Miss Global India 2016 - Sonam Patel's Journey & Experience at Miss Global 2016

Miss Global India 2016 - Sonam Patel's Journey & Experience at Miss Global 2016

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I am very excited to announce that I made it to the TOP TEN of Miss Global 2016!!

Keep reading for my experience on coronation night.

What a magical night it was - filled with exciting vibes performing on such a large, well lit stage in front of press and judges including Miss Universe 2005, Miss America Nina Davuluri and Manny Pacquiao, and not to mention a very supportive audience!

Following hours and hours of rehearsal and choreography, we commenced the night with our opening number dance - 'Beauty Queen' by Angelo Duo, wearing stunning white dresses that had been custom designed for each one of us. Special thank you to my designer Rex Nicdao!

Following our dance, we walked the ramp, showcasing the traditional gorgeous Filipino gowns, again custom made and unique to each and every one of us contestants. Thank you Rex Nicdao for your design!

As the lights dimmed down for a commercial break, we were ushered off stage to change into our national costumes to compete in this round. What would I have done without my angels Zedrick H Eleponga and Fundador Cardenas Blaza! I had all of 3-5 minutes backstage to change out of my Filipino gown and into a heavy embellished, beautiful Indian Bridal outfit, with hair change and makeup touch up too! Thank you to both of you!!!

As my name was called on stage, I walked the ramp in the dazzling raspberry crystal bridal lengha designed by Ekta Solanki that had been shipped to me from New Delhi. This was my chance to show the world just how proud I am to be Indian, and just how stunning our Indian fashion really is. I walked the stage, representing India in pride - feeling a great sense of gratitude to belong to such a majestic country that resonates love, peace, culture, spirituality and fashion along with its rapidly growing developments. It was amazing to see such a grand display of cultural diversity on stage! I was running on nothing but adrenaline and excitement - I didn't even realise I was wearing and walking in an outfit weighing over 10kg! Ekta - I could not have been happier wearing your gorgeous design - thank you!!

Then, it was time for announcement of the top 20 contestants, based on judging over the full two intensive weeks of competition. We were all called back on stage in our national costumes and I was just waiting in suspense to see if I had made it.

I was so thrilled to hear my name called out - this meant that I was due to compete in all of the rounds to follow on the night of coronation, in order to make it to the top!

There was an explosive energy from the audience and I took a deep breath at that point and felt so blessed for how far I had come in my journey.

To be honest - there wasn't much time to digest the result. As soon as we got off stage,

I had 5 minutes backstage to change out of my outfit and into our sponsored swimwear. Again, Fundador helped me transform looks at lightening speed - I can't even describe to you the rush and madness backstage as we all had all of a few minutes to get ready in time for the next round! Soo as I was changing into my swimsuit, I had Zedrick working on my hair, Funandor armed and ready with my sash and accessories, and the designer putting the piece together! And then it was time to compete - who out of us 20 contestants would make the cut?

I was waiting for my name to be called, and all I could think of was the hours and hours of training and preparation that had gone into the lead up for this competition. Thank you Tenille Zammit for your support! Only thing was the absolute lack of gym and access to my diet over the 2 weeks but hey - here I was, ready to compete in my little bikini, in front of hundreds of people and the media.

As my name got called to walk the ramp, all I could think was... Confidence. You can never grow unless you're out of your comfort zone! And off I went, feeling proud of my achievement so far and just hoping I had an edge over these amazingly gorgeous top 20 contestants!

Following our individual catwalk, were then called on stage and posed in our swimsuit and big smiles as the judges eyed us up and down. It felt like the longest wait as we posed there, waiting for the commercial break to end and the announcement of the top 10 candidates.

As the lights turned back on, the hosts were ready to announce the results. I held my breath just anticipating the judges' scoring.

And there we have it - my name was announced first! I had made it to the top 10!!! I walked to centre stage with the BIGGEST smile and I'm sure the judges could sense my happiness and excitement. Oh the relief. And to think I had been selected as part of the top 10 contestants wearing nothing but a bikini and heels! I felt so proud. These girls are all drop dead gorgeous - many professional models and ex beauty queens. I couldn't be more excited at this point!

The second I stepped off stage, I was pulled into the makeup room as again - just a few minutes of commercial break! This is when I stepped into the beautiful French lace gown designed by Kerby Z. Cardenas. It was exquisite! While Kerby was assisting me, Zedrick transformed my hair from beachy waves into an elegant updo in about 45 seconds! A genius. I had Funandor waiting with my sash and 3 other ladies helping with fitting while my hair and makeup was being done.. If only you were all there to see it! I was then called behind the stage for an interview that was displayed for all of the audience to see live on the large LED screen. They asked me if I had a lucky charm and I said of course! My lucky charm are my parents and are sitting right there in the audience supporting me!! How much luckier could get?! So fortunate to have such lovely and supportive parents who flew across the world to be there for me!!

It was then time to compete in our evening gowns - gosh everyone looked like royalty in their elegant dresses! I walked down the stage feeling so proud and incredibly grateful for all of those people who had been part of my experience that night.

We were then all called back on stage as it was time for the top 10 to be narrowed down to 5!

Though I didn't make the Royal Court, I am extremely proud to have made it this far and almost to the end of the coronation night! Thank you all for following my journey and for all of your support..

Congratulations to the winners - you were all stunning and have done your countries proud! I hope that you will carry forward the Miss Global vision with dignity and honour.

Miss Global 2016 - Miss Ecuador

Runner up - Miss Philipines

2nd Runner up - Miss Australia

3rd Runner up - Miss Czech Republic

4th Runner up - Miss Norway

Thank you to all of the organisers and assistants who made this experience possible! They catered for all of our needs from organising an extensive security through to opening restaurants at midnight when we were hungry, and surprising us with tickets to a resort island for shoots and our swimsuit competition.

I was blown away by the hospitality and respect given to us by the locals - everywhere I turned, I would hear -'Miss India! Miss India!' And they'd rush to have a picture taken with me. They loved my smile, perhaps as it was always a genuine one, purely because I was so happy and proud, and loved every minute of being there.

This has been by far one of the most incredible and memorable years of my life. Thank you to all who have been a part of it!

If I could leave behind one message - always act with integrity, be genuine, express gratitude and trust life. Good things always happen to good people!

My love to all,

Miss India xx

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