South Africa Bags its Second Miss Universe Crown with Demi Leigh Nel Peters
Demi Leigh Nel Peters from South Africa was crowned as Miss Universe 2017 in the 66th edition of the Miss Universe pageant, which took place on November 26, 2017 at The AXIS, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. During the conclusion of the pageant, Iris Mittenaere of France passed on her crown to her successor at the end of the event.
Demi Leigh Nel Peters is the second woman from South Africa to win the Miss Universe crown after a long drought of 38 years following Miss Universe 1978, Margaret Gardiner. She defeated delegates across 91 countries to claim the title.
During the same event, Laura González from Colombia was adjudged as the first runner up while Davina Bennett from Jamaica was titled as the second runner up.
In the Final Question and Answer Round, Harvey asked, “What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?” to which Demi answered, “As Miss Universe you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. And Miss Universe is a woman that has overcome many fears and by that she is able to help other women to overconme their fears. She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for and I think that is exactly who I am.”
The grand finale of Miss Universe 2017 was judged by Wendy Fitzwilliam (Miss Universe 1998 from Trinidad and Tobago), Jay Manuel (television host, creative director, and makeup artist), Ross Mathews (television personality), Megan Olivi (Fox Sports 1 host and reporter), Lele Pons (Vine and YouTube personality) and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015 from Philippines).
The show was hosted by Steve Harvey and Ashley Graham, while Fergie and Rachel Platten were the guest performers. Carson Kressley joined runway coach and pageant expert Lu Sierra in the commentary and analysis table throughout the telecast of the grand finale.
Miss Universe 2017- South Africa – Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
1st Runner-Up- Colombia – Laura González
2nd Runner-Up- Jamaica – Davina Bennett
Top 5 Finalists:
Thailand – Maria Poonlertlarp
Venezuela – Keysi Sayago
Top 10 Semi-Finalists:
Brazil – Monalysa Alcântara
Canada – Lauren Howe
Philippines – Rachel Peters
Spain – Sofía del Prado
United States – Kára McCullough
Top 16 Semi-Finalists:
China – Roxette Qiu
Croatia – Shanaelle Petty
Ghana – Ruth Quashie
Great Britain – Anna Burdzy
Ireland – Cailín Toíbín
Sri Lanka – Christina Peiris