Indonesia’s Kevin Lilliana made history after being crowned as the first Miss International from her country, News18 reported. Teary-eyed, this 21-year-old interior design student and environment advocate was crowned by Kylie Verzosa from the Philippines during the coronation night held at Tokyo Dome City in Japan on November 14.

Over 60 candidates from various countries around the world competed for the title and participated in pre-pageant activities held a few weeks before the final event. Lilliana was also awarded Best Dresser during the show.

Curacao’s Chanelle De Lau was declared first runner-up, while Diana Croce from Venezuela won as second runner-up. Furthermore, Amber Dew from Australia won as third runner-up and Japan’s Natsuki Tsutsui was declared fourth runner-up.

Completing the Top 15 were delegates from Ecuador, Laos, United Kingdom, Finland, Ghana, Honduras, Panama, Slovakia, South Africa, and Thailand. Japan was awarded as Best In National Costume, while Australia’s candidate was declared as Miss Perfect Body.

Winning performance

The ladies competed in various rounds throughout the night. First, they showcased their national costumes that featured the stories of their respective countries. Kevin Lilliana’s national costume was inspired by her country’s traditional medicine.

Called “Mbok Jamu Gendong and the Ancient Secret Potion,” the costume had her carrying a basket filled with real bottles of jamu or one of Indonesia’s traditional medicines, The Jakarta Post reported. It was designed by Annisa Febby.

She paired this with a batik outfit made with floral fabrics and she also wore a headpiece. According to the designer, the dress “features the philosophy of elegance and beauty.”

Aside from her national dress, Lilliana was crowned wearing an aqua-colored gown with sleeves and several embellishments over the fabric.

Called “Thalasa: Mother of Sea,” it was designed by Ivan Gunawan and catapulted her into winning the “Miss Best Dresser” award.

Her winning speech tackled her country’s philosophy, “unity in diversity.” She said, “If I were to become Miss International, I will spread the cultures of accepting and respecting the differences.”

Reactions from fans

The coronation night was also surrounded by Controversies after the results which left Mariel De Leon from the Philippines unplaced.

Many fans were surprised about her exclusion from the Top 15 finalists, despite coming from a country that has constantly placed in Miss International for many years.

This was not the first time that a top performing nation was unplaced in Miss International. During the 2016 edition of the show, Venezuela placed to make it to the semi-finals. This South American country has won the title seven times.

The Philippines has also become a front-runner in the pageant. The country comes in second to Venezuela after winning the title six times.