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Miss France crowned Miss Universe - PHOTOS

By AFPRelaxnews | 2017-01-31 08:18:22.0

  • Miss France Iris Mittenaere reacts before outgoing Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach places the Miss Universe crown on her during the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Miss Universe candidates gestures for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss Portugal Flavia Brito, Miss Spain Noelia Freire, Miss Uruguay Magdalena Cohendet, Miss South Africa Ntandoyenkosi Kunene, Miss Nigeria Unoaku Anyadike and Miss Paraguay Andrea Melgarejo. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

  • Miss Universe candidates pose for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss Dominican Republic Rosalba Garcías, Miss Croatia Barbara Filipovic, Miss Denmark Christina Mikkelsen, Miss France Iris Mittenaere, Miss British Virgin Islands Erika Creque, Miss Belize Rebecca Rath, Miss Angola Luísa Baptista and Miss Brazil Raissa Santana. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

  • Miss Universe candidates pose for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss India Roshmitha Harimurthy, Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Miss Costa Rica Carolina Rodriguez, Miss Australia Caris Tiivel, Miss Canada Siera Bearchell and Miss Aruba Charlene Leslie. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

  • Miss Universe candidates pose for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss Panama Keity Drennan, Miss Cayman Islands Monyque Brooks, Miss Georgia Nuka Karalashvili, Miss U.S. Virgin Islands Carolyn Carter, Miss Netherlands Zoey Ivory and Miss Sierra Leone Hawa Kamara. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

  • Miss Universe candidates pose for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss China Li Zhenying, Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, Miss Finland Shirly Karvinen, Miss Belgium Stephanie Geldhof, Miss Argentina Estefania Bernal, Miss Ecuador Connie Jimenez and Miss Chile Catalina Caceres. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

  • Miss Universe candidates gestures for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss Barbados Shannon Harris, Miss Iceland Hildur Maria Leifsdottir, Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun, Miss Honduras Sirey Moran, Miss Guatemala Virginia Argueta, Miss Great Britain Jaime-Lee Faulkner, Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw and Miss Bahamas Cherell Williamson.

  • Miss Universe candidates pose for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss New Zealand Zoey Ivory, Miss Hungary Veronika Bodizs, Miss Curacao Chanelle de Lau, Miss Malta Martha Fenech, Miss Italy Sophia Sergio, Miss Kosovo Camila Barraza and Miss Mexico Kristal Silva. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

  • Miss Universe candidates pose for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss Nicaragua Marina Jacoby, Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal, Miss Korea Jenny Kim, Miss Kazakhstan Darina Kulsitova, Miss Japan Sari Nakazawa, Miss Guam Muneka Taisipic, Miss Czech Republic Andrea Bezdekova and Miss Boliva Antonella Moscatelli. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

  • Miss Universe candidates pose for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines January 29, 2017. In Photo from L-R: Miss Israel Yam Kaspers Anshel, Miss Namibia Lizelle Esterhuizen, Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier, Miss Germany Johanna Acs, Miss Kenya Mary Esther Were, Miss Jamaica Isabel Dalley and Miss Mauritius Kushboo Ramnawaj. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

  • Miss France Iris Mittenaere (C) and other finalists Miss Haiti Jacque Pellisier (R) and Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar pose shortly before Mittenaere wins the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Miss France Iris Mittenaere speaks next to emcee Steve Harvey during the question and answer portion, shortly before winning the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Miss France Iris Mittenaere (R) and Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier hold hands before Mittenaere is announced winner of the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Outgoing Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach gestures towards emcee Steve Harvey shortly before the winner of the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant is announced at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • A member of Boyz II Men band serenades Miss France Iris Mittenaere, shortly before Mittenaere won the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Miss France Iris Mittenaere reacts as the Miss Universe sash is put on her at the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Miss France Iris Mittenaere reacts after winning the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Contestants congratulate Miss France Iris Mittenaere after she won the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Miss France Iris Mittenaere poses during the swimsuit competition, shortly before winning the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Emcee Steve Harvey announces Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun as the winner of the national costume competition of the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

  • Miss Myanmar Htet Hten Htun performs a Burmese Puppetry after winning the national costume competition of the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

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France won its first Miss Universe crown in 64 years on Monday in a made-for-television spectacle where finalists spoke out on the refugee crisis and other hot-button global issues.

Iris Mittenaere, a dental surgery student from Lille in the north of France, beat 85 of the world's most beautiful women at the event in the Philippines scheduled for primetime viewing in the United States.

Mittenaere, 24, edged out Miss Haiti, the first runner-up, and Miss Colombia, the second runner-up, to win France's first Miss Universe title since 1953.

"I was very surprised. I am always touching the crown and saying 'Oh my God. I have the crown on my head. I don't believe it,'" Mittenaere said in a post-pageant news conference.

Ntando Kunene hits back at critics over not bringing home the Miss Universe crown 

"French people love beauty pageants but they don't really know Miss Universe because never (did) our country win," she said, adding she would advocate for good hygiene and educating children.

In the final question round, the six remaining contestants were each asked questions relating to various political issues in their own countries or abroad.

When asked about the global refugee crisis, Mittenaere said France had the right to close its borders to refugees if it wanted but she also spoke about the benefits of migration.

"In France we want to have the most globalisation that we can. We want to have the biggest exchange of people that we can. Maybe someday that will change but now we have open borders," Mittenaere said, with her comments translated into English for the audience.

"Having open borders allows us to travel more through the world and to find out more about what's out there in the world."

Miss Kenya, another finalist, said Donald Trump's presidency "may not have been the choice of many people" in the United States.

"So many people oppose his position. But I feel that once (Trump) took up his position, he was able to unify the entire nation," said Mary Esther Were, 27.

Miss Colombia appeared to allude to Trump when asked why violence was prevalent in the world.

"Although there are presidents who don't get along with others, we work together to unite. Campaigns, respect and inclusivity to be able to have a social transformation that would educate our children," said Andrea Tovar, 23.

Monday's show was headlined by US performers including Grammy award-winning rhythm and blues group Boyz II Men and rapper and Grammy award nominee Flo Rida.

- Smooth ceremony -

Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines won last year following a major blunder in which the host -- Emmy Award winner Steve Harvey -- mistakenly awarded the title to Miss Colombia.

Harvey corrected the error minutes later, apologising on air to Wurtzbach and Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez.

The mistake featured prominently on Monday's show, with candidates and the home audience often ribbing Harvey about it.

"Steve, I never got to thank you but thank you for making me the most popular Miss Universe," Wurtzbach told Harvey at the opening of show.

Harvey this year got through the closing moments of the ceremony smoothly.

The Philippines agreed to host the pageant as part of efforts to draw tourists and investors.

Beauty pageants are also hugely popular in the Philippines, particularly among the tens of millions of poor who see the contests as a chance for their beautiful compatriots to live a life of fame and luxury.

But allowing the Philippines to host has proved controversial, with critics claiming the pageant would whitewash Duterte's brutal drug war, which has left more than 6,000 people dead.

Environmentalists also hit out at pageant organisers for letting the bikini-clad contestants swim last month with endangered whale sharks.


 

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