A new Miss Universe is born. After more than a year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Miss Universe competition was finally held Sunday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Mario Lopez and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, who won the crown in 2012, co-hosted the show, which featured a special performance by Luis Fonsi.
Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and a panel of eight women determined the winner.
After three hours of show, Andrea Meza of Mexico has been crowned Miss Universe. Meza, who has a software engineering degree, beat out out Miss Brazil and Madness seized Mario Lopez at the announcement of the results that he could not refrain from shouting “Viva Mexico!”
Previous winner Zozibini Tunzi fit the crown on Meza’s head and waited to make sure it would stay in place as Meza beamed and took her first walk to the front of the stage.
Tunzi, a public relations professional who became the first Black woman from South Africa to win the contest, had held the title since December 2019.
She won the competition by winning the hearts of the jury and the public during the final statement round. She w was asked to address the topic of changing beauty standards.
“We live in a society that more and more is more advanced and as we have advanced as a society, we have advanced with stereotypes,” she shared via translator. “Nowadays, beauty is not only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirits, but in our hearts and the way we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you that you are not valuable.”
Of passing the torch to her successor, Tunzi said in a statement, “I always knew that my reign as Miss Universe would be unlike any other. While it was nothing like what I had imagined my year to be, this year has opened doors for me I could never have imagined.I am so grateful for the opportunity to connect virtually with people all over the world and elevate the causes I care most about.”
Miss Mexico was crowned Miss Universe, after fellow contestant Miss Myanmar used her stage time to draw attention to the bloody military coup in her country. A few surprises punctuated the evening, thwarting some predictions.
At the end of the day, meet us for a full debriefing of the event.