Miss Grand International 4th runner-up 'heartbroken' over exclusion from media tour

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 09 2021 03:57 PM | Updated as of Dec 22 2021 08:53 PM

The fourth runner-up of Miss Grand International 2021 took to social media to reveal her exclusion from the media tour intended for winners of the recently concluded pageant.

In an Instagram post, Jeane Van Dam said a staff member told her that there is no need to stay in Thailand, so she ended up flying home to South Africa the day after the pageant. 

This resulted in her missing the media tour with titleholder Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien from Vietnam and her three other runners-up.

"The night after crowning, I went to a member of the team asking her whether I should change my ticket to stay in Bangkok. She told me that I can go home the next day and there is no need to stay," she said. "So the reason for my return was not my country's borders or COVID-19. I returned because I was told to do so."

"I am heartbroken as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," she added. "And I worked just as hard as the other girls. So to not be part of the media tour and new sisterhood bond is devastating to say the least."

Van Dam made a follow-up post a day later, saying that Miss Grand International and its president, Nawat Itsaragrisil, have addressed the matter. She did not give further details.

The beauty queen said she is looking forward to be "able to turn this into something positive," adding that she will use her title as fourth runner-up to work with the organization. 

"I believe that there is a time for every single one of us and we have to continue to clap for others while we are waiting for our time," she said. 

The Philippines' representative in Miss Grand International, Samantha Panlilio, failed to make it to the Top 20.

This came as a surprise to many Filipino pageant fans, following her impressive performance during the preliminary round of the pageant.

The Philippines has yet to win a Miss Grand International crown.