South Africa is Crowned Miss Universe 2017

Miss Universe 2017 - Demi-Leigh Nel-PetersDemi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa was crowned Miss Universe 2017, besting 91 other contestants, during the 66th edition of the prestigious beauty pageant’s finals night held at The Axis at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on November 26, 2017. The 22-year-old model and business management graduate from North-West University is the second Miss Universe winner from South Africa, following Miss Universe 1978 Margaret Gardiner.

One of this year’s crowd favorites, Nel-Peters made it to the 16 semi-finalists and eventualy went on to be on the Final 10, Final 5 and Final 3.

During the question and answer segment, Nel-Peters was asked about what she thought was the most important issue regarding women at the workplace. Her reply was:

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. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.

During a pre-taped interview, the Sedgefield, South Africa native talked about how her experience being held at gunpoint made her passionate about training women in self-defense. She plans to bring that passion, along with a self-defense program she helped develop, to the Miss Universe platform.

Miss Universe Complete Results:

Miss Universe 2017:
South Africa – Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

1st Runner Up:
Colombia – Laura González

2nd Runner Up:
Jamaica – Davina Bennett

Top 5:
Venezuela – Keysi Sayago
Thailand – Maria Poonlertlarp

Top 10:
Brazil – Monalysa Alcântara
Canada – Lauren Howe
Philippines – Rachel Peters
Spain – Sofía del Prado
United States – Kára McCullough

Top 16:
China – Roxette Qiu
Croatia – Shanaelle Petty
Ghana – Ruth Quashie
Great Britain – Anna Burdzy
Ireland – Cailín Toíbín
Jamaica – Davina Bennett
Sri Lanka – Christina Peiris

Best in National Costume:
Japan – Momoko Abe

This year’s panel of judges included 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 host and reporter), Lele Pons (Vine and YouTube personality), and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015 from the Philippines). Steve Harvey returned as host while Fergie and Rachel Platten performed.

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