(UPDATED at 12:16 p.m., Jan. 30, PH time) After more than six decades, France is back in the beauty pageant map after its candidate, Iris Mittenaere, was crowned Miss Universe in Manila on Monday, January 30.
Mittenaere, 24, succeeded Miss Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbach.
Haiti’s Raquel Pelissier was first runner-up while Andrea Tovar of Colombia placed second.
All three candidates were asked the same question: “Name something over the course of your life that you failed at, and tell us what you learned from that.”
Mittenaere answered: “I failed several times in my life. I thought that I failed when my name was not on the list (for casting), but the very next day, I found myself in a new book. When you fail, you have to be elevated and try again. If I do not win the crown, I still had the great honor of being one of the three finalists.”
The new Miss Universe was decided on based on the combined scores from the judges and online voters.
TV personality-comedian Steve Harvey hosted the event with model-designer Ashley Graham.
The judges were: Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres, Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen, Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, editorial director of PAPER magazine Mickey Boardman, Model Cynthia Bailey, and Tony award-winning producer Francine LeFrak.
The Philippines’ Maxine Medina made it as far as the Top 6 where she was also joined by Kenya and Canada.
Mittenaere bested 85 other contestants.
France last won the pageant in 1953 when Christiane Martel represented her country.
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