Miss South Africa crowned Miss Universe 2017

Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations...


PHOTO: AFP



Beauties from across the globe converged in Las Vegas Sunday, where Miss South Africa was crowned Miss Universe. In the pageant's 66th year, nearly 100 women from around the globe - including first-timers from Cambodia, Laos and Nepal - took part.

Contestants were separated into three geographical categories: The Americas, Europe, and Africa and Asia-Pacific. Four women from each of those categories plus four wild card choices made up the Top 16: Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, South Africa, Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Great Britain, Colombia, USA, Brazil, Canada, Philippines, Venezuela, Jamaica and China, reported Us Weekly.

The Top 16 participated in the swimsuit competition, and from there, the judges and voters at home narrowed the group down to 10. Those finalists were Venezuela, USA, Philippines, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Brazil, Colombia, Thailand and Jamaica.

PHOTO: AFP


Colombia was represented by actress Laura Gonzalez and for Jamaica, it was model Davina Bennett who works with deaf students and is working on a new sign language app.

American comic turned TV host Steve Harvey returned to the Miss Universe stage for a third time. In 2015 he made a mistake when he announced the wrong person as winner, resulting in an extremely uncomfortable correction.

During the evening gown competition, in which the Top 10 walked the stage in jaw-dropping dresses in a range of brilliant hues, Fergie performed her song A Little Work. The Top 5, selected after the evening gown portion, were South Africa, Venezuela, Thailand, Jamaica and Colombia.

PHOTO: AFP

The last five were then put to the test with the final question. This gave the women opportunities to voice their opinions on everything from terrorism to social media to sexual harassment. Advancing to the Top 3 were Jamaica, Colombia and South Africa.

The three remaining contestants answered a question about the quality they’re proudest of and how they’d utilise it as Miss Universe. The final look featured an empowering performance from Rachel Platten, singing Broken Glass as the Top 3 walked across the stage one last time before the winner was crowned.

It was Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, who edged out her rivals from Colombia and Jamaica to take the crown.

PHOTO: PHOTO: USA TODAY

Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez was the runner-up and Jamaica’s Davina Bennett came in third.

Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations.Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations.

Nel-Peters was a favorite throughout the night — she described how she survived a carjacking by fighting back against her attacker and used that terrifying experience to help other women. She also spoke out about issues such as equal pay.

PHOTO: PHOTO: US WEEKLY

The current Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere from France, crowned her successor to a din of squeals and cheers.

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