November 26, 2017 – 10:43 AM – 0 Comments
More by PauletteDemi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss South Africa 2017 is crowned the new Miss Universe by Miss Universe 2016, Iris Mittenaere. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/FoxPictureGroup)
Updated November 26: Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, walked away with the Miss Universe crown Sunday night in Las Vegas, Nev. She was crowned by the reigning Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere, who represented France.
A big part of why Miss South Africa was selected was her answer to the Final Word question. The question posed by host Steve Harvey was: What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?
Miss South Africa responded: “As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are. Miss Universe is a woman who has overcome many fears. By that, she is able to help other women overcome their fears. She is a woman nothing is ever too much to ask of, and I think that is exactly who I am.”
Earlier in the competition, Nel-Peters had revealed, “Literally a month after my crowning I was hijacked and held at gunpoint. I put my hands up, got out of the car, gave him the keys and my phone, and tried to run away. But the guy pulled me back and pushed me into the car, saying, ‘Get in. You’re going with us.’ I took a chance and punched him in the throat and then I ran away. I was able to go to a safe place.”
As a result, she launched the #Unbreakable campaign, which gets specialists in their field together to equip women with the necessary skills to empower themselves.
The runner-up to Miss Universe was Miss Columbia Laura González, 22; and in third place was Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett, 21. Rounding out the Top 5 were Miss Thailand Maria Poonlertlarp, 22; and Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago, 24.
Also finishing in the Top 10 were Miss U.S.A. Kára McCullough, 26; Miss Philippines Rachel Peters, 26; Miss Canada Lauren Howe, 24; Miss Brazil Monalysa Alcântara, 18; and Miss Spain Sofia del Prado, 23.
Miss Japan Momoko Abe, 23, won the National Costume competition.
Originally Posted November 24: The 66th Miss Universe competition will take place on Sunday, November 26 live from The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Close to 100 women from around the globe — from Albania to Zambia — will compete for the chance to become the next Miss Universe. Participating for the first time will be contestants from Cambodia, Laos and Nepal.
The current Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere from France, will crown her successor at the conclusion of the live three-hour event, which will be broadcast live to the East Coast on FOX.
Steve Harvey returns to the Miss Universe stage, marking the third time that the multi-talented personality will host the international competition. Returning as the pageant’s backstage host is model and body activist Ashley Graham. Carson Kressley and Lu Sierra will provide analysis and commentary throughout the three-hour show.
In addition, Grammy-winning singer Fergie will take the stage to provide entertainment, as will pop star Rachel Platten.
This year’s judges include Ross Matthews, Lele Pons, Jay Manuel, Megan Olivi, Pia Wurtzbach, and Wendy Fitzwilliam.
The 66th Miss Universe® competition airs live on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX.
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