South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi wins Miss Universe title

Updated: Dec 09, 2019, 14:09 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Atlanta (US)

The South African contestant beat Puerto Rico's Madison Anderson and Mexico's Sofia Aragon, India's Vartika Singh failed to qualify after securing a spot in Top 20.

Miss Universe 2018 Philippines' Catriona Gray (R) crowns the new Miss Universe 2019 South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi on stage during the 2019 Miss Universe pageant at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Picture/AFP
Miss Universe 2018 Philippines' Catriona Gray (R) crowns the new Miss Universe 2019 South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi on stage during the 2019 Miss Universe pageant at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Picture/AFP

Atlanta (US): South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe 2019 in a televised event in Atlanta on Monday. The 26-year-old Tunzi, who was dressed in a gold, silver and blue gown, is the third winner from South Africa after Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters being declared the winner in 2017.

The 68th edition of the glitzy event that saw contestants from 90 countries was hosted by American comic-TV personality Steve Harvey on stage, and TV host Vanessa Lachey and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo in the backstage, at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

The South African contestant beats Puerto Rico’s Madison Anderson and Mexico’s Sofia Aragon, who settled for first runner up and second runner up titles respectively. Tunzi was crowned by her predecessor Catriona Gray of Philippines.

In the newly-introduced segment of closing segments, Tunzi spoke about breaking stereotypes based on colour and expressed her desire to empower young women. "I grew up in a world where women who look like me with my kind of skin or my kind of hair are not considered to be beautiful, I think that it is time that this stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, then see their faces reflected in mine," she said before being announced the winner of the competition.

India’s Vartika Singh crashed out of the competition after securing a spot in the top 20 and failing to qualify to the top ten.

Apart from the winners, Colombia and Thailand were also among the top five contenders. The 2019 Miss Universe Pageant had 90 contestants who competed in swimsuit, evening gown and on-stage question rounds.

(With inputs from agencies)

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