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Cherry on top - Coffee Break - 08-09-2006 01:22 PM

[Image: 549000011848101.JPEG]

Melisa “Cherry” Mahapol was crowned this year’s Miss Thailand World.

[Image: 549000011848102.JPEG]

Cherry (middle) with 1st and 2nd runners-up, Yada “Pang” Migellee and Phanasarom “Nik” Khumkij.

Cherry on top

By Rangsan Srirat

09 August 2006

This Nonthaburi native is on her way to Warsaw after winning the Miss Thailand World crown

If there’s one thing that can attract attention in Thailand, it’s a beauty pageant. Women want to win them, and men want to look at the women in them. Melisa “Cherry” Mahapol, a 23-year-old from Nonthaburi province, is the latest to join the ranks of celebrated winners, having been crowned this year’s Miss Thailand World. She’ll represent Thailand in the 56th Miss World beauty pageant that will be held in Warsaw, Poland on September 1 – not to be confused with rival competition Miss Universe. It is a title she hopes will be a stepping stone to stardom, like it was for many other pageant winners in this country before her.

“I hoped and got excited during the contest, especially after it was narrowed down to the final six,” says Cherry, a graduate in agricultural industry technology from the Rajamangala Institute of Technology. “Then I could hardly believe that I actually won the contest.”

As the winner, Cherry receives one million baht, a diamond crown worth 800,000 baht from Princess Diamond, a Nissan Teda saloon car and a series of training courses, including many opportunities in the entertainment field to pursue a career as a singer or actress.

“I plan to further my studies and will use that money to do so in the future,” says Cherry, “I plan to study communication arts because I hope to be an actress or enter the entertainment world so this is a great opportunity.”

Cherry appears to have a charitable side to her as well, expressing her desire to help people – and animals – in need.

“I will give part of the money to Wat Phra Bath Nam Phu, a temple that cares for people infected with HIV\AIDS,” she says. “I will also help maimed and disabled animals.”

Cherry came out on top over the first runner-up, 22-year-old Yada “Pang” Migellee, a student at Chiang Mai University, and the second runner-up, 17-year-old Phanasarom “Nik” Khumkij, a student at Hat Yai University. She was also the winner of the True Fitness “Miss Body Beautiful” award, named during the dress rehearsal on August 4. The Miss Photogenic 2006 award went to 21-year-old Aimthida Paphaphinphong, a student from Rangsit University, following a vote among photographers attending the pageant.

This year’s competition featured the theme “Birds of Feather.” The contest began in May, and 40 contestants were selected in June and then narrowed down to 17 for the final round, which was held at BEC Tero Hall earlier this month.

The pageant was comprised of three well-organized shows that allowed the 17 finalists to preen like peacocks for the judges and an adoring audience. Starting with “Feathery Wishes,” featuring fighting warriors used to represent war and conflict in the world, the 17 angels donned feathery gowns and came onto the stage as the “diplomat” brought peace to the world. The second show was a pleasing-on-the-eyes swimsuit competition, “Feathery Dreams,” in which the contestants strutted around in skimpy two-piece bikinis with transparent silk wraps covering the bottom halves of their bodies, much to the dismay of most male viewers, no doubt.

The pageant moved into the last show, “Angel’s Feathers,” which was the evening gown competition. The finalists floated across the stage one by one for the judging panel before the final six were announced.

But as with all beauty pageants, there comes a time when they have to separate the brains from the beauty. Next came the interview round, which was held in a lively talk-show style and gave the contestants a chance to show their personalities – or what they think the judges want their personalities to be like.

For instance, in one question, the panel asked Cherry: “How would you respond to the sentence, ‘Society goes bad because good people refrain from doing good things and feel discouraged?’”

Cherry answered, “I actually think that our society still has many good people in it. I myself am confident that I am a good person and those I surround myself with, I believe, are good people too. If we have self-confidence and are confident that the people that we are dealing with are good people, I strongly believe that everyone can be a good person without being discouraged.”

Last year’s winner, the Thai-Danish Sindie Sirinya Jensen, crowned Cherry with her diamond headpiece made of an actual Belgian diamond weighing 47-karats.

“My year as Miss Thailand World 2005 has been very exciting and full of impressive experiences,” said Sindie during her farewell speech. “I have had the chance to experience many things, and it has been a very tough year due to all the changes that have occurred in our country. I had the chance to help society and many charities, all of which has taught me to endure, attempt new things and be strong. I have become a more mature person.”

When Cherry heads to Warsaw for the Miss World competition in September, she says she hopes she can show the world what makes Thai women so charming.

“I think Thai women are already affectionate and elegant, just being confident is enough,” she says. “I have self-confidence and show off my skills in front of a large group of people. During the Miss World competition, I want to teach other nations about the beauty of our wai.”

Thai Day

- forwardone - 08-09-2006 01:40 PM

Quote:Cherry on top
Absolutely. Smile

- Coffee Break - 08-09-2006 02:06 PM

np, if anyone wants to bump this thread every now and then Big Grin