Las Vegus (BBN) – After three (long) (but beautiful) hours of pageant histrionics, host Steve Harvey crowned 22 year-old Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss South Africa, as our 2017 Miss Universe.
Out of 92 finalists — the largest ever group of contestants to compete for the title — Nel-Peters won one of the four preliminary judge-awarded finalist spots awarded to contestants from her part of the globe (the somewhat-am0rphous “Africa & Asia Pacific” region), and remained a clear front-runner throughout the live broadcast, from swimsuit round to “final look,” not to mention both of the tricky Q&A rounds now incorporated into the pageant, reports COSMOPOLITAN.com.
During the show, Nel-Peters also shared the story of literally being abducted by car-jackers on the night of being crowned Miss South Africa, and how she channeled the trauma into running self-defense programs for young women in her country.
And she also managed to keep a straight face during Fergie’s performance.
Nel-Peters accepts her crown from her doppelganger, basically — Iris Mittenaere, Miss Universe 2016 (as pictured above). Falling just short in the finale, the first and second runner-ups were Miss Colombia, Laura González, and Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett*, respectively. Miss Thailand, Maria Poonlertlarp, and Miss Venezuela, Keysi Sayago, rounded out the top 5.