India’s jinx at Miss Universe continues, French beauty crowned

Roshmitha Harimurthy
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Manila– India’s Roshmitha Harimurthy failed to make it to the top 13 contestants at the Miss Universe 2016 contest, continuing the nation’s dry run at the pageant. France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned at the gala, which featured Indian beauty Sushmita Sen as a judge and interestingly, saw questions being posed on US President Donald Trump.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach crowned the 23-year-old Mittenaere, who was born in the northern French town of Lille, at a glittering ceremony at Mall of Asia Arena here on Monday.

Mittenaere has kept herself busy the last five years by pursuing her degree in dental surgery. She has also been always fond of extreme sports, travelling the world and cooking French dishes.

Roshmitha Harimurthy

Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier was announced the first runner-up while Miss Columbia Andrea Tovar was named the second runner-up at the ceremony, which had former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress Sushmita as one of the judges. Among other judges were Cynthia Bailey, Mickey Boardman, Leila Lopes, Dayanara Torres and Francine LeFrak.

Happy and emotional to be back at the place where she won her crown in 1994, Sushmita said of her idea about a Miss Universe: “This is the moment where a Miss Universe is created. She gives an answer that connects larger consciousness, so a well-spoken Miss Universe is the idea and tonight I can see six of them right there.”

After Sushmita’s victory, it was just Lara Dutta from India who clinched the title in 2000. While Lara had high hopes from Roshmitha, the 22-year-old Bengaluru girl couldn’t make it to the top 13.

The 65th edition of the pageant also raised global issues that need attention, including Donald Trump’s presidency and the ban on refugees. These were part of questions that TV host and comedian Steve Harvey asked the final six contestants.

Harvey asked the contestant from Kenya what she was most excited about and what most concerns her when it comes to the Trump presidency. His next question was for Miss Thailand. “Given today’s worldwide refugee crisis, do countries have an obligation to accept refugees or do they have the right to close their border?” he said.

There was also some entertainment in store when Boyz II Men and rapper Flo Rida performed at the pageant, which was aired live on Zee Cafe.

On a lighter note, the pageant started with Harvey making fun of his embarrassing mistake of announcing the wrong winner in the previous edition.

Prior to the crowning moment, he introduced Wurtzbach who said: “Steve, thank you for making me the most popular Miss Universe.”

Harvey replied with his funny one-liner: “Thank you for making me the most popular host.”

Harvey made headlines after he mistakenly gave the Miss Universe crown to Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez-Arevalo while Wurtzbach was the actual winner, last year. (IANS)


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