Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua was crowned the 2023 Miss Universe at the annual beauty pageant on Saturday night in El Salvador’s capital of San Salvador. Anntonia Porsild of Thailand placed as the first runner-up.
Palacios, 23, is the first contestant from her country to win the pageant in its 72 years, according to E News. The Miss Universe pageant said on its social media her activism will surround mental health, inspired by her own struggles with anxiety.
The other contestants who rounded out the top 10 were second runner-up Moraya Wilson from Australia, Colombia's Camila Avella, El Salvador's Isabella García-Manzo, Peru's Camila Escribens, the Philippines' Michelle Dee, Puerto Rico's Karla Guilfú Acevedo, Spain's Athenea Pérez who was crowned Miss Congeniality and Venezuela's Diana Silva.
Miss Universe 2022 R'Bonney Gabriel of the U.S. presented Palacios with the crown.
This year’s Miss USA, Noelia Voigt, placed in the top 20 of the competition before being eliminated.
Just like in years past, the competition featured a round of swimsuits, evening gowns and elaborate costumes to represent each contestant's country.
There were a few historical firsts in this year’s Miss Universe pageant. Jane Garrett of Nepal was the first “curvy” contestant. Miss Pakistan Erica Robin, who was the first to represent the country in the competition, wore a burkini during the swimsuit competition.
The competition was not overshadowed by the fact that the owner of Miss Universe, Thai firm JKN Global Group, filed for bankruptcy.
The company, which bought the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million in 2022, announced on Thursday that it had submitted a petition for “business rehabilitation” that was accepted by Thailand’s bankruptcy court, according to CNN.
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