LAS VEGAS – South African Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned on Sunday the new Miss Universe after winning the final round of this beauty pageant celebrated in Las Vegas.
The first runner-up was Colombian Laura Gonzalez, and the second was Jamaican Davina Bennett.
This is the second time in the history of the contest that a South African wins the much-desired crown, after the first one in 1978 went to Margaret Gardiner.
The 22-year-old native of Sedgefield on South Africa’s Western Cape received the crown from her French predecessor Iris Mittenaere, who holds the title of Miss Universe 2016.
The 66th edition of Miss Universe pageant introduced for the first time a selection by geographic areas: 4 from Europe, 4 from Asia/Pacific and 4 from the Americas, in addition to four other candidates chosen by the six members of the jury.
Of the 16 finalists, six were eliminated in a first round and 10 were left, among them were Venezuela, Spain, Brazil and Colombia.