Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, was awarded the crown as Miss Universe at last weekend’s beauty pageant. The 66th annual event was held at The Axis theater on the world-famous Las Vegas strip. The historic night saw a record 92 contestants showcased in the competition.
The massive crowd onstage was matched off stage – a sellout crowd attended the event to see if Miss USA could re-claim the title of Miss America. Unfortunately for the home country’s representative, Kara McCollough, she did not make it beyond the top-ten. Instead, it was Nel-Peters’ crown to wear. She had recently founded the group called ‘unbreakable’ which encourages women to stand up for themselves. The 22-year-old was hysterical on stage as her win capped off a whirlwind year.
Back in June, Nel-Peters was the victim of a terrifying carjacking that took place in Johannesburg. The Sedgefield native told a camera crew at the time that she refused to get back in the car as the burglars demanded. She chose to run out into the street, desperate for help from fellow drivers. She did find help and later had her belongings returned to her courtesy of a security company. Needless to say, the weekend’s title of Miss Universe came at the perfect time for Nel-Peters.
The Axis has housed the competition three times since 2012 – Vegas, in general, has hosted four times in the past seven years with Mandalay Bay the site of the 2010 pageant. The shows were exclusively held in the United States until 1972 after California and Miami Beach played host for twenty years. Unfortunately for America though, the country has only won the crown twice since 1997 – Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island was the last U.S. citizen to win. The location for the 2018 Miss Universe competition has yet to be determined.
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