miss Venezuela Michelle Bertolini nor Miss Philippines Bianca Guidotti and Miss Netherlands Shane Bult did not even make the Top 10 – alongside other sash powerhouses in the Miss International pageant like Japan, Spain and Korea didn’t crack to the top either.
Puerto Rico’s victory came as huge surprise because she wasn’t mentioned in any Miss International prediction. Her victory gives hope also to the dark skinned beauties/countries who thought the Miss International doesn’t really pay attention to their preparation or effort. Curaçao came-back this year with Chimay Ramos a former finalist of the Curaçao Next Ambassadors who went forward participating in the Senorita Korsou pageant 2014 – despite we already know her capability, we hoped for a more stellar performance but I think it’s due to her lack of preparation and understanding of the pageant’s tasks.
Special Award winners were Miss Friendship for Colombia, Zuleika Suárez; Miss Internet for Miss India, Jhataleka Malhotra; Best National Costume went to Miss Indonesia, Elfin Pertiwi Rappa; Miss Perfect Body to France, Aurianne Sinacola and Miss Best Dresser to the most awarded delegate of Miss International 2014, Miss Colombia, Zuleika Suárez.
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