Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has been crowned Miss Universe, becoming the first Miss South Africa to take this prestigious title since Margaret Gardiner won in 1978.
The 22-year-old from Sedgefield in the Western Cape was tipped to be one of the judge’s favourites from the start of the competition, which took place is Las Vegas and was hosted by Steve Harvey.
Demi-Leigh came out ahead of first runner-up Miss Colombia, Laura González, and second runner-up, Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett.
In the end, the Top 16 comprised four entrants from Asia Pacific and Africa; four from Europe; four from the Americas and four wild cards voted for by the judges.
Watch the emotional moment below:
“I resonate with everything that the Miss Universe organisation stands for, especially empowering women across the globe,” Demi-Leigh said in her acceptance speech.
“I have always tried to be the example of the change I want to see in the world, and this platform will give me the opportunity to make a difference. I hope I have made South Africans proud and that I will continue to do so during my reign.”
Watch Demi-Leigh’s post pageant interview below, where she gets some advice from outgoing Miss Universe, Miss France Iris Mittenaere.
What does Miss Universe win?
According to reports, Demi-Leigh walks away with a year’s salary, an apartment in New York City, lots of travel, and the opportunity to support various charities.
*The 2017 Miss Universe pageant will be screened on Vuzu (DStv Channel 116) on Tuesday, November 28, at 8pm and Saturday, December 2, at 3pm.