Miss France, Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe 2017 on Monday during a glitzy ceremony held in the Philippines.
The 24-year-old dental surgery student from Lille in the north of France outshone 85 beautiful ladies from different parts of the world to clinch the coveted title. Iris, edged out Miss Haiti (Raquel Pelissier), the first runner-up, and Miss Colombia (Andrea Tovar) who emerged as the second runner-up.
Subsequently, a happy Iris said; “I was very surprised I won, I feel blessed.” This was after winning the 65th edition of the annual competition.
On the Miss Universe website, the new queen had said she wanted “to advocate for dental and oral hygiene” if she won.
“Miss Universe was a dream, every girl wants to be Miss Universe…the stage is amazing, everything is amazing,” Iris said.
As Miss Universe 2017, she will be campaigning for dental and oral care around the world.
The top finalists at Miss Universe 2017 include Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Colombia, Philippines, Canada, Brazil, France, Haiti, Thailand and the U.S. The annual pageant was held on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
During the competition which was hosted by TV personality Steve Harvey, the pageant changed its format. This year, there were 12 instead of 13 finalists and online votes were counted from the Miss Universe app and Twitter.
For the most part, Harvey was glad he got the winner right this year without the dramatic mix-up that formed part of last year’s competition.
Steve Harvey who reprised his role as the host of the competition this year, was last year, lambasted for crowning the wrong lady at the Miss Universe pageant. Harvey notoriously announced Miss Colombia as the pageant’s winner when the crown rightfully belonged to Miss Philippines, an error he awkwardly corrected onstage minutes later.
Unfortunately, the world has not forgotten and Miss Colombia (Andrea Tovar) at this year’s competition made sure he knows that.
After telling Tovar, “I want you to marry my son,” Harvey asked her about his reputation in her country, after the drama he caused last year. “I want to just ask this for myself, how do people in Colombia feel about Steve Harvey?”
“You want the truth?” she asked.
“No, just lie to me,” he joked, grimacing.
“A lot of people hate you,” she said. “But I love you!”
She went on to answer the rest of his question in Spanish, to which Harvey joked, “Is that a death threat?”
Like that wasn’t enough torture for Harvey, after Tovar left the stage, the next finalist Harvey had to announce was Miss Philippines (Maxine Medina).
“Oh god, I can’t believe this is happening again, this is crazy” he cried out, greeting Medina with disbelief.