AceShowbiz - Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios has been crowned the new Miss Universe. The 23-year-old model won the beauty pageant competition which was held at the Jose Adolfo Pineda Arena in San Salvador, El Salvador on Saturday, November 18.
It was a historic win for both Palacios and the competition. The mental health activist was the first-ever Nicaraguan to win the title after bringing her country to the semifinals for the fifth time. Celebrating the win, the official Instagram page of Miss Nicaragua posted, "Thank you @sheynnispalacios_of for bringing this joy to our country!"
Palacios was named the 72nd Miss Universe after edging out Miss Thailand Anntonia Porsild and Miss Australia Moraya Wilson in the top three. In an intense moment, Palacios and Porsild stood on stage with their hands clasped together as the venue descended into darkness with a spotlight on the two finalists.
After a lengthy silence, a voice was heard saying, "Nicaragua!" Palacios was visibly surprised when her name was mentioned out loud, tearing up and holding her shaking hands up to her face as the crowd cheered.
Miss Universe 2022 R'Bonney Gabriel handed over the crown to the new winner, ending her 11-month reign. Miss Thailand was the first runner-up and Miss Australia was the second runner-up. Miss Spain Athenea Perez was chosen as Miss Congeniality, while Miss Phillippines Michelle Dee was selected to win Spirit of Carnival Award.
Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo and Jeannie Mai hosted the show for the second consecutive year, along with Maria Menounos. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Zuri Hall also served as backstage correspondents for the second consecutive time, while John Legend delivered a musical performance.
In her bio, Palacios describes herself as audiovisual producer from Managua, Nicaragua. The communicologist wants to work to promote mental health after suffering debilitating bouts of anxiety herself. Coming from a country where this issue is rarely addressed, she started an accessible initiative called "Understand Your Mind," in which she interviews a specialist on emotional care in her television segments.
She has also produced events and other audiovisual projects on this theme. Her goal in life is to work in the service of humanity, by running a newsroom and producing content and commercials for international brands. In her spare time, she rescues cats and dogs, and loves a good mental game and puzzle.