BEAUTIFUL … Alicia (centre) flanked by second-placed winner Imelda (left) and third-placed winner Ernie. Photos: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: In last Saturday night’s Miss Grand Lundu 2020, 18-year-old rookie, Alicia Johny, emerged as the winner.

The Bidayuh-Iban lass from Desa Wira here bested ten other contestants and bagged RM3,600 worth of prizes, a crown, and a sash.

Despite being in the contest for the crown she was still surprised when her name was called out from among the top six finalists during the coronation night at Penview Convention Centre (PCC) in Demak.

“I’m surprised because I am just 18 years old and this is my first time participating in a beauty pageant. I literally have zero experience, but I have learnt a lot,” said Alicia, who is an ex-student of SMK Jalan Arang.

BEAUTIFUL … Alicia (centre) flanked by second-placed winner Imelda (left) and third-placed winner Ernie. Photos: Ramidi Subari

AJ (her nickname) aspires to be a stewardess and her goal was to make her family always happy with her. As the winner, she wants to make Sarawak proud and promote Lundu in the coming state-level competition.

“I want everyone to know more about Lundu by promoting what the district has to offer to the state and the world,” she said.

Alicia was also awarded the Miss Aura Dara (Natural Face Beauty) title.

She was not sure about her next step, whether to go up to Form 6 or enrol for a diploma or a degree course, as she is still waiting for the results of her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) next month or in April.

Her advice to future pageant contestants was to do what they like and what is right. They must feel that it is worth their efforts.

“You don’t know what blessings might come through taking part,” she said.

With the win, Alicia earned the right to compete in the state-level Miss Grand Sarawak 2020 scheduled to be held here on April 4.

The first and second runners-up were 21-year-old Imelda Neleon Milon and 18-year-old Ernie Voon, respectively. They too will compete in the state-level beauty pageant.

At the end of the night, Miss Grand 2020 state director, Teresa Suli Noel, announced the names of two wildcard contestants — 18-year-old Priscilla Hazel George and 22-year-old Elvieka Chrissy Low. This means they were given a second chance to compete in the state-level contest.

The rest of the finalists were Jeshilla Mingkau (21), Natalie Sharona Hong (22), Narlia Nabella (21), Anita Anyan (20), Melanie Joyce (18), and Evelynn Lesly (22).

The seven subsidiary titles went to Natalie Sharona Hong (Miss Natural Beauty and Miss Popular Vote), Ernie Voon (Best Catwalk); Narlia Nabella (Miss Photogenic), Priscilla Hazel George (Miss Social Media), Jeshilla Mingkau (Best Advocacy), Imelda Neleon Milon (Miss Congeniality).

The competition judges were Miss Grand Malaysia 2019 Mel Dequanne Abar, Mrs Sarawak 2018 Sharon Frederick Asu and #IAmMissGrand Influencer Apple Green Luna.

The finalists were judged on their casual wear catwalk, evening gown catwalk and question-and-answer sessions. They also displayed a local clothing brand, Kamek Clothing, in one of the segments.

The pageant was organised by La Reina Event Management.