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Why Andrea Meza deserves Mexico's 3rd Miss Universe crown
Andrea Meza, Miss Universe Mexico 2020 is crowned Miss Universe at the conclusion of the 69th Miss Universe Competition® on May 16, 2021 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The new winner will move to New York City where she will live during her reign and become a spokesperson for various causes alongside The Miss Universe Organization.
MUO/Benjamin Askinas

Why Andrea Meza deserves Mexico's 3rd Miss Universe crown

Earl D.C. Bracamonte (Philstar.com) - May 17, 2021 - 12:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — Mexico's Andrea Meza bested 73 other hopefuls to emerge victorious and be crowned the 69th Miss Universe winner in a glitzy crowning ceremony at the Seminole Hardrock Casino Guitar Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. She is her country's third winner after Lupita Jones in 1991 and Ximena Navarrete in 2010.

Brazil's Julia Gamma, Peru's Janick Maceta del Castillo, India's Adline Castelino, and Dominican Republic's Kimberly Jimenez were proclaimed runners up in descending order.

Related: WATCH: Viva Mexico! Andrea Meza wins Miss Universe 2020

The pageant opened with the girls strutting their stuff in neon-colored dresses from Sherri Hill. Then the semifinalists were announced in tiers of seven.

Related: WATCH: Rabiya Mateo enters Miss Universe 2020 Top 21, here's full list

Prior to the swimsuit round, the spectators were regaled by a fabulous rumba number from the Miami Sound Dancetown and an upbeat performance, ater the announcement of the Top 10. And the other lucky five contenders to advance to the Top10 were Australia's Maria Thattil, Jamaica's Miqueal-Simone Williams, Puerto Rico's Estefania Soto Torres, Thailand's Amanda Obdam, and Costa Rica's Ivonne Cerdas.

The other contestants who made it to the semifinal round were the Philippines' Rabiya Mateo, Colombia's Laura Olascuaga, France's Amandine Petit, USA's Asya Branch, Indonesia's RR Ayu Maulida Putri, Argentina's Alina Luz Akselrad, Curacao's Chantal Wiertz, Great Britain's Jeanette Akua, Nicaragua's Ana Marcelo, Vietnam's Nguyen Khanh Van Tran, and Myanmar's Thuzar Wint Lwin, who was voted Best National Costume.

Bolivia's Lenka Nemer was awarded the first Miss Universe Impact Award for her advocacy, receiving $10,000 from pageant Invisi-Smart.

This year's all-female selection committee was comprised of Miss Universe titleholders Brooke Lee (1997) and Zuleyka Rivera (2006), together with Korean.American actor-activist Arden Cho, Entertainment Tonight host Keltie Knight, founder and CEO of Live Tinted Deepika Mutyala, chief executive officer of Arena del Rio Tetyana Orozco, president of Cruise Line Christine Duffy, and Mary Kay Cosmetics' chief marketing officer Sheryl Adkins-Green. 

In an interview prior a few hours before the final show, Miss Universe 1997 and juror Brooke Lee said that "The biggest difference when I ran and what it is now is that they tell us that they're looking for an overall contestant. They're not looking to us to be, like, she needs to nail the final question - leave all that besides out the door. 

"We're looking for an overall girl that's strong in every category. If she has a bad moment, if she trips in the evening gown, don't discount her. If you like her overall and you think that she's a strong candidate that will do good in Miss Universe, please weigh that into your consideration. 

"We're looking for an overall candidate or at least, you'll say that represents the brand, that speaks of authenticity. And if she's living the life she says that she is when we ask her in the interview. If she says she's gonna be a plastic surgeon, is she talking about that when she's in the interview. Is her passion where she says it is?

"These are the kinds of insights they want us to look for, as they're looking for someone who's not looking to win. They're looking for someone who's living a life and that life shines through on the stage - and that the pageant will help her elevate those messages. That's what they're looking for - authenticity!" revealed the Hawaiian beauty queen on the parameters the MUO gave the selection committee.

And newly-crowned winner, Andrea Meza, fits the bill perfectly! The queen and her court all looked splendid in their Final Look parade, while being serenaded by Luis Fonsi.

Hosted by movie/TV celebrity Mario Lopez and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, together with anchor-commentators Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Tebow, Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega, and Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, the 69th Miss Universe pageant was beamed live to a worldwide audience via A2Z Channel 12, locally, through the Telemundo network in, the Americas, and with the FoxLife network in some parts of the world.

The 70th Miss Universe competition will unfold in December 2021. Stay tuned for coming updates.

MISS UNIVERSE 2020
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