Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa was crowned as the new Miss Universe on Sunday, November 26.
Nel-Peters, a 22-year-old business management graduate, beat out 91 other candidates during the finals held in Las Vegas. South Africa last won Miss Universe in 1978.
She succeeded France’s Iris Mittenaere, who was crowned in Manila last January.
In the first question and answer part of the competition, Nel-Peters was asked what the biggest issue facing women around the world is? Her answer got a massive cheer from the crowds:
“Women earn 75% of what men earn doing the same thing. I believe in equal pay for equal work.”
In the last question and answer section for the top three, contestants were asked ‘what quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?’
“As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are. Miss Universe has to overcome her fears and teach others to do the same. And nothing is ever too much to ask for. That is exactly who I am.”
She is the second South African to win the title, the first being Margaret Gardiner in 1978.
Laura Gonzalez of Colombia was 1st runner-up, while Davina Benett of Jamaica was 2nd runner-up.
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) November 27, 2017
Here is the list of winners:
Miss Universe 2017: Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, South Africa
1st runner-up: Laura Gonzalez, Colombia
2nd runner-up: Davina Benett, Jamaica