International

Miss France gets Miss Universe crown 2017, terms win a dream come true

MANILA: A 24-year-old woman from Paris won the Miss Universe crown on Monday, in a three-hour show in the Philippine capital that focused on diversity and overcoming life struggles, besting 85 hopefuls from all over the world.

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Iris Mittenaere, who is pursuing a degree in dental surgery, won the 65th edition of the annual competition hosted for the third time by the Philippines.

“I was very surprised I won, I feel blessed,” said Mittenaere, who had been described on the Miss Universe website as hoping “to advocate for dental and oral hygiene” if she won.

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“Miss Universe was a dream, every girl wants to be Miss Universe…the stage is amazing, everything is amazing.”

She added, “I want to help people, I want to understand people, I want to meet people, that’s why this is a dream for me.”

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Raquel Pelissier of Haiti is the first runner-up, while Andrea Tovar of Colombia placed second runner-up.

Thirteen contestants were picked for the swimsuit round of the finals after a preliminary competition last week, before being pruned to nine for the evening gown segment, and then to six.

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Rounding out the top six were Maxene Medina of the Philippines, Chalita Suansane of Thailand and Mary Esther Were of Kenya.

Steve Harvey returned as show host after a gaffe in the 2015 competition, when he mistakenly announced the wrong winner.

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