Miss South Africa crowned as Miss Universe 2019 in USA
Ninety women from across the far corners of the known universe assembled on Sunday for the crowning of a new intergalactic queen. All hail.
Held at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Ga., the 68th annual Miss Universe competition was once again hosted by mustache icon Steve Harvey, with Olivia Culpo (Paradise City) and Vanessa Lachey (BH90210) serving as backstage correspondents throughout the night.
The initial 90 contestants were narrowed down to 20 semifinalists during a closed-door competition prior to Sunday’s three-hour live TV event. And following a series of traditional pageant-style events — including the ever-popular swimsuit and evening gown rounds — this year’s Top 10 was revealed: Colombia, France, Iceland, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Thailand and the United States. (Click here to browse some behind-the-scenes photos of this year’s contestants.)
But only one of those lucky ladies would inherit the crown from last year’s winner, Catriona Gray, who took the stage towards the end of the night to announce her successor. Here’s how the final results shook out: Third place went to Sofia Aragon (Mexico), while Madison Anderson (Puerto Rico) was announced as this year’s runner-up, leaving Zozibini Tunzi (South Africa) as the official Miss Universe 2019. Watch her formal crowning below:
Prior to announcing this year’s winner, Harvey told the audience, “This is always a tough moment for me,” referring back to the time he accidentally announced the wrong Miss Universe in 2015. That ceremony’s rightful winner was Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines, but Harvey mistakenly bestowed victory upon the actual runner-up, Ariadna Gutierrez of Colombia. Apologies were made, and time eventually healed all wounds, but the legendary on-air flub will never be forgotten.
Sunday’s broadcast also featured a special musical performance by Ally Brooke, one of several former Fifth Harmony members currently pursuing a solo career. The MTV Video Music Awards recently gave us another two-fifths of the group, with Camila Cabello and Normani Kordei both taking the stage to perform their respective smash hits. And with Brooke also placing third in the latest season of Dancing With the Stars, we’d say it’s been a pretty good year for the former bandmates.