Miss Nicaragua wins 2023 Miss Universe pageant
The annual beauty pageant concluded on Saturday night in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, with Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua emerging as the 2023 Miss Universe. Thailand’s Anntonia Porsild finished as first runner-up.
With Palacios’ victory, a woman from Nicaragua has won Miss Universe for the first time ever. She had previously competed for Nicaragua in the 2021 Miss World pageant and finished in the top 10 of the 2017 Teen Miss Universe competition.
This year’s Miss Universe featured contestants from 84 different national pageants. The judges consisted of model Halima Aden, Carson Kressley from “Queer Eye,” Avani Gregg, a TikTok influencer, and two previous Miss Universe winners: Janelle Commissiong from Trinidad & Tobago (Miss Universe 1977) and Iris Mittenaere from France.
At the start of the competition on Saturday night, twenty semi-finalists were revealed based on the outcomes of the preliminary round (as well as an international fan poll). Following the swimsuit phase, the number of competitors was reduced to 10, with the removal of Miss Nepal, the first “curvy” woman to go to the semi-finals of the pageant, and Miss Pakistan, the first contender to wear a burkini as their swimwear. The number of participants was once again halved for the evening gown round.
After two rounds of hot subject Q&As, Palacios, Porsild, and Australian Moraya Wilson, the second runner-up, were the only three women still in the running.
In the last round, when asked to describe her ideal persona to spend a day with, Palacios selected the British feminist and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, who lived in the eighteenth century and broke down barriers to “give an opportunity to many women.”