South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters crowned Miss Universe 2017

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miss universe winner
Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters reacts after being crowned Miss Universe during the 66th Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood hotel-casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. November 26, 2017. Reuters/Steve Marcus

South Africa representative Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has been crowned the new Miss Universe. A business management degree graduate, she is reportedly set to live in a luxury apartment in New York City for the duration of her reign, with a year-long salary and other prices.

Aired on Fox, the Miss Universe 2017 pageant was held at The AXIS theatre at Planet Hollywood casino-resort in Las Vegas on Sunday. This year’s competition is again hosted by Steve Harvey, who continued to poke fun at his botched Miss Universe 2015 crowning. The representative of Colombia, Laura Gonzalez, is hailed first runner-up, followed by Davina Bennett for Jamaica.

Representatives from Thailand, Ghana, Sri Lanka and South Africa were picked to move forward for the Africa and Asian Pacific region. Women representing Ireland, Croatia, Spain and Great Britain were chosen from the Europe group.

Colombia, Canada, Brazil and the US continued in the pageant for the Americas region. The wild cards went to the Philippines, Venezuela, Jamaica and China.The pageant had bid farewell to 76 contestants after separating them by geographic region for the first time in the show.

Contestants modelled their two-piece bikini before the top ten candidates were picked. US representative Kara McCullough made it to the top ten. Representatives of the Philippines, Canada, South Africa, Venezuela, Spain, Brazil Thailand, Jamaica and Colombia were also called.

As the competitors were narrowed down, the top ten modelled their evening gowns as Grammy winner Fergie sang her new song “A Little Work.” After the evening gown competition, the top five contestants were called for the question-and-answer portion: South Africa, Thailand, Venezuela, Jamaica and Colombia.

The 2017 edition of the pageant had the most contestants ever.

Miss Universe 2017 winner

Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere from France passed the crown to Nel-Peters. The former was hailed as the winner when the pageant took place in the Philippines last year.

Nel-Peters has become the second South African to secure the Miss Universe title. The first was Margaret Gardiner in 1978.

The Miss Universe Organization, also responsible for Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, helms the pageant. The organisation was owned by United States President Donald Trump for almost two decades before selling the company to WME-IMG in 2015.