Brazilian model Marcelo Ohio bested 24 other contestants from 17 countries to capture the jewel-laden crown Nov. 1 at the 9th Miss International Queen transsexual beauty contest.
Ohio’s first-place sash came with 300,000 baht, a World Gems tiara, and a free surgery at a Bangkok plastic-surgery clinic. American Shantell D’Marco finished second and Thailand’s Miss Tiffany Universe Nethnapada Kanrayanon finished third.
Another magnificent show highlighting Chinese tradition receives loud applause from spectators.
The contestants had been performing activities in various areas in Bangkok and Pattaya since Oct. 27 to build camaraderie and help raise funds for the Phravararajatinuddamat Fund for AIDS patients at the Thai Red Cross.
Since the Tiffany Show took its transgender pageant international in 2004, Miss International Queen has steadily gained notoriety around the world. Another Brazilian contestant, Raika Ferraz, won the right to compete in Thailand after winning that country’s first transgender pageant, the Miss T competition, just a week earlier.
Kevin Balot, Miss International Queen 2012 (middle) opens this year’s contest with a majestic show at Tiffany Show, Pattaya.
The contest for the first time also hosted a contestant from Myanmar, something considered unthinkable less than five years ago. Tanya Maung, 28, said the spirit of democracy sweeping through the once ostracized country is giving transgenders freedom to come out of the closet.
Ohio, who has appeared in numerous women’s magazines in his home country, also won the evening gown competition. D’Marco took home 70,000 baht for second place while Nethnapada also won 70,000 and the most-photogenic prize.
Senator Sutham Phanthusak (right), Managing Director of Tiffany’s Show Pattaya Co., Ltd., presents the top award to Miss International Queen 2013 Marcelo Ohio.
Other award winners were Carolina Medina from Spain for Miss Congeniality, the mononymed Arisa from South Korea for Best National Costume, Nur Sajat Fariz from Malaysia for Most Talented, and Anne Patricia Lee of Singapore for the Miss Ripley’s Popular Vote.
Seri Fujinomiya from Japan tries to gain points from the judges during the 10 finalist round.
Somporn Naksuetrong (left), Vice President of the Royal Garden Plaza and Entertainment, presents Miss Ripley’s Popular Vote to Anne Patricia Lee from Singapore.
Angeline Hanum from Indonesia walks confidently in a green gown during the evening gown portion of the show.
Netnapada Kanlayanon, contestant number 9 from Thailand, ‘wais’ the award presenter after winning Miss Photogenic.
Spanish contestant, Carolina Medina (right), smiles for the cameras after winning the Miss Congeniality award.
Nur Sajat Fariz (right), contestant no. 7 from Malaysia, accepts the Best Talent award.
Judges and sponsors take to the stage at the finale of the Miss International Queen 2013 contest.
South Korean Arisa accepts the trophy for Best National Costume.
Miss International Queen 2012 Kevin Balot (behind) places the Miss International Queen 2013 crown on the head of Brazilian Marcelo Ohio.
(L to R) Second runner-up Netnapada Kanlayanon, Miss International Queen 2013 Marcelo Ohio, and First runner-up Shantell D’Marco.
Second runner-up Netnapada Kanlayanon (left) and First runner-up American Shantell D’Marco (right) kiss Marcelo Ohio (central) on the cheek after Ohio won the Miss International Queen 2013 contest.
Alisa Phanthusak (left), Assistant Managing Director of Tiffany’s Show Pattaya Co., Ltd., presents the Best Evening Gown award to Marcelo Ohio (right).
Netnapada Kanlayanon (left), accepts the 2nd runner-up award.
Marcelo Ohio waves to the paparazzi for the first time as Miss International Queen 2013.
Tu Nanthida Kaewbuasai, famous Thai singer, performs one of her popular tunes whilst introducing the 10 finalists.
Kevin Balot, Miss International Queen 2012, throws farewell kisses to the audience before passing the crown to this year’s winner.
(L to R) Judges Peter Malhotra, Managing Director of the Pattaya Mail Media Group and Kathy Heinecke, President of spousal incentive program at Minor International meet up with Sarah and hubby Brendan Daly, GM of the Amari Orchid Pattaya at the beginning of the event.