During the first portion of the televised Miss Universe 2018 competition, the top 10 finalists took the stage in swimwear in an effort to earn the crown. According to the Miss Universe Competition Rules, this portion of the pageant is meant to showcase the competitors’ “dedication to a healthy lifestyle.”
Though the women have already competed in swimwear and evening gown presentations during the preliminary competition, those scores do not carry over to the top 10. This will be the second time they walk in swimwear in front of the judges, but the women are wearing something different than what they wore during the preliminaries. Matching capes with gold-winged shoulder straps have been added to their coordinated Sirivannavari swim ensembles; the Bangkok-based swim line pays homage to Thailand, where the competition was held.
After the top 20 semifinalists were announced, each woman had to prepare and present a personal statement to the audience and judges. Those personal statements influenced the next cut, from 20 down to 10. Those 10 immediately changed into their swimwear and took the stage, walking the catwalk in their swimsuits of choice. The other 84 national title-holders also walked the runway in their swimwear selections, each having their moment on stage with their sisterhood once again.
Here are the best swimsuit looks from Miss Universe 2018’s top 10:
Miss Universe 2018, Miss Philippines Catriona Gray
Miss Puerto Rico, Kiara Ortega
Miss Canada, Marta Stepien
Miss Thailand, Sophida Kanchanarin
Miss Costa Rica, Natalia Carvajal
Miss Nepal, Manita Devkota
Miss Venezuela, Sthefany Gutierrez (Second Runner-Up)
There were 94 countries represented by tonight’s contestants from around the world, a record for the international pageant. This year, the top 20 were chosen based on their region: 5 came from Africa and Asia Pacific, 5 from the Americas, and 5 from Europe. The final 5 were “wildcards,” meaning the judges were able to choose from any of the remaining contestants. Thailand’s own contestant made the semifinals, as did fan-favorite Miss Philippines. Miss USA was chosen as a wildcard, in spite of controversy earlier this week involving comments she made on social media about fellow competitors.
As the judges seek the 2018 Miss Universe titleholder, the competition rules say “The winner of the competition must be confident. She must understand the values of our brand and the responsibilities of the title. She must have the ability to articulate her ambition. A contestant should demonstrate authenticity, credibility and exhibit grace under pressure.” They add that all of the women competing “embody the modern, global aspiration for the potential within all women.”