AceShowbiz - The new Miss Universe has finally been crowned after a long wait. Postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 69th Miss Universe was held on Sunday, May 16 and aired live from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Contestants from 74 countries and territories were competing for the Miss Universe 2020 title. This year's show marked the Miss Universe debut of Cameroon, who was represented by Kossinda Angele, as well as the returns of Ghana and Russia, represented by Chelsea Tayui and Alina Sanko respectively, which hadn't competed since 2018.
Throughout the three-hour event, the contestants were narrowed down from 74 to 21 and later to 10 before the judges unveiled the top 5. They were Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Jimenez, Miss India Adline Castelino, Miss Peru Janick Maceta, Miss Brazil Julia Gama and Miss Mexico Andrea Meza.
The top 5 made their final statements, before Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi handed over the crown to her successor. Due to the safety protocols, the final two contestants, Andrea and Julia, stood apart while pretending to be holding each other's hands as they held out their breaths to hear the winner.
Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was eventually named the Miss Universe 2020. During her final statement, she was given the topic of changing beauty standards, to which she answered, "We live in a society that more and more is more than advanced, and as we advance as a society, we've also advanced with stereotypes." She added, "Nowadays beauty isn't only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirit, but in our hearts and the way that we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you that you're not valuable."
Miss Brazil Julia Gama is the first runner-up, Peru came in the third place, India was fourth, while Dominican Republic was in the fifth place. Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly also won the Carnival Spirit Award. Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin won Best National Costume, while Miss Bolivia Lenka Nemer was honored with the Impact Award.
This year's Miss Universe pageants was hosted by Mario Lopez and Olivia Culpo, marking the first time Steve Harvey didn't host the show since 2015. In the 69th edition, 19 countries and territories were also forced to withdraw from the competition due to the pandemic.