MMXXIIISS UNIVERSE

2023 Miss Universe Contestants Gallery


Tom's Page of Miss Universe Mania celebrates 25 years of existence this year in 2023 (This website was born on June 9, 1998) and during the early years, I would post pre-pageant photo galleries of the contestants for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant from 2000-2003. The 2000 contestant gallery was called MU2K (a play on the Y2K phenomenon of the time). The 2001 contestant gallery was called 2001: A Universe Odyssey (a play on the title of the famous 1968 film entitled 2001: A Space Odyssey). The 2002 contestant gallery was called MMIISS UNIVERSE since MMII is 2002 in Roman numerals and finally the 2003 contestant gallery was called MMIIISS UNIVERSE since MMIII is 2003 in Roman numerals so in continuing with the Roman numeral theme, the 2023 contestant gallery will be called MMXXIIISS UNIVERSE since MMXXIII is 2023 in Roman numerals!

The big day for the finals of Miss Universe 2023 is on November 18, 2023 where we will witness the crowning of the new Miss Universe being held in the Gimnasio Nacional José Adolfo Pineda in San Salvador, El Salvador. The gentleman of the Americas is hosting the Miss Universe pageant for the second time in history and we learned the location when El Salvador's president Nayib Bukele made a special appearance to make the announcement during the 2022 Miss Universe pageant which was held on January 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. El Salvador last hosted Miss Universe in 1975 when Finland's Anne Marie Pohtamo won the crown. Who will be the lucky woman chosen this year?!?!



OTHER NEWS
(posted October 22)

There is a paid livestream this year for preliminaries and the national costume show available at https://missuniverse.livebash.com
Preliminaries are on November 15 at 5pm Pacific Time and the National Costume show is on Nov 16 at 6pm Pacific Time.
My first round prethoughts for Miss Universe 2023 will be posted on November 4.

OLDER NEWS
(posted October 9)
You can now vote for your favorite delegate to make the semifinals at missuniverse.choicely.com
Not all of the delegates have been selected as of yet but they have opened it up and also note that this is a paid vote.

(posted September 26)
Rumor has it that the Venezuelan government backed out of hosting Miss Universe 2024 after paying a non-refundable $6 million deposit and some speculate it has something to do with Venezuelan elections happening in 2024 so will it be Thailand hosting in 2024? Current Miss Universe owner, Khun Anne Jakrajutatip hails from Thailand so we'll see what happens!

(posted 2023 September 14)
Some big news broke on September 12. The reigning Miss Universe, R'Bonney Gabriel announced on social media that starting with the 2024 season, there is no longer an age limit so now ALL adult women (be they single, married, with or without children and transwomen) can all compete for their Miss USA state titles or their national titles to get to Miss Universe. 28 years of age used to be the limit but women are delaying getting married and having children to compete in pageants and now they don't even have to do that! Is it business or is it progress/inclusion? I will post an article on this topic in my first round prethoughts of Miss USA 2023 to be posted on September 15!

(posted 2023 September 8)
The CW has been officially named the new network of Miss USA so thankfully we are still on the air. Apparently, Miss Teen USA will be webcast on cwtv.com in the U.S. and the CW app. Confirmed dates of events for both pageants are: Finals on September 29 at 5 pm PST for Miss USA and Miss Teen USA will be September 28.

(posted 2023 September 3)
Khun Anne has mentioned that the host country of Miss Universe 2024 is a Latin country that has more than 1 Miss Universe. Rumor has it that Venezuela might be that country as Raul Rocha was recently seen in Venezuela in talks with government officials there but some others think that it could be Puerto Rico (hosted thrice-1972, 2001, 2002), Mexico (hosted four times-1978, 1989, 1993, 2007) or Colombia (never hosted) but in the rumored maybe pile, it shouldn't be Panama or Dominican Republic since those countries only have 1 Miss Universe. We will learn during the 2023 Miss Universe broadcast which country will host in 2024 similarly to how we saw a special segment during the 2022 Miss Universe pageant featuring Nayib Bukele revealing that El Salvador would host in 2023.
In other news, stock in Khun Anne's JKN Global Group, which owns Miss Universe, recently plunged significantly after the content distribution and airtime media buying company announced it could not fully pay 609 million Thai baht worth of debentures due on September 1, the first lot of its seven tranches of debentures worth 3.36 billion Thai baht. This is causing some to think that the company could go bankrupt but it looks like Khun Anne believes they should recover by the end of the year.
My first round prethoughts for Miss USA 2023 will be posted on September 15 and will feature tributes to two notable people in the Miss Universe world who both passed in away in 2023: Bob Barker (the longest serving host of Miss USA and Miss Universe from 1967 to 1987) and Marisol Malaret-Miss Universe 1970.

(posted 2023 August 3):
Miss Universe has signed a new deal for at least 2023 and 2024 to continue airing on the Roku channel as it did for 2022 (on January 14, 2023) and the Spanish version will air on Telemundo in the United States so it looks like a return to one of the big 4 American networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) may never happen again sadly. We have entered an era where streaming is becoming the norm. A Los Angeles based production company called InventTV, run by Sergio Alfaro will serve as executive producer with Miss Universe president, Paula Shugart and owner, Khun Anne Jakrajutatip.
Also, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA have a date! As we learned last year, the city of Reno, Nevada signed a 3 year deal to host Miss USA and Miss Teen USA from 2022 to 2024 so the venue is no surprise and will once again be held at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

(posted 2023 August 1):
It was announced on August 1 that Crystle Stewart-Miss USA 2008 and her Miss Brand organization will officially be parting ways with the Miss Universe Organization. Crystle served as director of the 2021 and 2022 Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageant but there was some controversy during this period with some of the 2022 Miss USA delegates alleging that there was favoritism towards Texas' delegate, R'Bonney Gabriel who won Miss USA 2022 and subsequently, Miss Universe 2022 but after an investigation was done, the organization found that there was no wrongdoing. There has been no discussion though of Crystle's husband Max allegedly acting inappropriately with some of the contestants but he was not listed in the credits for Miss USA 2022 like he was for 2021 so he was no longer involved. The new director of Miss USA and Miss Teen USA is Laylah Rose Loiczly from Sarasota, Florida who is the founder of Laylah Rose Couture and VIP Pageantry and their website at vippageantry.com has a VIP TV channel which currently shows various pageant-themed videos and their involvement with the Miss Earth system which selects Miss Earth USA who represents the USA at the Filipino-owned Miss Earth pageant so Laylah brings the experience to the table and looks poised to be able to take Miss USA and Miss Teen USA to a higher level so we shall see how it all works out. Also, as of 2023, the Miss America system will have directorship from Robin Ross-Fleming who will now serve as the CEO and president of the Miss America organization. Robin recently directed the Miss Florida USA/Teen USA system so the cherished American pageants of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America all have new directorship so we shall see what these ladies can do for these pageants that have been struggling in recent years.

(posted 2023 July 26):
Did you see that the reigning Miss Universe, USA's R'Bonney Gabriel as well as the 2022 delegates from Bahrain-Evlin Khalifa, Australia-Monique Riley, Iceland-Hrafnildur Haraldsdottir, India-Divita Rai and South Africa-Ndavi Nokeri were in Thailand along with Thailand's Anna Sueangam-iam and Miss Universe 2005, Canada's Natalie Glebova to promote the new Miss Universe beverage with 5 flavors? I totally want to try them all! The new owner of the Miss Universe pageant, Khun Anne Jakrajutatip who heads the JKN Global Group of companies has launched the Miss Universe brand of products and in July 2023, they announced that the new Miss Universe mineral water using fresh spring water from Iceland (which is why Miss Iceland was invited) as well as the new Miss Universe beverage which comes in 5 flavors:
1. Focus: Berry flavor, made with branch chain amino acids to help support cognitive function and focus.
2. Happy: Raspberry & mint flavor, made with Vitamin B complex and calming magnesium for mood and productivity.
3. Fiber +: Pineapple & coconut flavor, fortified with fiber to keep you fuller throughout the day
4. Zen: Green tea & yuzu flavor, made with calming magnesium, L-Theanine, and GABA to ease anxiety and stress.
5. Immune: Lemon flavor, made with Vitamin C and astragalus to boost the immune system.

The beverages are not available yet though as they will be featured in trade shows in various markets around the world in 2024 and we will see if they get picked up by various stores internationally.


Also, there is a Miss Universe skincare line in partnership with Olivia Quido who has been sponsoring the pageant with her skincare products in recent years.



Pictured from left to right: Australia's Monique Riley, India's Divita Rai, Thailand's Anna Sueangam-iam, Khun Anne Jakrajutatip, Olivia Quido, Raul Rocha, Miss Universe 2022-R'Bonney Gabriel, Bahrain's Evlin Khalifa, South Africa's Ndavi Nokeri, Iceland's Hrafnildur Haraldsdottir

Also of note: The 2023 Miss World pageant will be held on December 9 in Mumbai, India. (Update on October 19: No, it won't! There are elections in India in November and December so Miss World has been postponed yet again to March 2, 2024.) This is the second time that India is hosting Miss World after their first time in 1996 in Bangalore. Miss World didn't have a pageant in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid so there have now been more Miss Universe pageants as the 2023 edition is the 72nd Miss Universe pageant whereas the upcoming Miss World pageant in 2024 will be their 71st pageant.

The Miss Universe pageant was broadcast on CBS until 2003 when NBC aired it. FOX aired the pageant from 2015 to 2019 and again in 2021 but the 2020 pageant was shown on a lesser known channel called fyi and the 2022 pageant aired on the Roku channel. American fans were hoping for a triumphant return to a major American network so there is much pressure on the Miss Universe staff to make this happen but... (Update: August 3-For American viewers, Miss Universe will air again on the Roku channel for 2023 and 2024 at least and possibly longer and Telemundo will air the Spanish version...)

Are you excited?!?!?! Is it your country's turn?!?!?!

Who will be crowned MMXXIIISS UNIVERSE (a.k.a. Miss Universe 2023?)
Let's meet the contestants!!!

Albania-Endi Demneri

Albania has never won the crown and their last placement was in 2019 when they made the top 20. Endi was born and raised in Tirana. Could she be her country's first Miss Universe?


Angola-Ana Barbara Da Silva Coimbra

Angola won their only Miss Universe crown in 2011 thanks to Leila Lopes and this was also the last time Angola placed. Will Barbara be able to bring Angola back in a big way?


Argentina-Yamile Luján Dajud

The land of tango and Evita Peron last placed for 2020 and they won their only Miss Universe crown back in 1962 thanks to Norma Nolan. Now, we have Yamile with a chance to recapture the glory for her nation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia and she has previously competed for the official Miss Colombia crown in 2021 placing as 4th runner up. Yamile is also well-travelled and multilingual so will Yamile use these skills to her advantage and capture her nation's second Miss Universe crown?


Aruba-Karol Croes

The one happy island has yet to capture the Miss Universe crown but they have come close with a 1st runner up finish in 1996 thanks to Taryn Mansell and a 4th runner up finish in 1974 with Maureen Vieira. Will Karol get another placement for Aruba following their last placement in the top 10 for 2021?


Australia-Moraya Wilson

Moraya is very athletic being a sports coach who holds a Bachelor of Business Marketing Degree from RMIT University in Melbourne. The land down under has captured the Miss Universe crown twice thanks to Kerry Wells in 1972 and Jennifer Hawkins in 2004 and with Australia placing last year, will Moraya keep the streak going and possibly get the Aussies another Miss Universe crown??


Bahamas-Melissa Ingraham

It looks like they've done away with this THE Bahamas business... The archipelago of nearly 700 coral islands, around 30 of which are inhabited located in the West Atlantic Ocean actually placed for the first time in history in 2021 finishing among the top 10 and they also hosted the 2009 Miss Universe pageant. Melissa is an environmental scientist currently pursuing her Master's of Science in Climate Change at Maynooth University in Ireland. Will Melissa's advocacy impress the judges and get THE Bahamas another semifinalist position?


Bahrain-Lujane Yacoub

Bahrain is fairly new to the pageant scene but they have been sending very notable contestants as last year's delegate was a favorite. Will this 19-year-old model and actress, Lujane be able to get Bahrain's first placement and possibly their first Miss Universe crown?


Belgium-Emilie Vansteenkiste

Belgium did place in 2018 but the diamond capital of Europe has never won the Miss Universe crown but they have placed in the top 6 in 1981 and 1992. Will Emilie with her experience as a fashion model be able to bring Belgium back into the mix?


Bolivia-Estefany Rivero

Estefany is an architect and interior decorator so will those artistic skills help her build a first win for the country where the Amazon and the Andes meet? Bolivia's last two placements were when the Miss Universe pageant was held in Los Angeles (in 2006 and 1990).


Brazil-Maria Brechane

The land of the Samba broke their long-running streak in the semifinals in 2021 as they had placed every year since they hosted the pageant in 2011. Maria is trilingual and studies journalism so we shall see if she can bring Brazil back in favor and possibly get a third Miss Universe crown for her country. Brazil has won two Miss Universe crowns thanks to Ieda Maria Vargas in 1963 and Martha Vasconcellos in 1968.


British Virgin Islands-Ashellica Fahie

Nature's little secret has never placed in the history of Miss Universe. Will Ashellica impress the judges with her entrepreneurial skills being a legal manager and business owner and possibly get a first placement for the British Virgin Islands?


Bulgaria-Yuliia Pavlikova

Yuliia was born in Crimea to a Bulgarian father and a Ukrainian mother and is this year's oldest candidate at age 30. She already represented her country at Miss Grand International 2022 representing Crimea and at Miss Earth 2021 as Miss Bulgaria. The land of roses has never placed in the history of Miss Universe. Will Yuliia be able to possibly get a first placement for Bulgaria?


Cambodia-Sotima John

Cambodia has yet to place at Miss Universe. Could Sotima be their first semifinalist?


Cameroon-Ndoun Issie Marie Princesse

The land of Bebe Zahara Benet has yet to place at Miss Universe so will this Princesse be Cameroon's first placement?


Canada-Madison Kvaltin

The true north strong and free sends us Madison this year who hails from Manitoulin Island, Ontario. She is an entrepreneur with a degree in sociology and business from Queen's University. Madison is also quite experienced in pageantry as last year's national runner-up, she competed at Miss International 2022 placing among the top 8 there and with Canada placing at Miss Universe last year, Madison stands a very good chance of pulling off another successive placement and possibly even Canada's third Miss Universe crown. Canada's two Miss Universe winners are Karen Baldwin (1982) and the sensational Natalie Glebova (2005) so is it time for the land of the maple leaf again??


Cayman Islands-Ileann Powery

The crystal blue waters and the white coral beaches of the Cayman Islands are being represented by Ileann Powery who has a chance to be her country's first semifinalist. Can she do it?


Chile-Celeste Viel

The land of the Andes is sending us a legacy delegate as Celeste is the daughter of Miss Chile World 1992, Paula Maite Caballero who went unplaced at Miss World 1992 so will Celeste bring the glory back to Chile? Chile won its only crown in 1987 thanks to Cecilia Bolocco but they haven't placed since 2004 surprisingly.


China-Jia Qi

The land of the great wall sends us Jia Qi this year who is 23 years old and a former track and field athlete as well as a fitness enthusiast. China has never won the crown but their best finish was as 2nd runner up in 2002 which was technically elevated to 1st runner up when the original 2002 Miss Universe winner was dethroned and they last placed in 2017. How will Jia do?


Colombia-Maria Camila Avella Montañez

As of 2023, women who are married and/or have children are permitted to compete for Miss Universe and the world's finest coffee land sends us the next mother and wife (after Guatemala's delegate) to compete for the Miss Universe crown. At age 27, Camila has one daughter with her husband, Nassif Kamle, and Camila is a journalist and television host. She tried to compete for the original Miss Colombia title in 2018 representing Casanare but was disqualified due to already having a manager promoting her because if she was elected, the manager would be in control. Camila has now been granted this opportunity to compete for Miss Universe and she will make the most of it as she is already being deemed a top contender. Colombia has won Miss Universe twice thanks to Luz Marina Zuluaga in 1958 and Paulina Vega for 2014 so could it be time again with a very newsworthy delegate??


Costa Rica-Lisbeth Valverde

The land of peace and brotherhood sends us Lisbeth this year. Costa Rica has never won the Miss Universe crown nor have they made the top 5 but they have made the top 10 as recently as 2020 thanks to Ivonne Cerdas so will Lisbeth be the chosen one?


Croatia-Andrea Erjavec

Andrea advocates for the mental and physical health of children and comes from Perusic. She studies at the University of Zagreb pursuing a degree in education. The greatest treasure of middle Europe, Croatia has placed four times as a semifinalist (2009, 2012, 2017 and 2019) but has never won the crown. Can Andrea do it?


Curaçao-Kim Rossen

The sunny island of Curaçao has been wowing us in recent years coming off a top 5 placement last year thanks to Gabriëla Dos Santos. Kim Rossen is tall and athletic so she has a very good chance of matching or even surpassing Gabriela's achievement. Curaçao is hungry for that Miss Universe crown and they have come so close when they got a 1st runner up placement in 1968 thanks to Annemarie Braafheid and they also finished 4th in 1997 thanks to Verna Vasquez who actually won the preliminaries that year. Will Kim be the chosen one and capture that elusive crown for the unique blend of cultures, Curaçao??


Czech Republic-Vanesa Švédová

This very nice country in the center of Europe sends us Vanesa this year. Czech Republic has never won the crown but they did have a 4 year streak in the semifinals from 2007 to 2010 which was when they last placed.


Denmark-Nikoline Uhrenholt Hansen

The birthplace of the little mermaid sends us Nikoline this year who studies marketing at Copenhagen Business Academy. Denmark has never won the Miss Universe crown but they have placed as 1st runner up in 1963 thanks to Aino Korwa but they haven't placed since 2007 so could Nikoline bring the glory back to Denmark?


Dominican Republic-Mariana Downing

This is going to be one interesting pageant! The land where your heart flames to the rhythms of merengue sends us Mariana this year who has a British father and is a Wilhelmina model and actress who once dated singer Marc Anthony in 2017 and he notably was once married to Puerto Rico's Dayanara Torres-Miss Universe 1993 as well as Jennifer Lopez and most recently to Paraguay's Nadia Ferreira who was 1st runner up at Miss Universe 2021 and Nadia recently gave birth to their son. The Dominican Republic has been coming on strong in recent years with last year's delegate placing 2nd runner up and they won the crown once back in 2003 thanks to Amelia Vega. Will Mariana be able to capture another Miss Universe crown for the island that hosted Miss Universe 1977?


Ecuador-Delary Stoffers

Delary is a Business Administration student and she is also an animal rights activist. The land where the hemispheres meet last placed in 2013 when they pulled off their highest placement ever when Constanza Baez placed as 2nd runner up. Could Delary get Ecuador's first Miss Universe crown?


Egypt-Mohra Tantawy

The land of ancient wonders and modern progress sends us Mohra who previously represented Egypt at Miss Intercontinental 2022 but went unplaced. She holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing. Egypt has never placed in the history of Miss Universe so could Mohra be the first?


El Salvador-Isabella Garcia-Manzo

The Manzo's in the house! This year's host delegate is Isabella Garcia-Manzo who hails from the capital of the gentleman of the Americas, El Salvador. Will Isabella pull off the rare feat of winning the Miss Universe crown in her own country? This feat has happened 8 times. 7 of the 9 Miss USAs that went on to win Miss Universe won on home turf (1954, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1997, 2012 and 2022) but the 2 Miss USA's that didn't win on home soil were Shawn Weatherly in 1980 who won the Miss Universe crown in Seoul, Korea and Chelsi Smith in 1995 who won Miss Universe in Windhoek, Namibia. Also, Puerto Rico's Denise Quinones won in her home country in 2001. El Salvador has never won the crown but they did place as 1st runner up back in 1955 but they haven't placed since 1996 with the gorgeous Milena Mayorga so will the land of the eternal smile come back in their home country in a big way??


Equatorial Guinea-Diana Hinestrosa

Diana has a degree in Economic Sciences and is currently studying to get a master's degree in Psychology. Could Diana get Equatorial Guinea their first Miss Universe placement and even their first Miss Universe crown??


Finland-Paula Joukanen

The land where tolerance and northern lights shine bright hasn't placed since 1996 when Lola Odusoga claimed the 2nd runner up position but they do have two Miss Universe crowns thanks to the very first Miss Universe winner, Armi Kuusela in 1952 and Anne Marie Pohtamo in 1975 who won her crown in El Salvador which happens to be hosting again in 2023 so will history repeat itself and will Paula who studies law be awarded her country's third Miss Universe crown??


France-Diane Leyre

Diane originally won Miss France 2022 but we saw her runner-up Martinique's Floriane Bascou at Miss Universe 2022 instead but we have seen a lot of this flip-flopping of French delegates before so this is nothing new. Diane already has media experience serving as a co-host on the Europe 2 daily morning show Le Morning sans filtre, with Guillaume Genton and Fabien Delettres. Diane now has her opportunity to capture a third Miss Universe crown for the land of the Eiffel Tower. France won two Miss Universe crowns (1953 and 2016) and they last placed in 2021 and is one of only two countries that has competed at every Miss Universe pageant since its inception in 1952 (Canada is the other one and USA was disqualified in 1957 after preliminaries but before finals).


Germany-Helena Bleicher

Helena has previous international pageant experience as she represented Germany at the Miss Aura International 2022 pageant in Turkey where she placed in the Top 10. Helena aspires to be a teacher and is passionate about preserving the environment and animal welfare. The land of Bach and Beethoven hasn't placed since 2002 and they won their only Miss Universe crown back in 1961 so can Helena do it?


Great Britain-Jessica Page

The land where royalty reigns sends us Jessica Page who is a 27-year-old businesswoman from Liverpool, holds a degree in marketing and events management from the University of Chester and is currently working as a creative director for a dessert brand in addition to being a freelance marketing manager and owner of a social media agency Social Hype. Being experienced and ambitious should help Jessica excel in interview so we shall see if Jessica can get Great Britain's long-awaited first Miss Universe crown. The land of the Union Jack last placed in 2021 so can Jessica do it?


Greece-Marielia Zaloumi

The birthplace of the Olympic spirit has not placed since 2005 but they did win the crown back in 1964 thanks to Corinna Tsopei. Will Marielia be able to bring Greece back in the game?


Guatemala-Michelle Cohn

And here she is folks, the first mother chosen to compete for Miss Universe 2023! This is thanks to the new rule change for 2023 allowing women with children to compete. (Note: Women who are married and also transgendered women like the Netherlands' delegate can also compete for Miss Universe if their home country permits her to compete for her national title.) 28-year-old Michelle is married to Andres Matheu and they have a young son and daughter. She previously competed for the Miss Grand International 2013 crown but went unplaced. The heart of the Mundo Maya has never won the Miss Universe crown and they last placed in 2010 with Jessica Scheel. Will Michelle's unique status garner some attention and possibly get her the Miss Universe crown??


Guyana-Lisa Narine

Guyana hasn't competed since 2017 and they never placed in Miss Universe history but maybe this new directorship under Teri Brown Walker can benefit. Lisa has a refreshing look and holds a diploma in business and marketing management and is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in international relations at the University of Guyana. Can she earn a first Miss Universe placement for her country?


Honduras-Zuheilyn Clemente

If you can believe it, Honduras has had to wait the longest for a repeat semifinalist as they haven't placed since 1955 which was the one and only time that they placed. Will Zuheilyn be able to bring Honduras back in a big way?


Hungary-Tünde Blága

The land of the blue Danube last placed in 2018 with their best placement being among the top 10 in 2012 but they have yet to capture the crown. Will Tünde be able to do it for her country?


Iceland-Lilja Síf Pétursdóttir

The land of ice and fire last placed in 2019 thanks to Birta Abiba Þórhallsdóttir and they have never won the crown but they came close in 1962 when Anna Geirsdottir finished as 1st runner up. Will Lilja be able to capture her country's first Miss Universe crown?


India-Shweta Sharda

Shweta is a 22-year-old professional dancer and choreographer from Chandigarh representing the country that this year recently overtook China as the most populated in the world. Will India's new status garner Shweta some extra attention and possibly get her country a 4th Miss Universe crown? India has a streak in the semifinals since 2019 and they are known for sending delegates with strong interview skills so Shweta being a dancer knows how to move gracefully on stage and aims to keep the streak going. Harnaaz Sandhu just won the crown for India in 2021 and two more Miss Universe crowns were won by Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000 so is it time again for the country where love is the essence of life??


Indonesia-Fabiënne Fionnuala Nicole Groeneveld

The 4th most populated country in the world sends us fabulous Fabienne this year. Born in the Netherlands, Fabienne is Dutch-Indonesian similarly to actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar who played Zack Morris on Saved By the Bell. Indonesia has never won the crown but their best placement was in 2018 when Frederika Cull who is half-Australian made the top 10 and they had a strong streak placing every year (except 2017) from 2013 to 2020. Fabienne also has experience competing at Miss Global 2018 where she made top 20 but not top 11. Will Fabienne bring the glory back to her country and possibly get their first Miss Universe crown??


Ireland-Aishah Akorede

The emerald isle sends us their second black delegate after Fionnghuala (Fig) O'Reilly in 2019. Will Aishah be able to bring Ireland back to the semifinals since they haven't placed since 2018 and possibly win their first Miss Universe crown? The land of shamrocks and leprechauns' highest placement was two 2nd runner up placements, first in 1963 thanks to Marlene McKeown then in 1983 thanks to Roberta Brown.


Italy-Carmen Panepinto Zayati

The land of culture, pasta and fashion sends us Carmen this year who is fluent in English. Italy has never won the crown but they have two 1st runners-up, Daniela Bianchi in 1960 and Roberta Capua in 1987 but they haven't placed since 2014 so will Carmen be able to win Italy's first Miss Universe crown?


Jamaica-Jordanne Lauren Levy

The island that moves to the beat of reggae has yet to win the Miss Universe crown but they have a series of runner-up placements with their best being in 2010 as 1st runner-up thanks to Yendi Phillips. Will Jordanne-Lauren impress the judges with the fact that she is a medical intern on her way to becoming a doctor? Will she bring Jamaica back in a big way since their last placement in the top 10 in 2020?


Japan-Rio Miyazaki

This delegate seems to have a familiar name that is close to a combination of two former successful Japanese delegates (Miyako Miyazaki who was 4th runner up in 2003 who led Japan's charge to triumph in 2007 with Riyo Mori's win) so will Rio's recognizable name garner more success for the land of the rising sun? Hailing from Shizuoka, Rio is a 20-year-old university student, child advocate and a cheerleader. Japan claimed the Miss Universe crown twice in 1959 and 2007 and last placed in 2021.


Kazakhstan-Tomiris Zair

Kazakhstan has never placed at Miss Universe so Tomiris has a chance to make a name for her country. Will she achieve that elusive first placement for this land rich with accessible mineral and fossil fuel resources and can she even go all the way and capture her country's first Miss Universe crown?


Korea-Soyun Kim

Korea last placed in 2007 and has never won the crown but they did place as high as 1st runner up in 1988 during the year that they hosted the Olympics thanks to Yunjung Chang and Seoul also hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 1980. Will Soyun with her doll-like features be able to capture her country's first Miss Universe crown Gangnam style??


Kosovo-Arbesa Rrahmani

Kosovo last placed in 2012 and has never won the crown. Arbesa works as a model and actress so we shall see if she has enough substance to place this year at Miss Universe and bring Kosovo back to the level of success they once enjoyed.


Laos-Papao Phaimany Lathsabunthao

Laos got their country's first ever placement last year for 2022 thanks to Payengxa Lor so will Papao ride those coattails and get a second consecutive placement for Laos? At 28 years old, she is currently working at Joint Development Bank and has competed in various Laotian pageants before.


Latvia-Kate Alexeeva

Originally, Kate was supposed to compete in Miss Universe 2022 but she tested positive for Covid at the time so she could not compete but now Kate will get her chance and compete for Miss Universe 2023 instead. Latvia has never won the crown but they have placed in the top 10 once back in 2005 thanks to Ieva Kokorevica so will Kate bring some glory back to Latvia?


Lebanon-Maya Aboul Hosn

The land of the cedars won the Miss Universe crown once back in 1971 and they haven't placed since 1973. Will Maya be able to bring Lebanon back in a big way?


Malaysia-Serena Lee

One of Khun Anne's friends, Poppy Capella was supposed to be the new director for both Indonesia and Malaysia but after their Indonesian pageant, there were allegations by some of the Indonesian contestants of sexual harassment by the staff resulting in Poppy losing the franchise and Serena was selected as Malaysia's representative in a private event. Despite sending some strong contestants in the past, Malaysia has only placed once in Miss Universe history when Josephine Wong placed as a semifinalist way back in 1970 so is it finally time for Malaysia to make a comeback?


Malta-Ella Portelli

A 25-year-old interior designer who works in the gaming industry, Ella looks like a promising delegate for the heart of the Mediterranean. Malta has never placed in Miss Universe history so will Ella get that elusive first placement for her country?


Mauritius-Tatiana Beauharnais

The peaceful island of paradise has yet to place so we shall see if Tatiana can pull off that elusive first placement for Mauritius.


Mexico-Melissa Flores

Well, isn't this interesting! Melissa previously competed in the popular class of Miss Earth 2018 which has seen a number of cross-over delegates to Miss Universe including Colombia's Valeria Ayos who also made the top 4 at Miss Earth 2018 like Melissa and Valeria made top 5 at Miss Universe 2021. The 2022 Miss Universe class also saw other Miss Earth 2018 participants like Philippines' Celeste Cortesi (top 8 at Miss Earth 2018 but unplaced at Miss Universe 2022) and Portugal's Telma Madeira (top 8 at Miss Earth 2018 and top 16 at Miss Universe 2022) but this will be another showdown with Venezuela's Diana Silva who also made the top 8 at Miss Earth 2018 but is competing for Miss Universe 2023 so Melissa and Diana will meet again on another international stage. Will the results be similar or completely different?? This pageant just got really exciting! Will Melissa be able to capture a fourth Miss Universe crown for the land where the optimism lives in their hearts after their wins in 1991, 2010 and 2020?


Mongolia-Namuunzul Batmagnai

Mongolia returns after not competing since 2019 but this country has never placed so will this year's delegate get their first Miss Universe placement?


Myanmar-Amara Bo

Myanmar has placed once which was for 2020 thanks to Thuzar Wint Lwin so will Amara be able to get her country yet another Miss Universe placement?


Namibia-Jameela Uiras

The smile of Africa, Namibia won the crown once back in 1992 thanks to Michelle McLean but they have not placed since 2003. Will Jameela be able to bring back the only African country to host the Miss Universe pageant back in 1995?


Nepal-Jane Dipika Garrett

We have us a body positivity candidate in Jane so will it get her the placement and possibly the crown?? Nepal has placed once in 2018 and Jane is a nurse and speaks well and is Nepalese-American having lived in Washington, District of Columbia, USA so could it be time for the country of the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest?


Netherlands-Rikkie Valerie Kollé

Ever since transgendered delegates were able to enter the Miss Universe pageant thanks to Jenna Talackova who placed among the top 12 at Miss Universe Canada 2012, we are now seeing the second openly transgendered delegate compete at Miss Universe with the Netherlands' bet, Rikkie Valerie Kollé. The first transgendered delegate to make it to the Miss Universe stage was Spain's Angela Ponce who went unplaced in 2018. Will Rikkie win more favor with the new owner of Miss Universe, Khun Anne, also being transgendered? We shall see but Rikkie's participation is making news worldwide due to some supporters and some detractors. The Netherlands won the Miss Universe crown in 1989 thanks to Holland's own Angela Visser but they haven't placed since 2014 when they made the top 5 so will the land of tulips and windmills place and possibly even capture the 2023 Miss Universe crown?


Nicaragua-Sheynnis Palacios

The land of lakes and volcanoes has never won the Miss Universe crown and they last placed in 2020 when Ana Marcelo made the top 21. Sheynnis has experience in pageantry being Miss Teen Nicaragua 2016 placing among the top 10 for Miss Teen Universe 2017 and Miss World Nicaragua 2020 placing among the top 40 at Miss World 2021/22 so could Sheynnis with her athletic skills being a volleyball player and having a degree in mass communications work in her favor?


Nigeria-Mitchel Ihezue

Nigeria is among the most populated countries in the world but they have only placed twice in Miss Universe history which were in 2001 with Agbani Darego who finished 7th at Miss Universe but would go on to win the Miss World 2001 title later that year and in 2019, Olutosin Araromi made the semifinals. Mitchel previously competed at Miss World 2017 winning a top model award and placing in the top 15 that year so will she be able to pull off an even better placement at Miss Universe 2023?


Norway-Julie Marie Tollefsen

The land of the fjords, mountains and the midnight sun has captured the Miss Universe crown once back in 1990 thanks to Mona Grudt but they haven't placed since 2005. Will their latest bet, Julie, be able to bring Norway back in the game after their 2022 delegate could not participate in finals even though she competed in preliminaries due to Covid?


Pakistan-Erica Robin

Erica is Pakistan's very first delegate for Miss Universe! She is a fashion model and education advocate. Pakistan is the world's 5th most populated country and it is quite rare for a debuting country to win Miss Universe but it has happened with of course, the first Miss Universe in 1952, Finland's Armi Kuusela but it also happened in 1958 with Colombia's Luz Marina Zuluaga and in 1999 with Botswana's Mpule Kwelagobe so is stunning Erica about to do the same thing??


Panama-Natasha Vargas

Panama inherited the crown in 2002 when the original winner, Russia's Oxana Fedorova stepped down and Panama's Justine Pasek as 1st runner up assumed the title of Miss Universe. Panama has also hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 1986 and 2003. Will Natasha who has previous experience in previous pageants and has travelled throughout Europe be able to get the tropical isthmus their first outright Miss Universe win? Panama last placed in 2021.


Paraguay-Elicena Andrada

Paraguay has never won the Miss Universe crown but they last placed as 1st runner up in 2021 thanks to Nadia Ferreira who recently had a child with Marc Anthony who also performed during the 2002 Miss Universe pageant and judged in 2001 and he also fathered children for Miss Universe 1993-Dayanara Torres and Jennifer Lopez. Will lovely Elicena be able to capture the crown for Paraguay?


Peru-Camila Escribens

Peru placed last year and has had sporadic successes recently but they have had to wait the longest for a repeat win since 1957 was the one time that they claimed the crown thanks to Gladys Zender. Camila was born in Lima, Peru but lives in Fresno, California. She represented the Peruvian community in the United States as Miss Peru USA at the national pageant of Miss Peru 2019 where she finished as 1st runner up and she was sent to compete in Miss Grand International 2019 where she placed among the top 10 so will Camila's experience and fluency in English propel her to the semifinals and possibly get a second Miss Universe crown for the land of the Incas?


Philippines-Michelle Marquez Dee

The pearl of the Orient seas missed the semifinals for 2022 breaking the longest running streak in Miss Universe semifinals since they placed every year since 2010 prior to the broken streak so now the longest semifinal streak belongs to the USA placing every year since 2011 and even winning the crown last year with R'Bonney Gabriel who is half-Filipina. Here we have Michelle who is determined to bring the Philippines back in a big way. This pageant obsessed nation has captured the Miss Universe crown four times thanks to Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018. Michelle supports her country's autism society and wants to create awareness and educate others on mental health and she also supports LGBTQ+ rights as she herself revealed her bisexuality in May 2023. Michelle also previously competed at Miss World 2019 placing among the top 12 there so Michelle has much pressure on her to bring the Philippines back in the game. Can Michelle do it and will she even capture the crown??


Poland-Angelika Jurkowianiec

The land of Chopin sends us lovely Angelika this year and Poland is coming off a Miss World win last year so will their recent success transfer over to the Miss Universe stage this time?? Poland pulled off a surprise placement in 2018 and the land of Chopin has never won the crown but have placed as 3rd runner up twice (1986 and 1989). Angelika studies medical analytics and works in a dental clinic as an assistant. In the future, she wants to become a marketing and project management specialist in the fashion industry and she has been an international model since age 16. Will Angelika capture her nation's first Miss Universe crown?


Portugal-Marina Machete

Along with the Netherlands' delegate, Marina will be one of two transgendered delegates competing this year for Miss Universe 2023. The first transgendered delegate to make it to the Miss Universe stage was Spain's Angela Ponce in 2018 going unplaced so will Marina be able to get a placement for the land of explorers? Portugal has never won the crown but has placed in the top 10 in 2011 and also placed among the semifinalists for 2019 and 2022.


Puerto Rico-Karla Inelisse Guilfú Acevedo

The shining star of the Caribbean sends us yet another shining star with Karla who has previously represented Puerto Rico at Miss Supranational 2021 finishing as 1st runner up at that pageant so there are now big expectations of her at Miss Universe as she is going against a Supranational winner in Thailand's delegate so we could see a domination of Supranational delegates this year at Miss Universe. Karla is the chief executive officer and director of Comencemos a Sanar which advocates for education, community work and social justice. She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Puerto Rico has won the crown a whopping 5 times (1970, 1985, 1993, 2001, 2006) and they have placed in the top 10 every year since 2018 so will Karla keep the streak going and bring yet another Miss Universe crown to the Boricuas??


Russia-Margarita Golubeva

Russia won the Miss Universe title once back in 2002 but that winner (Oxana Fedorova) was let go and they have not placed since 2012. Margarita was previously 1st runner-up at the Miss Europe 2023 pageant held this past March in Lebanon so will that experience enable Margarita to bring the crown back to her country?


Saint Lucia-Earlyca Frederick

Saint Lucia has never placed in the history of Miss Universe so will determined Earlyca be their first semifinalist? Earlyca is a teacher and was born and raised in Morne Sion, Choiseul, Saint Lucia and has extensive pageantry experience in her country.


Singapore-Priyanka Annuncia

The land of racial harmony has placed three times in Miss Universe history (1983, 1987 and 2021) but they were all semifinalist positions. Priyanka has previously competed in Miss Supranational 2018 going unplaced but winning the congeniality award so will that success carry over to the Miss Universe stage for the land that hosted Miss Universe 1987?


Slovak Republic-Kinga Puhova

Slovak Republic placed only once which was in 1994 so will lovely Kinga be the Queena?? Will she be able to get a second Miss Universe placement for her nation? Kinga is studying for a degree in fashion management and likes to engage in discourse promoting sustainable fashion.


South Africa-Bryoni Govender

Mandela's rainbow nation has crowned delegates of Indian descent before like Kerishnie Naiker (1998) and Bryoni is the latest to add to the list. In a very competitive pageant with previous contestants, the official Miss South Africa crown actually went to Natasha Joubert who already represented South Africa for 2020 but going unplaced at Miss Universe 2020. Natasha was originally 2nd runner up at Miss South Africa 2020 but that winner Shudufhadzo Musida was sent to Miss World instead. Since women are not permitted to compete twice for the Miss Universe crown, runner-up Bryoni will be sent instead and she is a worthy achieved candidate and she holds a law degree and is an attorney. South Africa has been very strong in recent years winning 3 Miss Universe crowns thanks to Margaret Gardiner in 1978, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in 2017 and Zozibini Tunzi in 2019 so Bryoni is absolutely one to watch so can she capture yet another Miss Universe crown for her nation?


Spain-Athenea Perez

I feel love for Athenea as she is one of my favorites and is definitely one to watch as I'm getting major major Denny Mendez vibes from her. Denny Mendez was the first black Miss Italy and finished 5th at Miss Universe 1997 despite being one of the favorites. Now, we have the first black Miss Spain with the sensational Athenea whose mother is from Equatorial Guinea and although she has received hate messages on social media due to her race, many Spaniards are very proud of her and she has potential to capture a second Miss Universe crown for the land of flamenco after Amparo Munoz captured their first Miss Universe crown in 1974. Amparo was quietly dethroned after punching her chaperone (her father was a boxer, you know) and so Amparo didn't return to crown her successor in 1975 in El Salvador which happens to also be hosting this year's Miss Universe pageant so would a win for Spain this year be a full circle moment??? Let's see what happens!!!


Switzerland-Lorena Santen

The land of the Alps and great chocolates sends us lovely Lorena this year. She works for a bank and hails from Aargau. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business economics from the ZHAW School of Management and Law. Switzerland last placed in 2013 and they have never won the crown but their best placement was in 2006 when Lauriane Gilliéron placed as 2nd runner up. Could Lorena bring the land of time back and possibly get their first Miss Universe crown?


Thailand-Anntonia Porsild

Anntonia is absolutely one to watch this year as she has already won another major international title! Anntonia was Miss Supranational 2019 representing Thailand at that pageant and many people are wondering if she can pull off the impossible and capture the Miss Universe title as well. She was born to a Danish father and Thai mother in New Delhi, India in 1996. Apart from her home country, Anntonia has studied in Vietnam and Spain and is pursuing her bachelor's degree in public relations, advertising, and applied communication. Thailand surprisingly missed the semifinals last year but are they about to come back strong and win their third Miss Universe crown? Thailand's two Miss Universe winners are Apasra Hongsakula (1965) and Porntip Nakhirunkanok (1988).


Trinidad & Tobago-Faith Gillezeau

The oh-so-beautiful twin islands want us to have faith in Faith! Faith Gillezeau is a pharmacist and national squash athlete and Trinis normally fare well in interviews and after placing last year, Trinidad is back in the game. Of course, Trinidad & Tobago has captured the Miss Universe crown twice thanks to Janelle Commissiong (the first black Miss Universe) in 1977 as well as Wendy Fitzwilliam in 1998. Trinidad would host the Miss Universe pageant in 1999 so could it be time again?


Ukraine-Angelina Usanova

Due to the ongoing battle in her country, Angelina Usanova has been appointed to represent the breadbasket of Europe at Miss Universe. A selection committee chose Angelina after conducting online interviews. She is a vegan and also a singer. Ukraine has never won the crown but they have come close a few times with their best placement being 1st runner up in 2011 but Ukraine hasn't placed since 2014 when they placed as 2nd runner up. Will the situation in her country pull on the heartstrings of the judges and possibly get Angelina the Miss Universe crown?


USA-Noelia Voigt

Noelia has a Venezuelan mother and her father, Jack Voigt played professional baseball as an outfielder in the 90s. Representing Utah after a hop from Alabama, Noelia captured her nation's coveted crown and has demonstrated great speaking skills yet she has the pressure of representing the country of the reigning Miss Universe. The only country to win successive Miss Universe crowns was Venezuela in 2008 and 2009 so can a Venezuelan like Noelia do it for the land of the free and the home of the brave??


Venezuela-Diana Silva

The top of South America has chosen Diana to represent them this year despite a bit of controversy with the selection process when some of the judges claimed they chose the delegate from La Guaira only to be told there was a separate panel of judges also watching the Venezuelan contestants behind the scenes. Despite this, Diana is a favorite and could very well capture this pageant powerhouse nation's eighth Miss Universe crown. Diana has also previously competed at Miss Earth 2018 placing in the top 8 there but she fainted and could not continue in the competition. Now, Diana has the chance to get the highly revered prize of Miss Universe 2023. Miss Earth 2018 also boasted other success stories at Miss Universe like: Colombia's Valeria Ayos who would place in the top 5 of Miss Universe 2021 and Portugal's Telma Madeira who would place as a semifinalist in Miss Universe 2022 but the Philippines' Celeste Cortesi went unplaced at Miss Universe 2022 despite placing in the top 8 at Miss Earth 2018. Venezuela has placed in 13 of the last 16 Miss Universe pageants missing the semifinals only in 2010, 2016 and 2020 last winning the crown in 2013 and even placed as 1st runner up last year so is Diana the next Miss Universe??


Vietnam-Quynh Hoa Bui

Vietnam has yet to win the crown but they have been making waves in recent years with a four year streak running from 2018 to 2021 which was broken last year. The 2018 rep, H'Hen Nie made the top 5 giving Vietnam its best placement so far. Will this year's rep be able to bring Vietnam back into the mix?


Zimbabwe-Brooke Bruk-Jackson

Where the waterfalls stand out and wildlife thrives, Zimbabwe sends us Brooke this year. Zimbabwe's only Miss Universe semifinalist was the fabulous Corrinne Crewe who finished 8th at Miss Universe 2000. Brooke is a beauty therapist, model and beauty queen from Harare and she has also studied in England and South Africa. Will Brooke be able to bring Zimbabwe back in a big way?





Keep checking back regularly and pick your favorites for the 2023 Miss Universe title otherwise known as...
MMXXIIISS UNIVERSE!



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