The 65th Miss Universe pageant will be held for the third time in Manila, Philippines on January 29, 2017. This is also the second time a reigning Miss Universe from the Philippines will crown her successor in her home country. There are 86 officially registered contestants. The candidates arrived two weeks before the coronation night, a bit shorter period of stay and length of preparations compared to the 1994 Manila hosting. There will be no Misses Greece, El Salvador, and Ireland this year, even after consistently sending bets through the years. Most national pageants either lose their franchises, or fail to hold their own competition or casting calls – while Gabon completely scraps the possibility of joining due to current political turmoil and unrest in the country.
At 6’2, Miss Jamaica Isabel Dalley is the tallest contestant, while Miss New Zealand Tania Dawson is the shortest at 5’5. Only 6 candidates are teenagers, and there are several ladies who are in the ceiling age of 27, including Miss USA Deshauna Barber. Steve Harvey will return as host after the misreading incident of last year's winner. Reportedly, there will be no Filipino telecast judge. At the 1994 hosting, Filipino publishing tycoon and philanthropist Emilio C. Yap was rightfully chosen.
Here are the 15 candidates we have prejudged based on our overall impression of their looks and resumé:
Shannon Harris is the first Miss Barbados Universe in nine years! She is an international model who also works for I Am A Girl – a charitable foundation that inspires teenage girls to make great life choices.
Andrea Tovar is described as goofy, and definitely a knockout beauty from Quibdo who is the second woman of color to become Miss Colombia in 15 years. To date, she is expected to complete the record as the longest reigning Colombian queen in 16 months and 4 days.
Deshauna Barber made history as the first woman actively working in the US Army to be crowned Miss USA. She is the first African-American queen in eight years.
Camila Barraza is an Argentinean-born queen who settled in Kosovo after many years of travelling as a model . She becomes the first ever Miss Kosovo who wasn’t originally born and raised in the said country that was formerly part of Yugoslavia.
This statuesque Nairobi girl has an upcoming novel to be published soon. Mary Esther Were is a Marketing Administrator for CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa whose longterm goal is to establish a foundation that affords accessible rehabilitation for drug dependents.
Zoey Ivory is a professional model and dancer who wishes to assist people who have difficulty reading and learning through books.
Sierra Leone 9.75
Hawa Kamara is the first ever Miss Sierra Leone-Universe! Win or lose, this well-educated girl from Freetown promises to work as an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness.
Dominican Republic 9.75
Rosalba Abreu used to raise cattles and sell pineapples before she was discovered to become a model. She is a volunteer of various charitable foundations.
Cherell Williamson is a champion swimmer, a professional model, a makeup artist, and an entrepreneur who hires hearing impaired women to craft jewelry for her boutique.
Raisa Santana is the first woman of color to be crowned Miss Brazil Universe in 30 years! She is a volunteer for foundations that primarily take care of the elderly, and plans to put up charitable organizations that focus on child adoption.
Sirey Moran is a pageant veteran, having represented Honduras in international pageants at least twice. However, she figured in a controversy when she was threatened to withdraw her crown after a physical altercation with the national pageant organizer over claims of breach of contract and misbehavior. After two months, everything was settled and she was given another chance to retain her right to represent Honduras once again, this time at the Miss Universe pageant.
Chalita Suansane is a budding microbiologist and an active volunteer at a foundation house that helps children who inherited HIV/AIDS from their parents.
Mariam Habach is studying to be a dentist and she particuarly wants to bring the sweetest smiles among children. She currently volunteers in one of the biggest juvenile foundations in Venezuela.
Maxine Medina was crowned as the successor of reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach during the Miss Philippines pageant. She is an in-demand model and also actively working as an interior decorator. She is focused on helping children who cope with cancer and other illnesses.
Tansu Sila Cakir is a nutritionist and a kickboxer on the side. She is focused on helping foundations that build hospitals for children and people with eating disorders.