Representing the United States, Abena Appiah, 27, has been crowned Miss Grand International 2020. She is the first woman crowned in a major international beauty pageant amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2021.
Appiah is a model, singer and philanthropist. She is of Ghanaian descent.
In 2019, Appiah represented Ghana in the 19th edition of Miss Earth, which was held in the Philippines. She finished in the Top 20.
It was not the first time Appiah represented Ghana in an international beauty pageant. In 2014, she represented the African country in the 63rd edition of Miss Universe, which took place in the U.S. but she was unplaced.
Hosted by Matthew Deane, the Miss Grand International 2020 coronation night took place at the SHOW DC in Bangkok, Thailand on the evening of March 27, 2021. It is the eighth edition of the international beauty pageant, which made its debut in 2013 and is based in Thailand.
Including Appiah, a total of 63 candidates competed for the crown. Samantha Bernardo, 27, of the Philippines was first runner-up while Ivana Batchelor, 22, of Guatemala, Aurra Kharishma, 20, of Indonesia and Lala Guedes, 27, of Brazil were the respective second, third and fourth runners-up.
Five former Miss Grand International titleholders served as the judges. They were Janelee Chaparro of Puerto Rico, Daryanne Lees of Cuba, Ariska Putri Pertiwi of Indonesia, Maria Jose Lara of Peru and Clara Sosa of Paraguay, who were crowned in 2013, in 2014, in 2016, in 2017 and in 2018, respectively.
The Top 5 finalists were asked the same question in the question-and-answer portion. There asked to choose between shutting down the country for the safety of the people knowing that the country’s and its economy will be deeply affected or opening up the country to keep the economy running taking the risk of COVID-19 infections and the consequences.
“I believe in proper solutions,” Appiah answered. “Whenever there’s a problem, I believe that we have to sit down and analyze. I will shut down the country because I believe that people come first. The people, my people, if I was the governor, if I was president of the country, I will put my people first. I will do what’s right for my people and by shutting down the country, that will give me the proper time to analyze what is going on and provide for my people so I will shutdown the country.”
Guedes also won Best in Swimsuit while Angela Yuriar, 19, of Mexico was Best in Evening Gown. Batchelor, Ruri Saji, 25, of Japan and Patcharaporn Chantarapadit of Thailand all won Best in National Costume, marking the first time the award was given to three candidates in the competition.
Chivly Liv, 22, of Cambodia was Country’s Choice of the Year giving her an automatic spot in the Top 20. Jasebel Robert, 25, of Malaysia won the Miss Popular Vote Award, which put her in the Top 10.