Miss Universe Begins In Atlanta The Election Of Her New Queen

David Villafranca

Atlanta, Dec 7 (EFE) .- Miss Universe 2019 began this Friday in Atlanta (Georgia) the previous competition events and rounds to choose on Sunday the candidate who will wear this year's world crown this beauty pageant.

Ninety women from different countries and territories participate in this occasion to be the successor of the Filipino Catriona Gray, which was crowned in 2018 as Miss Universe.

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Although the grand gala will be held on Sunday, Miss Universe organizes in the previous days a series of events that serve to evaluate and score the candidates.

Thus, on Thursday, interviews took place in which the selection committee was able to speak with each of the contestants.

And on Friday, the young women took the stage in a triple parade of swimsuits, evening dresses and outfits directly inspired by the history, customs and traditions of their countries of origin.

The Marriott Marquis hotel in Atlanta hosted this event attended by hundreds of people as an audience carrying flags, posters, hats and t-shirts with the colors of their countries.

For example, numerous Latinos from Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico or Ecuador were seen, as well as many fans from Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines or Thailand, where these beauty pageants are also very popular.

But, in general, all the candidates had the support of the followers and were allowed to see flags of Albania, Norway, Israel, Namibia and even Curacao, a small island territory that belongs to the Netherlands but that this Friday surprised with an important presence of fans in Miss Universe.

Nick Teplitz led the gala with Catriona Gray, who joked that the question they asked him most during his reign year as Miss Universe was how it is possible to walk well with such high heels.

The ceremony began with the presentation before the microphone of each of the applicants.

Subsequently, the ninety young men paraded in a bikini, with heels and with a large fabric on their backs as a cape.

That long cloth was quite problematic: the representatives of France and Malaysia stumbled and ended up on the ground, although the public encouraged them between applause and shouts to scare them away.

In the second portion of the evening, the contestants paraded in evening dresses.

These two parades were evaluated by a selection committee formed entirely by women and which included Colombian Paulina Vega, who was the winner of Miss Universe in 2014, and Venezuelan actress and model Gaby Espino.

The deliberations of this selection committee will be the key to the election of the twenty semifinalists, although the identity of the young women who go to the next round will not be announced until the televised ceremony on Sunday.

In addition, this year Miss Universe fans will be able to vote online to choose one of those twenty semifinalists.

After the most serious and competitive part of the night, it was the turn of the parade with national costumes, a fragment of the evening much more fun and spontaneous and in which the aspirants looked amazing and colorful sets inspired by their homeland.

In this way, Miss Colombia claimed indigenous women, Miss Bangladesh relied on the typical 'rickshaw' vehicles of her country, Miss Argentina dedicated her dress to the Iguazu Falls, Miss Mexico imitated the Angel of Independence from Mexico City , and Miss Spain borrowed ideas from the architect Antoni Gaudí.

The parade of national costumes also served for the contestants to make claims of various kinds.

Brazil's Júlia Horta, who had opted for a very soccer suit in tribute to Brazilian star Marta Vieira da Silva, claimed the end of sexist violence by showing a banner that read 'Stop Violence Against Women' ('Stop a violence against women ').

Vichitta Phonevilay, who represents Laos in Miss Universe and who chose a striking and huge elephant-shaped ensemble, also showed a sign that said 'Stop Fire, Save Amazon' ('Stop the fires, save the Amazon') .

And Alyssa Boston (Miss Canada) defended the legalization of cannabis with a dress inspired by that theme.

The Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta will host on Sunday the great Miss Universe gala, which will have Steve Harvey as master of ceremonies. EFE

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