And the crown goes to … Miss South Africa. The winner of Miss Universe 2019 is Zozibini Tunzi.
Miss South Africa was crowned by reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray of the Philippines.
Runners up were Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson, who placed second, and Miss Mexico Sofía Aragón, who came in third.
This year’s pageant aired on Sunday, December 8, from Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta and was hosted by Steve Harvey, Vanessa Lachey and Olivia Culpo. Ally Brooke performed at the event, and the all-female judging panel included Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega, Miss America 2018 Cara Mund and actress and Telemundo TV host Gaby Espino.
Four years after accidentally crowning the wrong winner of the competition, Harvey had another teleprompter mishap on Sunday night. The Family Feud host, 62, accidentally introduced the wrong contestant as he announced the winner of the national costume contest. “Here’s a look at the winner, Philippines,” he said, before the actual winner, Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekhon, corrected him.
“OK, well, let me explain something to you. I just read that in the teleprompter. Y’all got to quit doing this to me,” Harvey said as he addressed the show’s producers. “I can read. They said now they’re trying to fix it now. See, this what they did to me back in 2015. Played me short like that. This is Malaysia. I really love this national costume of Malaysia. This is crazy.”
A preliminary round featuring all 90 contestants in their national costumes aired on Friday, December 6, to select the 20 finalists who appeared on the stage on Sunday.
Ahead of the final judging, sportsbettingdine.com predicted that Miss Thailand Paweensuda Drouin, was the favorite to win, with Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados, as the runner-up.
This year, the competition featured its first openly gay contestant, Miss Myanmar Swe Zin Htet. (Last year the event had its first openly trans contestant, Miss Spain Angela Ponce.)
“LGBTQ people in Myanmar do not have equal rights and I want to change that, Zin Htet said told Glamour of coming out. “I feel like if I am open about my sexuality others will open up, too.”
Zin Htet, who has been in a three-year relationship with singer Gae Gae, was not publicly out until November 29, when she posted a pride flag and photos with Gae Gae on Instagram and shared the news in an interview with the Missosology beauty blog.
“I want the world to accept the LGBTQ+ community and their right to choose their own path and pursuit of happiness. Love is the most powerful thing and people fall in love with human beings, not gender,” Zin Htet, who fans have nicknamed “Superman,” told Missosology. “We should always have the freedom of choice and promote equality.”
Same-sex relationships are currently illegal in the country and are punishable with prison time, according to the Myanmar Times.
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