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Miss South Africa Is Named Miss Universe 2017

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters along with Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett and Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez were in the final three at the 66th Miss Universe pageant.

Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is the new Miss Universe! The 22-year-old model took the crown from last year's winner Iris Mittenaere from France after beating two other contestants, Davina Bennett from Jamaica and Laura Gonzalez from Colombia. Nel-Peters is the first South African to become Miss Universe since Margaret Gardiner won the competition in 1978.

The 66th Miss Universe pageant was held at the AXIS Theatre at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 26, with Steve Harvey returning as the host. This year's edition of the Miss Universe pageant separated contestants by geographic region for the first time. The 92 women were divided into three regions, which were Americas, Europe, and Africa and Asian Pacific.

After the preliminary competition, four women from each region and four other women regardless their region advanced to the finals on the final telecast. Miss USA Kara McCullough was in the Top 16 along with Miss Canada Lauren Howe, Miss Brazil Monalysa Alcantara, Miss Philippines Rachel Peters and Miss Spain Sofia del Prado among others.

They modeled the swimsuits and made it into the top 10 along with Miss Thailand Maria Poonlertlarp, Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago, Miss Colombia, Miss Jamaica and Miss South Africa. But Miss USA, Miss Canada, Miss Brazil, Miss Philippines and Miss Spain were all eliminated in the next portion of the competition.

After whittled down to five, only three were still in the running for the crown. Davina Bennett of Jamaica finished third, leaving it between Miss Colombia and Miss South Africa. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa was eventually crowned the Miss Universe 2017. She will get a yearlong salary, a luxury apartment in New York City for the duration of her reign and more prizes.

Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach returned as the judges, joined by television personality Ross Mathews, creative director and makeup artist Jay Manuel, Fox Sports' host and reporter Megan Olivi, as well as YouTube personality Lele Pons.

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