R’Bonney Gabriel of the United States is crowned Miss Universe

R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss USA, was crowned Miss Universe at 00:45.

On Saturday evening, R’Bonney Gabriel, a fashion designer, model, and sewing instructor from Texas who, according to competition authorities, is the first Filipina-American to win Miss USA, was crowned Miss Universe.

Gabriel closed her eyes and held hands with Miss Venezuela’s runner-up, Amanda Dudamel, during the dramatic unveiling of the winner, then delighted when her name was called.

At the 71st Miss Universe Competition, held in New Orleans, she was presented with a bouquet of flowers, wrapped in the winner’s sash, and crowned with a crown onstage to the sound of thumping music.

On January 14, 2023, Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel competes in the 71st Miss Universe competition at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP courtesy of Getty Images

In the last round of questions for the three finalists, Gabriel was asked how, if she were to win, she would demonstrate that Miss Universe is “an empowering and progressive organization”

“I would use it to be a transformational leader,” she replied, highlighting her work using recycled materials in her fashion design and teaching survivors of human trafficking and domestic abuse to sew. “It is so important to invest in others, invest in our community and use your unique talent to make a difference.”

During the pageant, Gabriel wore a phoenix-inspired red-orange cloak emblazoned with the phrase “if not now, then when.”

Remember to vote for your preferred cape, despite the fact that these delegates are making it difficult to decide!
The 71st #MISSUNIVERSE Competition will be broadcast LIVE on @TheRokuChannel! pic.twitter.com/xVEiKWN75E

15.01.2023 — Miss Universe (@MissUniverse)

Last year, a Thai business mogul and transgender activist paid $20 million to IMG Worldwide LLC, a New York sports and entertainment marketing organization, for the rights to the pageant, which were originally partially held by former President Donald Trump.

Chakrapong “Anne” Chakrajutathib, who controls JKN Global Group Public Co. Ltd., is an outspoken transgender reality television star in Thailand.

Chakrajutathib stated in October, when the acquisition was revealed, that she desired to “evolve the brand for the next generation.”

Gabriel is a former high school volleyball player and graduate of the University of North Texas, according to Miss Universe. According to a brief biography presented on the organization’s website, she is also the CEO of her own sustainable clothing company.

Gabriel stated, “We all have something special, and when we plant those seeds to other people in our life, we transform them and we use that as a vehicle for change,”

According to the competition’s organizers, around 90 contestants from around the world participated in “personal statements, in depth interviews and various categories including evening gown & swimwear.”

People magazine reports that Gabriel is the first Miss USA to win Miss Universe since Olivia Culpo in 2012.

Miss Dominican Republic, Andreina Martinez, came in second.

Gabriela Dos Santos, Miss Curacao, and Ashley Carino, Miss Puerto Rico, rounded out the top five contestants.

Last year’s champion was an Indian woman named Harnaaz Sandhu

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