By Our Reporter
The international competition, hosted by Steve Harvey, featured 80 contestants vying for the tiara. But it went down to the final three — Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane, Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira and Sandu’s Miss India.
Miss South Africa, one of the many contestants pressured by her own government to boycott the controversial pageant to protest Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, was named second runner-up.
When the Bollywood actress Miss India was next announced as the winner, Sandhu fell into joyful tears before taking her first stage walk as Miss Universe.
Miss India, Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned Miss Universe during the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israels southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 13, 2021.
The final Fox telecast minutes on Sunday saw some exciting live TV moments.
Earlier in the show, Harvey had alluded to his Miss Universe 2015 fiasco in which he had announced the wrong winner. In 2015, Harvey named Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, who was really first runner-up, as the winner instead of Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who won the competition.
With Sunday’s competition down to the final two, Harvey referred to Miss Paraguay as “Miss Portugal” seconds before announcing the winner. He quickly corrected the mistake.
Miss USA Elle Smith, 23, a University of Kentucky graduate who works as a broadcast news reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville, made it into the top 10 Sunday night. But Smith was denied a spot in the top five.
As Miss Kentucky, Smith took home the title of Miss USA 2021 at the annual pageant last month in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Prior to Sunday’s Miss Universe pageant, Smith shined the spotlight on the deadly weekend tornados that devastated her home state. “My thoughts and prayers go to those impacted by the tornadoes in western Kentucky. These pictures only show a small part of the damage in this community. Over 70 people are dead, and many more are still missing,” Smith wrote on Instagram, directing readers to fundraising efforts.
Sunday’s contest suffered a last-minute hiccup with the arrival of the omicron variant, which forced Israel to close its borders to foreign tourists late last month.
Most of the Miss Universe contestants were already in the country before the new regulations came into effect. But those who came afterward were given special permission to enter, albeit with a mandatory 72-hour quarantine period.
Throughout the run-up to Sunday’s contest, all contestants were tested for the coronavirus every 48 hours and required to obey strict mask requirements.
Source: Yahoo News