Philippine Showbiz Today Vol 12 no 3 - Page 4

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Philippine Showbiz Today
February 8 - 21 , 2017
Cover Story

Miss France wins 65th Miss Universe pageant in Manila

Miss Canada lands in Top 9 as Miss Philippines takes Final 6
Within hours of the Miss Universe pageant held in Manila , Miss Canada Siera Bearchell sent out a tweet .
“ Regardless of the outcome , I am so proud ,” Bearchell said on Twitter .
The 23-year-old Bearchell , a law student from Saskatchewan , did not get the crown , but she was among the Top 9 finalists .
Miss France Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe .
The Top 9 that moved to the next round were Mittenaere , B e a r c h e l l , Deshauna Barber of the U . S ., Chalita Suansane of Thailand , Kristal Silva of Mexico , Mary Were of Kenya , Andrea Tovar of Colombia , Raquel Pelissier of Haiti , and Philippines ’ own Maxine Medina .
On Monday ( January 23 ), Mittenaere , the doll-faced dentistry student from France , was crowned as the 65th Miss Universe .
The 24-year-old earned the title after beating 85 other candidates in a grand production staged before a sold-out crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City .
Mittenaere received the Miss Universe Crown from now former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines .
The Philippines ’ hosting of the annual tilt cost $ 14 million , but the government expects huge returns from tourism .
“ I am very surprised . You know , I am always touching the crown and saying ‘ Oh my God , I have a crown on my head .’ It was a big surprise , every step was a big surprise and I wanted to cry at every step . I am very proud and I feel blessed , really blessed ,” gushed the new Miss Universe at her very first news conference shortly after the coronation .
Besides winning the crown ,
Mittenaere was hailed for ending France ’ s 64- year drought in the pageant after Christiane Martel ’ s 1953 win . Moreover , Mittenaere is also the first beauty queen to win Miss Universe from Europe since 2000 .
For these two records alone , Miss Universe 2016 is excited to go home with the good news .
“ I think France and Europe really need [ to win ] Miss Universe because it has been a long time since we won ,” Mittenaere admitted . “ Actually a lot of French people love beauty pageants but they don ’ t really know Miss Universe because our country never wins . But this year , a lot of people from my country , and I think from Europe too , will love Miss Universe more . I am very proud to bring this crown to Europe .”
A native of Lille , France , Mittenaere — admittedly not the strongest contender according to pageant experts who predicted Southeast Asian and Latin American beauties to dominate this year — first caught the judges ’ attention during her strong
The Final Six ready for the interview portion performance on the Preliminary Competition in the same venue .
Her performance in the preliminary swimsuit and long gown competitions landed her a spot in the Top 13 finalists — the eleventh candidate to be called — along with Miss Kenya Scarlet Were , Miss Indonesia Kezia Warow , Miss USA Deshauna Barber , Miss Mexico Kristal Silva , Miss Peru Valeria Piazza , Miss Panama Kety Drennan , Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar , Philippines ’ Medina , Miss Canada Siera Bearchell and Miss Brazil Raissa Santana , Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier and online voting winner Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane .
As scores were reset , Mittenaere strutted confidently in her chosen Yamamaya swimsuit and proceeded to the Top 9 , together with Misses USA , Thailand , France , Mexico , Kenya , Colombia , Canada , Haiti and Philippines .
She advanced further to the Top 6 — leaving behind eliminated candidates from the U . S ., Canada and Mexico — to face the first round of Question and Answer .
Mittenaere said in reply to a final question from pageant host Steve Harvey that she would be honoured if she just landed among the three finalists , but was visibly stunned when she was announced the winner among the field of 86 contestants .
Mittenaere was speechless and put her hands on her face as the outgoing winner from the Philippines , Pia Wurtzbach , crowned her as the crowd erupted in cheers and applause at the packed Mall of Asia Arena by Manila Bay . In her profile , she said she would “ advocate for dental and oral hygiene ” if she takes home the crown .
In the final question to the top three finalists , the candidate were asked to cite a failure in their life and explain what they learned from the debacle .
“ I ’ ve failed several times in my life ,” Mittenaere said without elaborating but added that “ when you fail , you have to be elevated and you have to try again and keep going ... I have failed before but for me this is the great first opportunity .”
Miss Haiti , Raquel Pelissier , a 25-year-old survivor of the devastating 2010 earthquake that destroyed her hometown , was named first runner-up while Miss Colombia , 23-year-old , Andrea Tovar , was second runner-up .
“ I survived the earthquake ,” Pelissier said in reply to the same question , citing the quake the Haiti government estimated to have killed more than 300,000
Miss Universe 2017 Iris Mittenaere of France people and displaced more than 1.5 million others .
“ I felt I was failing myself because I was not living my dreams ... But I chose to be a very positive person , and learned a great lesson from it because if I am here today , it is because I am living my dreams .”
As he closed the ceremony , the American comedian host declared : “ This is Steve Harvey , I got it right ,” referring in jest to his mistaken announcement of Miss Colombia as the winner in the last pageant in Las Vegas more than a year ago that sparked an uproar . ●
Miss Universe Canada 2016 Siera Bearchell