All hail the queen! Miss Universe 2017 came to a close yesterday, with Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere passing on her title. She crowns Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa as the winner. She’s only the second South African to win the beauty pageant, ending a 39-year drought for the country.
In case you missed the competition, here are highlights of Miss South Africa’s Miss Universe journey!
Miss Universe 2017 Pageant Experience
Prior to the live broadcast, the Miss Universe competition started with 3 days of pre-pageant activities. There were preliminary interviews, as well as a swimsuit and evening gown presentation. The beauty queens also competed in a national costume presentation. The winner of which was Miss Japan, who wore a day to night type of modern kimono.
22-year-old Demi-Leigh wowed the judges with her beauty, intelligence, and poise throughout the competition. The panel included Ross Matthews, Lele Pons, Jay Manuel, Megan Olivi, Wendy Fitzwilliam, and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
Miss South Africa Nails Miss Universe 2017 Questions
Gender inequality and crimes against women are at the forefront of today’s issues. Demi-Leigh’s Q&A was about the most important issue women face in the workplace. Not only did she give a solid answer, but she even delivered statistics to emphasize her point.
“In some places, women get paid 75 percent of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours, and I do not believe that is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.”
In the Final Word round, Steve Harvey asked, “What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?”
Hear Demi-Leigh’s confident answer below:
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) November 27, 2017
Getting to Know Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
Miss South Africa became one of the early favorites due to her gracious heart and incredible bravery.
Demi-Leigh is Unbreakable
Her self-defense platform came from personal experience when Demi-Leigh went through a kidnapping attempt just a month after winning her Miss South Africa title. This led her to establish a self-defense campaign called Unbreakable, which aims to help women empower themselves and avoid a similar situation.
On Her Greatest Inspiration
Demi-Leigh is a woman with great compassion. When speaking about her biggest motivation, she says it’s her 10-year-old half-sister, Franje. “My half-sister was born without a cerebellum and is completely disabled. She is my biggest motivator and inspiration because her situation makes me realize how special life is and I always want to work twice as hard, enjoy life twice as much so that I can enjoy it for her as well. Therefore each experience I encounter is that much more special.”