By: Throy Catan
NINTY-TWO delegates across the globe gathered for the coronation night of Miss Universe. It was held at The Axis in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fans cheered for their favorite delegate while holding their national flag. Others wore their own sash and crown for this event.
It was hosted by Ashley Graham and (for three years straight) Steve Harvey. Pia Wurtzbach is included in the pageant’s roster of judges along with Ross Mathews, Jay Manuel, Lele Pons, Megan Olivi, and Wendy Fitzwilliam.
Here’s what happened during the pageant:
Sudden changes in the program
Before the pageant starts, there were some changes in the program. Before, they announced first the Top 16 (top 15 are top pick from the judges and 1 from text votes) regardless of their nationality.
Just last week, the organizers of the pageant announced that they pick 4 candidates in each 4 groups: Americans, Europe, Africa & Asia Pacific, and Wildcard.
Here are the Top 16 candidates:
- Sri Lanka
- South Africa
- Great Britain
The newbies and the comeback
According to the host, Steve Harvey，Africa & Asia Pacific is a very special group because there are three new countries from this group joining in the competition: Miss Nepal, Nagma Shrestha; Miss Laos, Souphaphone Somvichith; and Miss Cambodia, By Sotheary.
Not only that, Iraq had finally have its first representative to Miss Universe for forty-five years. Her name is Sarah Idan from Bagdad. According to Miss Iraq, it took a long time to have another representative because of the war happening in her country. This is what she said during the pageant: “I am Muslim, but I also wanna represent Christian, Kurd, Jews anyone who represents my country.”
The last representative of Iraq before Idan was Wejdan Sulyman in 1972. She’s the niece of Kurdish minister, Ali Hyder Sulyman.
Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe. It ends a nearly four-decade long drought for her country in one of the world’s biggest pageants. Margaret Gardiner was the only South African before Nel-Peters who won Miss Universe in 1978. She’s also the first African who won in the said event.
Colombia’s Laura Gonzalez placed first runner-up, Jamaica’s Davina Bennett was second runner-up. The Philippines’ Rachel Peters finished in the Top 10.