Miss Grand International queens Philippines, USA’s casual interaction on stage takes spotlight during coronation night

March 29, 2021 - 1:45 PM
This composite photo shows Miss Grand Philippines Samantha Bernardo and Miss Grand USA Evelyn Abena Akuaba Appiah during the Miss Grand International 2020 coronation night last March 27, 2021. (Screenshot via YouTube/Grand TV; Miss Grand International/Facebook)

The reactions of Miss Grand International bets of Philippines and USA during the coronation night held in Bangkok, Thailand gained traction online over the weekend as some Filipinos were amused by their playful friendship.

Miss Grand Philippines Samantha Bernardo shared a fan-made video of these celebrated scenes on her social media accounts last Sunday.

The video showed how Bernardo playfully and joyfully spanking Miss Grand USA Evelyn Abena Akuaba Appiah, a considered a common Filipino gesture, after the host announced that they are the top two Miss Grand International 2020 candidates.

The clip was edited to add laughing sound effects as it captured the two beauty queens’ friendship candid.

Story behind the casual reaction

Bernardo shared the story behind their now-viral banter on social media.

She also thanked the person who made the funny video and tagged the accounts of Miss Grand International founder and president Nawat Itsaragrisil and Appiah.

“Whoever made this video thank you so much! You all made our day! Here it is, Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil (laugh emojis). Seriously, we all have the most genuine reaction. (crown emoji),” the Filipina beauty queen said.

“People who know me well, that if I am full of joy and happiness, I do this. Haha sorry sister @abenaakuaba (laugh emoji) I was trying to tell her that, ‘I told you Top 2.’ Like what our @kfforcrownandcountry wished for us,” she added.

Appiah was crowned Miss Grand International 2020 while Bernardo finished as the first runner-up.

Othe Miss Grand placers are:

  1. Second runner-up: Ivana Batchelor of Guatemala
  2. Third runner-up: Aurra Karishma of Indonesia
  3. Fourth runner-up: Lala Guedes of Brazil


Bernardo’s fans also found her casual interaction with Appiah during the live broadcast hilarious and very Filipino.

“Teh nawala na yung finesse nila pareho hahaha. Pero deserve naman nila both hahahaha,” one user said.

“Tamang hampas lang kay Ms. Grand USA! (laughing emoji),” another user wrote.

“Samantha did great tonight, even during preliminaries, she’s a head turner. She made us all proud. Hampas palang Pinoy na Pinoy na love it,” another user said.

Content creator Macoy Dubs or Mark Averilla also dubbed the viral scene in his congratulatory post for Bernardo.

Pageant results 

While some were happy with the interaction between Bernardo and Appiah, not everyone was happy with the pageant results.

Some Filipinos argued that only Bernardo’s response to the final question-and-answer portion was backed by science.

“The Miss Grand International was not ready for Sam’s perspective and answer! Miss Philippines deserves higher class pageant,” one user commented.

In the final round, the question raised to the three finalists was: “If there is only one dose of COVID-19 vaccine left and you have to choose who you give it to — either a 15-year-old or a 70-year-old senior citizen — which one would you give it to and why?”

Both Appiah and Guatemala’s Batchelor chose the 15-year-old to receive the COVID-19 jab.

Bernardo chose the elderly patient, which is in line with the priority list of health organizations in the world, including in the Philippines.

“My heart goes to senior citizens because my mom is turning [into a] senior citizen. And I’ve experienced the loss of my dad four years ago, and I cannot afford to lose my mom. My heart goes to them because they are the most vulnerable during this time,” she said.

“A 15-year-old has the stamina to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. And with proper exercise and healthy living, they can live with it,” she added.

Others likened Miss Grand International 2020 coronation night with the Miss Universe 2012 finals. Then Philippines’ bet Janine Tugonon was also crowned the pageant’s first runner-up.