Beauty titlists from Canada and the Philippines came within reach of winning the 2017 Miss Universe title.
Miss Canada Lauren Howe and Miss Philippines Rachel Peters were among the 92 women from across the world, who competed for the title on November 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Howe and Peters made the Top 10 list in the pageant.
Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, was crowned Miss Universe, edging out her rivals from Colombia and Jamaica.
Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister had been among her great inspirations.
In the pageant’s 66th year, first-timers from Cambodia, Laos and Nepal also took part.
The runner-up was actress Laura Gonzalez of Colombia, who was followed by second runner-up Davina Bennett of Jamaica.
The current Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere from France, crowned her successor.
American comic turned TV host Steve Harvey hosted the event for the third time.
Grammy-winning singer Fergie and pop star Rachel Platten provided the musical entertainment.
In the “Final Word” portion of the competition, Nel-Peters said, “Miss Universe is a woman who has overcome many fears, and by that, she is able to help many women overcome their fears.”
“She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for,” she said. “And I think that is exactly who I am.”
Nel-Peters teaches self-defense courses for women inspired by her own experience.
Also in the Top 5 were Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago and Miss Thailand Maria Poonlertlarp.
Seated on the judges’ tables were Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Hollywood Today host Ross Mathews, fashion correspondent Jay Manuel, top internet influencer Lele Pons, UFC backstage reporter Megan Olivi, hair care/spa products company founder Farouk Shami, and Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam.
Wurtzbach was the third Filipina to win the title of Miss Universe, after Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margarita Moran (1973).
The Philippines’ Peters failed to reach the Miss Universe Top 5, ending her quest for the country’s fourth crown in one of the world’s largest pageants.
Peters is a business management graduate from Camarines Sur.
Canada’s Howe hails from Toronto. Howe is a recent industrial engineering graduate who is working as a project manager, actress, model, sports host, and entrepreneur.
As a self-proclaimed geek, Howe is passionate about using digital tools to develop creative and innovative solutions to problems facing both businesses and people in need.