After the 2021 Miss Universe Competition was whittled down to the final two, the winner of the global pageant was announced. This year’s pageant was held live in Eilat, Israel, on Sunday, December 12, 2021.
The three-hour event showcased women from different countries and territories throughout the world as they competed in categories, such as personal statement, swimsuit, evening gown and interview.
The winner of the 2021 Miss Universe pageant was Miss India Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu. If for any reason she cannot continue with the title, Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira will take over as the reigning Miss Universe.
When Ferreira became Miss Paraguay on August 31, 2021, she said it was a “dream come true.”
“I will officially be PARAGUAY to the eyes of the universe,” she wrote on Instagram. “I can’t help it, but to feel so much happiness and joy for this great honor and for the support, I’m already receiving from a whole country, my country!”
“Above all things, I’m grateful to God for allowing me to continue fulfilling my dreams and for blessing me with so much love,” she added.
After the preliminaries concluded, Ferreira said time was flying by.
“I still can’t believe this just happened, days are going so fast that I can’t even realize, that could only be because I’m enjoying this journey! 💓” she wrote. “Thank you, GOD for all these blessings, for this wonderful family, for my mother, my national organization, my team, and all of you who are supporting me from abroad.”
Miss Brazil Julia Gama Was the Runner Up to Miss Universe 2020
If for any reason Miss Universe Andrea Meza of Mexico was not able to fulfill her duties, Miss Brazil Julia Gama would have been called on to fill her shoes.
Last year’s runner up took to Instagram on December 12, 2021 — the day of the 2021 competition — to thank her followers for their support.
“[Seven] months [since] we conquered this Vice Miss Universe track together,” she wrote in Portuguese. “You were relentless in your support and cheering. I couldn’t be anything but grateful for what I’m going through.”
“You will always be in my heart and I hope to always have a little space in yours,” Gama added. “Thank you!”
The Miss Universe Contestants Toured Israel
Leading up to the 2021 pageant, the competitors explored the culture and history of Israel. They got to visit renowned locations, like the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and, of course, the host city of Eilat.
“We in Israel are delighted to host the 70th anniversary celebrations of the iconic Miss Universe
pageant—an event celebrating women’s empowerment, optimism, tolerance and desire for excellence, which crosses every geographical and national border,” Israel’s Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov said in a press release.
While she was in Israel, 2021’s Miss USA Elle Smith said she was having an “amazing” experience.
“Day one out of quarantine and having an amazing time in Israel 🇮🇱💕,” Smith wrote on Instagram. “Feeling ready to take on these next few days at Miss Universe✨.”
In a second post, Smith gushed over everything Israel had to offer.
“Sun, dolphins, music, food and interviews with the local media make for a 10/10 day,” she wrote. “Yesterday, we spent the day at the @dolphin_reef_eilat and exploring the city of Eilat.”
“If you know me, you know that traveling and learning about new cultures is one of my favorite things,” she continued. “So your girl is having the time of her life.”
READ NEXT: Miss Universe 2021 Judges, Host & Performers