Miss Mexico Andrea Meza crowned Miss Universe 2021
Miss Mexico Andrea Meza has been crowned Miss Universe 2021 on Sunday in Florida. The night marked the Miss Universe competition's return to television after the much-anticipated pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 26-year-old winner finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.
Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and a panel of eight women determined the winner.
Dressed to the nines in a sparkling gown, Meza turned heads as the gorgeous lady tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time. The Miss Universe 2021 was overwhelmed with emotions when she rushed back for a group hug with the other competitors
She beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th instalment of Miss Universe, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
In the days leading up to the final competition, Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin, who made the top 21, made waves when she used her time in the spotlight to bring attention to the coup in her country.
"Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day," she said during her biographical video, which showed photos of her taking part in the anti-coup protests. "Therefore I would like to urge everyone to speak out about Myanmar."
Moreover, she also won the award for the best national costume: during that competition segment on Thursday, she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that said, "Pray for Myanmar."
Myanmar has been in an uproar since February 1, when the army ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. At least 796 people have been killed by security forces since then, according to a local monitoring group, while nearly 4,000 people are behind bars.
Earlier, the pageant has also drawn criticism for objectifying the contestants but now the competition is focusing more on female empowerment and activism.
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