BALI: Miss Philippines was crowned Miss World 2013 on Saturday in a glittering finale on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, with Miss France coming in second and Miss Ghana third.
Megan Young wept as she won the coveted title in the final in Bali.
The 23-year-old, wearing a pearl white gown, promised to be “the best Miss World ever” in front of a cheering crowd in a venue guarded by heavily armed police and water cannons.
Young, who is studying digital media and also presents TV shows in the Philippines, pledged to “just be myself in everything I do, to share what I know and to educate people”.
Some 127 contestants took to the stage Saturday for the final and they were quickly whittled down to six.
Before the beauty queens took to the stage for Saturday’s final, the audience were treated to a performance by British boy band Blue.
In the weeks leading up to the final, the contestants took part in a series of “challenge” events for which they were awarded points.
These include a “beach fashion” round, which this year saw contestants swap the pageant’s famed bikinis for sarongs in a bid to avoid causing offence in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
The finalists also faced a question-and-answer round from a panel of judges.
A total of 129 contestants had been due to compete in the final but two pulled out at the last minute, according to organisers.
Organisers will breath a sigh of relief that the finale of the three-week pageant passed off smoothly after thousands of Muslims protested across Indonesia in recent weeks, denouncing the beauty pageant as unethical and against Islam.
The demonstrations prompted the government to order the entire pageant be moved from the main island of Java to Bali, where it opened on September 8 and there is little radical influence.
A radical group had pledged to stage protests against the pageant on Saturday.
However, nothing materialised in the end and the groups gathered for a prayer session in Sentul, just outside the capital Jakarta, to express their opposition to the pageant.
Almost 700 police were deployed across Bali to provide security for Miss World, backed by traditional Balinese security personnel wearing sarongs and armed with daggers, according to police.