It’s the 2017 Miss Universe Pageant and 92 contestants are hoping to win the crown. Steve Harvey and Ashley Graham are the hosts of the event with Fergie and Rachel Platten as the musical guests. But, let’s get down to what you’re really interested in … the winners. Check out the top 16 contestants as they are announced live. Twelve of these finalists were selected by the Miss Universe Organization and four were chosen by at-home voters as wild cards.
Africa and Asia Pacific
From Africa and Asia Pacific, the first contestant revealed was Miss Thailand. She has a Masters degree in marketing, has recorded an album and is a model. Next up was Miss Sri Lanka, who admitted that she has eight cats at home. She also revealed that she has a cat named Toothless. The next contestant to advance was Miss Ghana. She said that she hopes to laugh throughout the competition tonight. And, next up was South Africa. South Africa has only won the title of Miss Universe once. That wraps up the Africa and Asia Pacific category. Following the first round of finalists, host Steve Harvey joked about a mistake he made in 2015, announcing the wrong contestant as the winner at the Miss Universe pageant.
The first contestant advancing from Europe is Miss Spain and she gave a shout out to all of her family members in Spain. The next revealed contestant was Miss Ireland, who said her grandmother is her biggest fan. The country of Ireland has never won the crown. Also in the top 16 tonight is Miss Croatia and Steve Harvey joked that she is the tallest contestant at 6’1″. This led to an awkward exchange between the two. And lastly was Great Britain to round out the four contestants. Miss Great Britain worked as an empowerment coach for the competition.
Miss Colombia was the first to advance from The Americas tonight and host Steve Harvey asked her to give her best acceptance speech on stage. The country of Colombia has won Miss Universe twice. Next up was Miss USA and USA has only missed being in the top 16 a handful of times in the 66-year long run of Miss Universe. And the next contestant revealed was Miss Brazil, who revealed that she went bald for a year to show that beauty is inside. Miss Canada Lauren Howe was the last of The Americas to be announced. Following this category of finalists is the Wild Cards.
The Wild Cards
Last up is the Wild Card choices, and the first one of them revealed was Miss Philippines, who admitted to being very nervous. And next was Miss Venezuela, who said she was so scared while waiting for the results. Miss Venezuela worked three jobs to pay her way through college. The third wild card contestant to be revealed was Miss Jamaica, who said this is a big moment for her. And finally, the last contestant to round out the top 16 was announced. The last spot goes to … China. In the history of the pageant, China has never won Miss Universe.
When it comes to how the top 16 were chosen this year, the candidates were broken up into four categories, based on location – The Americas, Europe, Africa & Asia Pacific, and the Wild Cards. The wild card contestants were allowed to be from any of the other locations. Four women from each group were able to move into the finals.