This year’s Miss Universe pageant which has been concluded and the winner announced. The show, which comes weeks after the Miss World pageant, was held at the Impact arena in Bangkok, Thailand. The winner for the year being Miss Catriona Grey of Philippines.
The pageant had a 94-candidate haul this year which is the biggest in the pageant’s 66-year-history. This year’s show was hosted by Steve Harvey, who has now hosted the pageant for a third straight year. The show also featured a performance from R&B star, Ne-yo.
This year, the pageant had its first all-female panel of judges.
The esteemed group of women included US-based international fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, and Richelle Singson-Michael, who organised the 65th Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines.
Also in the panel were former Miss Universe winners Porntip Nakhirunkanok of Thailand (who now goes by the name Bui Simon) and Michelle McLean of Namibia who won her crown in Bangkok in 1992, while entrepreneurs Liliana Gil Valetta, Iman Obou, and Janaye Ingram also featured.
The Miss Universe pageant selected semifinalists based on geographical regions. Five delegates were chosen each from the Americas, Europe, and Africa and Asia-Pacific. There were also five wildcard places irrespective of the continent.
Miss Spain, Angela Ponce who became the first transgender woman to reach the global stage, was well recognised and she received a standing ovation from the judges and audience.
This year’s winner was Miss Philippines, Catriona Grey, as she fought off competition from 93 other participants making her just only the fourth Filipino winner in the pageant’s history. Just like any other pageant she received her crown from last year’s winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.
The winner said she hopes to inspire a feeling of being grateful “where negativity will not foster, and the children will have smiles.”
In second place was Nel-Peters’ compatriot Tamaryn Green, who failed to help retain the crown for her country. In third place was Venezuela’s Stefany Gutierrez. The representatives from Vietnam and Puerto Rico who were both popular contenders made up the top 5.