Thanyachanok "French Fries” Moonninta came away empty-handed from the Miss World pageant on the weekend, but the way she belted out that tune to cruise through the talent segment has us thinking she’s got a great future ahead in showbiz.
The judges were impressed enough with the 22-year-old Thai’s rendition of “The Moon Represents My Heart” – in Mandarin, no less, wowing the mostly Chinese audience in Sanya on Hainan Island on the sultry south coast. But they decided in the end to award the crown to Spanish professional model Mireia Lalaguna Royo.
“Thank you for all the support,” French Fries says to her fans in an interview with The Nation. “I did my best and had a great experience and made some wonderful friends among the contestants.”
One of her new pals is Khin Yadanar Thein Myint, Miss Myanmar World, her roommate and another fluent speaker of Mandarin. “We hadn’t talked at all until our airport transfer in Guangdong, when I heard her speaking Mandarin,” says Miss Fries. “So we started chatting in Mandarin and then the contest organiser put us in the same room at the hotel.
“She’s fluent because her dad runs a jade business in Yangon and has a lot of Chinese customers,” says French Fries, who only recently scored a bachelor’s degree at Thammasat University’s Pridi Banomyong Institute, where Chinese studies were part of her curriculum.
So she and Khin got to spend almost three weeks together in Sanya and became quite close. “We shared everything. She tried my tom yam noodles and I tried her herbal candies. We’d only just met be we got along like old friends.”
French Fries is planning to improve her Mandarin further and pursue a master’s degree in international relations. And we’ll almost definitely be hearing her sing again – she’s in talks with Channel 3 about showcasing her talent.