Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 Samantha Katie James On Life, Love, And Winning The Crown

A firm believer that you are in control of everything that happens to you, Miss Universe Malaysia 2017, Samantha Katie James, has a strong head on her shoulders. Arielle Yen gets to know what a day in her life is like, her very first thought upon taking home the crown and other standout moments in her career.

At 16, Samantha got her first job as an extra in TV commercials. After finishing school, she knew she wanted more.

Soon after, a friend convinced her to join the Miss Universe Malaysia in 2013, where she emerged eighth. But not winning didn’t deter her. Over the next few years, she signed deals with several modelling agencies in Brazil (she’s half Brazilian) and Dubai, and got her first taste of acting via a main role in the Indonesian movie Kastil Tua.

Last year, she decided to enter the Miss Universe Malaysia pageant once again, and this time triumphed. Naming Miss Universe 2015 winner Pia Wurtzbach as her idol, Samantha was determined to win the Miss Universe crown for Malaysia, one step at a time. We’re so proud of you, Samantha!

Photo: Slip Studio

FEMALE: What does a typical day in your life look like?

Samantha: “Getting out of bed at 7am for a run every day is hard, but I tell myself that if I run now, I’ll not only feel extra good the whole day but also get to grab a drink from the soya bean uncle outside the park before he leaves at 8am! I do cheat though; some days I sleep in for the longest time. I’ve also been spending lots of time with my schnauzer puppy.

I’m actually trying out intermittent fasting right now, where you cycle between periods of fasting and eating. It’s meant to help you improve your health and fitness. Throughout the week, I also work on improving my speech, studying the pageant Q&As (in preparation for the questions they’ll be asking me on stage during the Miss Universe) and training mentally and physically to ensure I’m in top shape for the pageant.”


F: What’s the first thing that popped into your mind when you were announced the winner of Miss Universe Malaysia?

S: “NO WAYYYYYYY!!! Is this for real?!”


F: What would you consider the best part of your career?

S: “Getting to make new friends, travelling the world and trying all kinds of food.”


F: What do you like to do in your free time?

S: “When I’m feeling down, I go for runs. I also love spending time with others and cheering them up (happiness to me is making someone else happy), but I make sure I get to spend time by myself too. I write a lot about what I’m grateful for, what I’ve learnt and my daily goals. I call my diary The Book of Dreams.”


F: As a beauty queen what does ‘beauty’ mean to you?

S: “Being genuine and kind. Everyone is uniquely different, and everyone should try to see the beauty in others – not just on the outside.”


F: What’s your favourite thing about Malaysia?

S: “Definitely our food as well as the diversity in culture! I think it’s great that despite being of different religions and races, we’ve learnt to accept each other and adapt to each other’s cultures.”


F: What’s next for you? Are you working on any new projects?

S: “I’ve been working on charity projects, including one that involves getting free check-ups for underprivileged children. A few months ago, I finished filming a Chinese movie in Chengdu, China; I had one of the main roles and had to speak in Mandarin!”

From the print edition. Text by Arielle Yen.