Anntonia Porsild impressed everyone with her remarkable performance in Miss Universe 2023. Her grace and humility, the wit that she displayed, and the thoughtfulness with which she answered her questions made her a favorite among audiences and judges alike. Though she couldn’t win the ultimate title, her performance did put the focus back on Thailand and the remarkable history that they have had at one of the biggest pageantry competitions in the world.
Thailand’s recent history at the Miss Universe pageants
With Anntonia Porsild achieving a runner-up position in Miss Universe 2023, Thailand came pretty close to winning the competition that has eluded the country since 1988. Thailand was one of the first countries to have taken the Miss Universe competition quite seriously from the very beginning. They joined in on the competition in 1954 and have always sent a participant to the competition. The country tasted success twice in the history of the competition, first in 1965 and then in 1988 when the winner was from Thailand in both these editions.
In the past few years, the country may not have achieved their desired results at the competition, but in 2023 they came extremely close to just winning the whole thing.
In 2022, Anna Sueangam-iam represented Thailand at the 71st Miss Universe competition. Unfortunately, she failed to place and was not anywhere near the top 10. The same thing happened with Anchilee Scott-Kemmis in the 2021 Miss Universe competition.
In 2020, Amanda Obdam achieved significant success as she was placed as a semi-finalist in the top 10. And it was in 2019, Paweensuda Drouin made a name for herself and her country by finishing in top-5 finalists. Similarly, Sophida Kanchanarin in 2018 was also a top-10 finalist after which she returned to her home country to work as a banker. Maria Poonlertlarp, the contestant from 2017 was also a top-5 finalist solidifying the country’s domination in the event.
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Thailand’s title wins in Miss Universe
Despite coming very close to winning the competition in recent years, Thailand is yet to achieve the heights that it had in the competitions that were held in the 20th century. During that time, Thailand won two Miss Universe titles; one in 1965 and the other in 1988.
Apasra Hongsakula was not just the first Thai woman, but the very first Southeast Asian woman to be crowned Miss Universe in 1965, the 14th edition of the title. She was considered to be a prominent figure in Thailand in the 20th century and was also a successful businesswoman. She also served as the judge of the pageant in 1973 and 1979.
Bui Simon was the second Thai woman to be crowned as Miss Universe in 1988. She was already a philanthropist and social worker, for which she was widely recognized. At the age of 15, she participated in Miss California Teen USA, when she was living in the United States. She placed first runner-up in the competition. Later, after her return to Thailand she was selected to represent the country in 1988’s Miss Universe competition. She was crowned as Miss Universe at the age of 19.
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