MANILA (PNA) — Miss France Iris Mittenaere was crowned the new Miss Universe on Monday (Philippine time) at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier and Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar finished first and second runners-up, respectively.
Mittenaere’s win ended the country’s 63-year title drought since the victory of Christiane Martel in the pageant’s second edition in 1953.
The top six candidates were Miss France, Miss Kenya, Miss Colombia, Miss Philippines, Miss Thailand, and Miss Haiti.
This year’s pageant started with the announcement of top 13 candidates who competed in the swimsuit segment. The top nine were selected based on the highest average scores from judges and home viewers.
The top 9 candidates competed in the evening gown segment. Eventually, the top six were chosen from scores given in the evening gown portion.
While the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) earlier said that there will only be one question round, a second round of questioning took place. After which, judges and audiences got to make a ‘final look’ at the top three candidates until the winner was announced.
Judges include TV star and former model Cynthia Bailey, Emmy and Tony award-winning producer Francine LeFrak, and editorial director of fashion magazine PAPER Mickey Boardman.
Also in panel of judges are Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen, and Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres.
Miss Universe 2015-Philippines Pia Wurtzbach made her final walk before passing on the crown to Mittenaere.
She expressed gratitude to her family, the Miss Universe organization (MUO), her fans called “Pianatics” and all Filipinos.
Before Harvey announced the final winner, Wurtzbach jokingly provided Harvey with a pair of glasses.
Harvey made it a point not to make a mistake in reading the name of the winner as he did in the Miss Universe pageant in 2015 where he announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez instead of Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach as the next Miss Universe.
The ladies and audiences were serenaded by Grammy-nominated rapper Flo Rida and Grammy award-winning R&B group Boyz II Men. – Azer N. Parrocha/PNA