Entertainment From The Editors

And the Miss Universe 2017 Crown Goes to Miss South Africa DEMI-LEIGH NEL-PETERS

Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, has won the Miss Universe 2017 pageant held on Sunday at The Axis at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada, triumphing over first runner-up Miss Columbia Laura González and second runner-up Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett for the coveted $250,000 pearl-encrusted Mikimoto crown.


The 66th annual pageant was hosted by Emmy Award-winning television personality and comedian Steve Harvey along with co-host Ashley Graham, a model by profession who has graced the covers of reputed fashion magazines, including Vogue, Glamour, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar and more.

The 22-year-old Nel-Peters, who hails from the Western Cape Province in South Africa, is a Business Management degree holder from the North-West University in the country.

The final crowning, which was broadcast live, was preceded by three days of preliminary interviews in addition to swimsuit and evening gown presentations involving ninety-two stunningly beautiful contestants from around the world.

The grand event adhered to the familiar pattern of announcing 16 semi-finalists followed by narrowing down the competition to the Top 10 contestants who then competed in swimwear, evening gown, the final question, and the final look.

During the pageant’s Q&A round, when Nel-Peters was asked about the most important issue she thought was facing women in the workplace, the newly crowned stunner from South Africa said:

“In some places, women get paid 75% of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours — and I do not believe that this is right,” she said. “I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.”

First and second runners-up Miss Columbia and Miss Jamaica, respectively, also impressed with their answers in the Q&A round.

“Sexual harassment is a form of abuse and no abuse should be tolerated whether in the workplace or in society,” Bennett said. “I believe that men and women should come together and be professional.”

Before announcing the winner Harvey joked about his much written about super goof-up in 2015 when he inadvertently declared Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez the winner instead of Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. “Be afraid, be very afraid,” he said. While Harvey can joke about it in hindsight, spare a thought for Ariadna Gutiérrez.

Maintaining the tradition of the previous year’s winner crowning the current winner, Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere from France was at hand to crown an ecstatic Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.


In her pre-taped interview, the business management beauty spoke about how her passion for self-defense and training other women in martial arts was aroused when she was held at gunpoint barely a month after winning the Miss South Africa crown.

Miss Colombia, Laura González, 22, the first runner-up has been dedicated to becoming an actress ever since she was sixteen. Having graduated from a performing arts school she relocated to Bogota to pursue the career she has been so passionate about.

West Indian Davina Bennett, 21, the second runner-up is a model and also pursuing a marketing degree at the University of West Indies.

Sunday night’s Top 10 contestants were:

  • Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (South Africa) – Miss Universe 2017
  • Laura González (Columbia) – First Runner-Up
  • Davina Bennett (Jamaica) – Second Runner-Up
  • Maria Poonlertlarp (Thailand)
  • Keysi Sayago (Venezuela)
  • Monalysa Alcântara (Brazil)
  • Lauren Howe (Canada)
  • Rachel Peters (Philippines)
  • Sofía del Prado (Spain)
  • Kára McCullough (United States)

The six judges for Sunday’s final were:

  • 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
  • Pia Wurtzbach – Miss Universe 2015 from the Philippines

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