“We are going to find a perfect woman to represent Phuket in supporting culture and promoting tourism in Thailand and another countries,” said Chanitnan Tephabutra, the pageant’s PR officer.
“Miss Phuket Universe will also represent the island in the Miss Thailand Universe contest. We’re more likely to have a winner if we prepare early,” she added.
Contestants, who must be Thai nationals, can register for the pageant between February 6 and 12 next year at the JK Modeling and Event Office. The full list of entrants will be announced at Central Phuket Festival on February 13.
The number of entrants will be narrowed down in the second round, from March 20 to 25, with the final round and crowning of Miss Phuket Universe taking place at Central Festival Phuket on March 26.
“The total prize will be worth more than B300,000 baht, and the winner will get a crown of real pearls design by Prima Pearl,” Ms Chanitnan.
Ms Chanitnan noted that stringent background checks will be carried out at an early stage in the contest. “Our committee will screen all entrants carefully in order to avoid any kind of bad behaviour or negative new emerging after the competition.”
Perhaps emphasising this point, two beauty queens joined the launch event. One was Supatra Chucharoen, Miss South East Asia 2012/2013 and the other was Sunnanipa Krissanasuwan, who placed third in the Miss Universe Thailand earlier this year.
Those who follow beauty contests in Thailand may recall that Sunnanipa, better known as Namphet, was stripped of her second-runner-up title on July 21 after risqué photos of here, taken when she was a 17-year-old “pretty girl”, surfaced in social media.
This year’s pageant was filled with drama. Namphet’s resignation followed that of the winner, Weluree “Fai” Ditsayabut, after people criticised her for being too fat, and for posting bluntly anti-Red Shirt comments on her own Facebook page.
The sole survivor of the three, runner-up Pimbongkod “Ellie” Chankaew, is now the reigning Miss Thailand Universe.