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LIST: Meet the Miss Universe 2022 candidates |

Fashion and Beauty

LIST: Meet the Miss Universe 2022 candidates

Kristofer Purnell -
LIST: Meet the Miss Universe 2022 candidates
The new crown, with pear-shaped blue sapphires surrounded by diamonds and valued at approximately $5.58 million, will be the prestigious mark of honor for the winner of the 71st Miss Universe Competition to be held on January 14 in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.
Miss Universe Organization / Released

MANILA, Philippines — A new Miss Universe is set to be crowned for the organization's 71st edition — although the 2022 edition will be held in January 2023, the anticipation and excitement are high nonetheless.

Miss Universe 2022 will begin the week of January 8, with candidates arriving in New Orleans a few days prior, culminating in the coronation on January 14 (United States time).

The build-up to the coronation will involve an orientation, the preliminaries, and the national costume competition, where each of the competing queens will be vying to succeed reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu from India.

Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi is among those hoping to receive the crown, but so are more than 80 queens from all over the world.

Meet the Miss Universe 2022 candidates:

Miss Universe Albania Deta Kokomani is a current Pharmacy student, with certification in cosmetology, and had previously studied piano at the Artistic High School of her hometown in Durres.

As of 2022, Albania has only reached as far as the Top 10 since first joining Miss Universe in 2022 (their inaugural candidate Anisa Kospiri was one of two national delegates to reach that mark), so Deta will be hoping to go further and maybe even win.

Miss Universe Angola Swelia António, who moved to the Netherlands with her family in 1999, has a bachelor's degree in Nonprofit, Public and Organizational Management and a master's degree in Public Administration.

Swelia was previously crowned Miss Supranational Netherlands 2020 and finished in the Top 12 of Miss Supranational 2021; she will be hoping to emulate Leila Lopes, who was crowned Miss Universe 2011, as she is also Angola's first candidate since 2019.

Miss Universe Argentina Bárbara Cabrera is a textile entrepreneur and graphic model who was actually a former Miss Universe Argentina 2018 finalist as a teenager.

Bárbara's previous pageant experience include Miss Eco Argentina 2020, leading to a Best in Evening Gown award and Top 20 finish at Miss Eco International 2021, and will hope to add to her country's sole Miss Universe win by Norma Beatriz Nolan in 1962.

Miss Universe Armenia Kristina Ayanian is a graduate from Massachusetts' Bentley University, a classical pianist, and a stock exchange company employee whose previous pageant titles include Miss Boston Preteen, Miss Massachusetts Outstanding Teen, and Miss Boston.

Kristina's most recent title was Miss Grand Armenia 2021 which led to her participation in Miss Grand International the same year; Armenia has not placed in Miss Universe yet since first joining in 2018.

Miss Universe Aruba Kiara Arends is a multilingual social justice advocate with a law degree, and founded the B.U.M.P charity organization for the benefit of expectant mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kiara has previously been crowned Miss Teen Aruba International 2017 and Virreina de las Americas at Miss Teen Americas 2018; Aruba's highest finishes were first runner-up in 1996 and fourth runner-up in 1974 — last year's representative Thessaly Zimmerman placed in the Top 10, the country's first finish at that mark in over two decades.

Miss Universe Australia Monique Riley is a model and actress with a degree in creative industries from the Queensland University of Technology, and hopes to be the third Australian delegate to win Miss Universe after Kerry Anne Wells in 1972 and Jennifer Hawkins in 2004.

Miss Universe Bahrain Evlin Khalifa has a bachelor’s degree in finance and banking with backgrounds in music, dancing, modeling, taekwondo, and comprehension.

Evlin will just be her country's second-ever representative at Miss Universe; Bahrain's inaugural delegate last year Manar Jess Dayani was the shortest-ever candidate in the pageant's history, standing just over five feet.

Miss Universe Belgium Chayenne Van Aarle is a bilingual flight attendant who grew up around animals such as zebras, kangaroos, camels and alpacas, being in a caravan and actually wrote her first song "#Selfmade" for her campaign against body shaming.

Belgium's highest finish in Miss Universe was in the Top 6 by Anke Vandermeersch in 1992, although last year's candidate Kedist Deltour was a crowd favorite but did not make the semifinals.

Miss Universe Belize Ashley Lightburn is cheerleader-turned-bank project management officer and mathematician with a full-blown background in the subject.

Ashley got her bachelor’s degree in pure mathematics from the University of Belize in 2019, becoming an adjunct lecturer at the school a year later, and earned her master’s degree in business administration from Miami's Marconi International University in 2021.

Belize's sole placement in Miss Universe was a Top 12 finish by Sarita Diana Acosta in 1979, although Rebecca Rath did win Best National Costume in 2016.

Miss Universe Bhutan Tashi Choden is making history as her country's first ever representative at Miss Universe, and is just the third-ever Miss Bhutan after the two previous editions were held over a decade ago in 2008 and 2010.

Tashi is bisexual and was one the first gay individuals in her conservative country to come out in public in 2019 alongside her partner; that same year she was represented her country at Miss Supermodel Worldwide 2019, finishing in the Top 15.

Miss Universe Bolivia Camila Sanabria holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a master's degree in Business Management, recently representing Bolivia at Miss Grand International 2022 and will gun to bring home the country's first Miss Universe crown.

Camila was actually her country's first runner-up but replaced former winner Fernanda Pavisic after the latter was dethroned for mocking the headshots of other candidates.

Related: Miss Universe Bolivia 2022 dethroned over offensive remarks on fellow contestants

Miss Universe Brazil Mia Mamede is a multilingual model, actress, and entrepreneur, with a degree in Audiovisual Journalism and Socio-economics from the University of New York.

Despite being a consistent favorite, Brazil has only won Miss Universe twice — Iêda Maria Vargas in 1963 and Martha Vasconcellos in 1968 — and since then have garnered nine runner-up finished, most recently Julia Gama in 2020 as first runner-up.

Miss Universe British Virgin Islands Lia Claxton is a six-foot model and athlete whose hobbies include piano and track and field, with dreams of traveling the world.

The British Virgin Islands have never placed at Miss Universe but have won Best National Costume twice since first joining in 1977; Lia was actually a Top 3 finalist for her country last year, and at 18 years old will be one of four teenagers at Miss Universe 2022.

Miss Universe Bulgaria Kristina Plamenova is a model and law school graduate who previously won in 2019 the title of Miss Sofia, the official city pageant of the Bulgarian capital where she now resides.

Kristina is aspiring to make history for her country as Bulgaria has never placed in Miss Universe since first joining in 1991.

Miss Universe Cambodia Manita Hang is a trilingual model whose academic backgroud includes an accounting and finance degree from CamEd Business School, and has actually  drawn attention from Filipinos because of her resemblance to Miss World 2013 Megan Young as well as training in the Philippines for Miss Universe 2022.

Cambodia is fairly new to Miss Univese, having first joined in 2017 and never having placed, but Manita is already pegged as a frontunner with previous pageant experience in becoming Miss Tourism Cambodia 2015 and the Miss Tourism International Metropolitan 2016 2nd-runner up.

Miss Universe Cameroon Monalisa Mouketey is a youth empowerment advocate and founder of the Miss Monalisa Charity Foundation for disadvantaged children and young people.

Monalisa's previous experience also include the titles of Miss Beach 2015, Miss Commonwealth Africa Charity 2021, and Miss University Africa Central 2021.

Miss Universe Canada Amelia Tu is a trilingual dancer and environmentalist pursuing a simultaneous program in biology and business at the University of California, Berkeley, whose hobbies include dancing, singing, and traveling.

Canada has won Miss Universe twice, Karen Baldwin in 1982 and Natalie Glebova in 2005, and have placed in the Top 10 four times since their last coronation.

Miss Universe Cayman Islands Chloe Powery-Doxey too was her country's first runner-up but replaced dethroned winner Tiffany Conolly after the latter had allegedly committed assault and damage to property..

The Cayman Islands have frequently competed in Miss Universe since first joining in 1980, with several disruptions, but have never reached the semifinals and won Miss Congeniality twice in its first three years.

Miss Universe Chile Sofia Depassier is a professional model, beautician, and actress, already a perceived frontfunner hoping to emulate Chile's sole Miss Universe win by Cecilia Fonck in 1987.

Miss Universe China Jiang "Alice" Siche is a host and a commercial model with degrees in financial accounting and property & financing from the University of Manchester and the University of Cambridge, respectively.

Alice was actually the last contestant confirmed to participate at Miss Universe 2022, with previous pageant experience including Miss China 2017, Miss Orient 2018, the 46th Miss Intercontinental China, and the 57th Miss International China 2nd runner-up.

Related: Miss Universe 2022 reveals pageant schedule: National costume, preliminary, finals

China was the second runner-up in their first Miss Universe participation back in 2002, represented by Zhuo Ling, but have only reached as high as 4th runner-up in 2011 (Luo Zilin) ever since.

Miss Universe Colombia María Fernanda Aristizábal is a model with a social communication degree from Medellín's Luis Amigó Catholic University.

María was crowned Miss Quindío 2019 and was supposed to represent Colombia at Miss Universe 2020 if not for a franchise ownership change in her country; now given the chance, she is gunning to be Colombia's second Miss Universe winner.

Colombia has always been a strong competitor at the pageant, with first-ever participant Luz Marina Zuluaga winning in 1958 and most recent winner Paulina Deippa in 2014, and whopping 13 runner-up finishes.

Miss Universe Costa Rica Maria Fernanda Rodríguez is a trilingual civil engineer who hopes to break past Costa Rica's four-time To 10 finishes at Miss Universe, most recently in 2018 and 2020.

Maria's extensive pageant experience include Reina Teen Costa Rica Intercontinental 2012, Miss Teen Mesoamérica Internacional 2013, a Miss Teen Universe 2015 finalist, joining Reina Costa Rica Intercontinental 2017 as Miss Earth Costa Rica 2017, and joining Miss Earth 2017.

Miss Universe Croatia Arijana Podgajski is studying economics at the University of Zagreb and reads, walks, does yoga, and spend time around nature during her spare time, often visiting animal shelters to walk abandoned animals with her mother.

Croatia has yet to win Miss Universe, reaching as far as the Top 16 three times since first joining in 1997.

Miss Universe Curaçao Gabriëla Dos Santos co-founded the "Light4Change" foundation dedicated towards awareness and the prevention of cyber-bullying.

Curaçao's best Miss Universe finish remains to be Annemarie Braafheid's 1st runner-up title in 1968, but have reached the Top 10 four times since 1991.

Miss Universe Czech Republic Sára Mikulenková is a model hoping to be her country's first Miss Universe winner, as the Czech Republic has only reached the Top 15 three times in four years from 2007-10, with a Top 10 finish in 2009.

Miss Universe Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez was her high school's softball team captain, a summa cum laude graduate from the City College of New York with a degree in psychology and Latin American studies, and has multiple legislative internships.

Th model and Women’s Equality center foundation coordinator is getting her chance to compete at Miss Universe after missing last year's edition due to COVID-19.

The Dominican Republic's sole Miss Universe win remains to be Amelia Polanco's in 2003, who also won Best National Costume, with four runner-up finishes ever since.

Miss Universe Ecuador Nayelhi González is a licensed nurse and professional model, plays volleyball, paints, and sings in her spare time, and provides home medical assistance at the Fundación Germinar as a volunteer.

Nayelhi will be hoping to better Constanza Jalil's 2nd runner-up finish in 2013 to become Ecuador's first-ever Miss Universe.

Miss Universe El Salvador Alejandra Guajardo is a multilingual professional ballet dancer who graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with a bachelor’s degree in international business.

Alejandra has extensive pageant experience — placing fourth at Miss Earth Veracruz 2018, a runner-up at Mexicana Universal Veracruz 2018, a Top 5 finish at Miss Veracruz 2019, winning Reina de la Zona Centro 2019, second runner-up at Miss Morelos 2021, and competed at Miss Intercontinental 2022.

Such a background will be key in El Salvador hoping for a pioneer Miss Universe win, having never placed since joining in 2017 and winning Best National Costume the following year.

Miss Universe Equatorial Guinea Alba Isabel Obama is a trilingual professional model and protocol officer at the Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial for the second deputy secretary general, with plans to pursue a law degree.

Alba competed at Miss Supranational 2019 where she won the Supramodel of the Year Africa award which may push the young contestant — her country first joined in 2019 — to its first Miss Universe win.

Miss Universe Finland Petra Hämäläinen is a model studying education at the University of Eastern Finland, hoping to become her country's third Miss Universe winner after Armi Kuusela in 1956 and Anne Marie Pohtamo in 1975.

In between Finland's two Miss Universe crowns were eight runner-up finishes, a 2nd runner-up finish in 1996, but no placements ever since.

Miss Universe France Floriane Bascou is a graduate of a scientific baccalaureate specializing in life and earth sciences currently pursuing studies in preparatory health with a law option and plans to become an orthodontist. 

Floriane was also the first runner-up of her country but had to replace initial winner Diane Leyre as the latter decided not to compete due to lack of preparation, making Floriane the first-ever Miss Martinique — which she won last year — to represent France at Miss Universe.

Miss Universe Germany Soraya Kohlmann is a model and Pilates trainer who has her own beauty salon, and was previously named Miss Germany 2017.

Germany was a contender during the early years of Miss Universe, consecutively featuring in the Top 16 plus five runner-up finishes en route to its sole win in 1961 by Marlene Schmidt, but has since reached the Top 15 just 11 times.

Miss Universe Ghana Engracia Mofuman is multilingual pageant queen whose academic background includes Gabon's Collège Sony Labou Tansy, Equatorial Guinea's Instituto Francófono de Bata, Cameroon's College Bonneau, and her home country's All Nations University College.

Her acedemic efforts led to a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy Magna Cum Laude, on top of a Top 20 finish in Miss Intercontinental 2018 held in the Philippines and the launching of‘Power The Pencil’ project to eliminate illiteracy among rural girls.

Miss Universe Great Britain Noky Simbani is a Zimbabwe-born commercial banker with a bachelor's and master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, following it up with an advanced diploma in banking and leadership in a digital age and commercial banking from The Chartered Banker Institute in Scotland.

Noky was previously crowned Miss Grand England 2017, representing her country at Miss Grand International that same year — she also loves to bake.

Despite several semifinal and runner-up finishes, over 30 in total, Great Britain has never won Miss Universe.

Miss Universe Greece Korina Emmanouilidou is a model, aesthetician, and makeup artist, a perceived frontrunner by her countrymen.

Between 1952 when Miss Universe began until 1973, Greece made the Top 16 13 times — Ntaizy Mavraki was the inaugural 2nd runner-up while Corinna Tsopei won in 1964 — but have since been a runner-up just twice, most recently Evelina Papantoniou in 2001.

Miss Universe Guatemala Ivana Batchelor is a professional model who hopes to bring her country's first Miss Universe win after making the Top 10 just twice since first joining in 1955.

Miss Universe Haiti Mideline Phelizor is a  law science graduate who founded the Silhouette Agency for her fellow aspiring professional models.

Mideline was Miss Supranational Haiti 2018, where she won Top Model Caribbean, and Miss World Haiti 2018 1st runner-up, all which help in Haiti's hopes for a pioneer Miss Universe Crown after two 1st runner-up finishes in 1975 and 2016.

Miss Universe Honduras Rebecca Rodriguez has a degree in business and digital marketing and is aiming to better her country's sole Top 15 finish by Pastora Pagán Valenzuela in 1955, Honduras' second Miss Universe appearance.

Miss Universe Iceland Hrafnhildur Haraldsdóttir is a student at the Commercial College of Iceland (Verzlunarskóli Íslands) who aspires to study medicine and become a doctor, with hobbies including figure skating, skiing, snowboarding, and travelling.

At 18 years old Hrafnhildur will be one of four teenagers at Miss Universe 2022, hoping to win Iceland's pioneer win after Anna Geirsdóttir's 1st runner-up finish in 1962; notably Birta Abiba Þórhallsdóttir in 2019 was her country's first bi-racial candidate at the pageant since 1956.

Miss Universe India Divita Rai is a model and architect who actually won the Miss IQ, Miss Lifestyle, and Miss Sudoku awards at Miss Diva 2021, but was 2nd runner-up to reigning Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu.

Divita has passion for sports such as badminton and basketball, and has painting, reading, and listening to music as her hobbies. Prior to Miss Universe 2022, she released the "UnlockU - The Power of Education" series which discusses various social and mental causes.

Miss Universe Indonesia Laksmi De-Neefe Suardana is a woman of numerous backgrounds — she is a mulitingual fashion designer, author, UNICEF activist, G20 ambassador, and model.

Her educational background is as extensive, earning a diploma from Australia's Monash college, degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion Business from Australia's RMIT and Italy's Polimada fashion school respectively where she graduated summa cum laude.

Related: Miss Universe unveils new crown worth almost $6M

Laksmi is the first Hindu and contestant from Bali to represent Indonesia at Miss Universe, which has eight placements but no runner-up finishes or wins since 1992.

Miss Universe Italy Virginia Stablum is a model and Instagram product promoter taking up Communication Sciences at the University of Verona, and had joined her country's dating show "Uomini e Donne" in 2018.

Virginia competed at Miss Mondo Italia 2017, finishing in the Top 5 and winning the Miss Mondo Cover Girl award; Italy has never won Miss Universe, the closest being 1st runner-up finishes by Daniela Bianchi (1960) and Roberta Capua (1987).

Miss Universe Jamaica Toshami Calvin has an associate and master's degree in health science from the University of Central Florida, and provides therapy for children with autism as a registered behavioral technician.

Toshami is a cousin of Miss World 2019 Toni Ann Singh, the fourth Jamaican to hold that title although the country has never won Miss Universe, the closest being Yendi Phillips' 1st runner-up finish in 2011.

Miss Universe Japan Marybelen Sakamoto is a biracial trilingual culinary graduate from Seisen University who is hoping to be Japan's third winner after Akiko Kojima (1959) and Riyo Mori (2007).

Miss Universe Kosovo Roksana Ibrahimi is a dentistry graduate who likes reading and exercising in her free time, and is pegged to be Kosovo's best chance since a 2nd runner-up finish by Marigona Dragusha in 2009, the country's second year at Miss Universe.

Miss Universe Kyrgyztan Altynai Botoyarova will just be her country's second delegate ever after first competing in 2018. and 18 years old is one of four teenagers at Miss Universe 2022.

Altynai was previously crowned Miss Bishkek 2020 and set to represent Kyrgyztan at Miss World the following year but her country withdrew.

Miss Universe Laos Payengxa Lor is an English teacher, a business management student at the Lao-American College, and the co-founder of the Hmong Women Network for women empowerment.

Payengxa is the first Hmong woman ever to compete at Miss Universe, and just Laos' sixth delegate ever having never placed yet but On-anong Homsombath did win Best National Costume in 2018.

Miss Universe Lebanon Yasmina Zaytoun is a journalism degree-holder from Notre Dame University–Louaize, hosts her own educational show, and is being eyed to also compete at Miss World 2022.

This is Lebanon's first participation since 2018, the country's sole crown being Georgina Rizk's in 1971.

Miss Universe Malaysia Lesley Cheam Wei Yeng holds a bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical and health science from the University of Nottingham Malaysia but works in marketing and hosting; her country has never won Miss Universe but was awarded Best National Costume twice.

Miss Universe Malta Maxine Formosa is a model and law firm legal assistant, loves dogs, and enjoys physical activities like working out at the gym, doing yoga, and playing padel.

Maxine was actually a 2nd-runner up in Miss Universe Malta 2021, and is hoping to make history as Malta has never placed at the pageant since first joining in 1968.

Miss Universe Mauritius Alexandrine Belle-Étoile is a model and elementary school Arts and French teacher, with a degree in Fine Arts, and actually finished in the Top 12 Miss Supranational 2022 where she won Miss Supranational Africa; Mauritius too has never placed at Miss Universe since first joining in 1975.

Miss Universe Mexico Irma Miranda is a model, television host, dancer, and agribusiness technician, with an economics and finance degree from the Sonora Institute of Technology.

Mexico is a constant favorite at Miss Universe having won it three times — Lupita Jones in 1991, Ximena Rosete in 2010, and most recently Andrea Meza in 2020.

Miss Universe Myanmar Zar Li Moe is a commercial model who won Miss Tourism and Culture Universe Bhamo in 2020; Myanmar has never placed since joining in 1959, but Zar's predecessor gave her country's first semifinal appearance in 2020.

Miss Universe Namibia Cassia Sharpley is a basic life support paramedic and student at Namibia University of Science and Technology pursuing a degree in emergency medical care, and as a poverty eradication activist formed the Honey Comb Haven Foundation.

Michelle Mclean remains to be Namibia's sole Miss Universe from 1992, with the country only reaching the Top 10 just once ever since.

Miss Universe Nepal Sophiya Bhujel is an entrepreneur, model, and social worker, with a bachelor's degree in Business Management.

Sophiya was a Top 7 finalist at Miss Nepal 2019, representing her country at Global Asian Model the same year held in the Philippines where she figured in the Top 10. Three years later she place in the Top 20 of Miss Eco International.

Miss Universe Netherlands Ona Moody is a Zimbabwean-Dutch maternity nurse and alumnus of Amsterdam's Lucia Marthas Institute for Performing Arts.

Ona is hoping to replicate the sole Dutch Miss Universe win by Angela Visser in 1989, with the country's highest recent placing be a 3rd runner-up finish in 2014 by Yasmin Verheijen.

Miss Universe Nicaragua Norma Huembes is a trilingual model, public accountant, and businesswoman, and came in fourth at Miss Teen Nicaragua 2015; her country has placed at Miss Universe four times since first joining in 1955.

Miss Universe Nigeria Hannah Iribhogbe is aiming to be her country's first Miss Universe winner as Nigeria's sole placements since joining in 1987 were a Top 10 finish by Agabni Darego in 2001 and more recently a Top 20 finish by Olutosin Araromi in 2019.

Miss Nigeria Hannah Iribhogbe attends the Joan of Arc Krewe parade on January 06, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 71st Miss Universe Competition will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana on Jan. 14, 2023.
Kaitlyn Morris/Getty Images/AFP

Miss Universe Norway Ida Anette Hauan is a model, asupervisor in mental health and substance abuse, a certified electrician, and a cat shelter volunteer.

Mona Grudt won Miss Universe 1990, but since then Norway has only made the Top 15 twice — Kathrine Sørland and Helene Tråsavik back-to-back in 2004 and 2005.

Miss Universe Panama Solaris Barba is a model and dancer who graduated from the Instituto Justo Arosemena in 2016 with a business specialization and is currently studying marketing and international business.

Barba competed at Miss World 2018, reaching the Top 12 and winning Miss World Americas 2018, and is one of the favorites at Miss Universe 2022.

Miss Universe Paraguay Leah "Lele" Ashmore is a multilingual model with a marketing and communcation background who placed in the Top 20 of Miss Grand International 2017.

Paraguay has never won Miss Universe, the closest being three runner-up finishes, the most recent one being Nadia Ferreira just losing to the aforementioned Harnaaz.

Miss Universe Peru Alessia Rovegno is a bilingual Markham College who ventured into haute couture modeling as a teenager, soon participating in the New York Fashion Week.

Alessia is a fan-favorite to win Peru's second-ever Miss Universe crown after Gladys Zender in 1957, which was followed by 15 Top 16 finishes until Janick Maceta was a 2nd runner-up in 2020.

Miss Universe Philippines Celeste Cortesi is a trilingual model currently taking up real estate management from the Lyceum of Alabang who placed in the Top 8 of Miss Earth 2018.

The Philippines has won Miss Universe four times, most recently Catriona Gray in 2018, consistently appearing in the semifinals since 2010 including four runner-up finishes in that timespan.

Related: 'It's a wonderful message': Rabiya Mateo on Miss Universe allowing moms, wives to join pageant

Miss Universe Poland Aleksandra Klepaczka is a recruiter at an IT company and took up engineering at the Lodz University of Technology, with a passion for music and dance.

Poland has never won Miss Universe but have been a runner-up three times — Alicja Bobrowska in 1958, Brygida El?bieta Bziukiewicz in 1986, and Joanna Gapi?ska in 1989.

Miss Universe Portugal Telma Madeira finished in the Top 8 of Miss Earth 2018 and was Miss Queen Portugal the year before; she is gunning to be Portugal's first Miss Universe winner as Laura Gonçalves's Top 10 placing in 2011 is their best finish to date since joining in 1960.

Miss Universe Puerto Rico Ashley Cariño is a model and certified psychosocial rehabilitator specializing in working with children with cognitive diversity, later studying aerospace engineering in Florida's Valencia College as she hopes to work in NASA.

Ashley is the second Afro-Latina to represent her country at the pageant, having won Miss Florida USA 2021 and been a 2nd runner-up at Miss USA 2021, and is a favorite to give Puerto Rico its sixth Miss Universe crown.

Miss Universe Russia Anna Linnikova is a professional model studying public relations at the Saint Petersburg University of Management Technologies and Economics, and is expected to also compete at Miss World 2022.

Russia has won Miss Universe once, Oxana Federova in 2002, and has only placed four times ever since including Vera Krasova's 3rd runner-up finish in 2008.

Miss Universe Saint Lucia Sheris Paul took up business management at Monroe College, was previously crowned Miss Independence 2015, and had competed at Miss Queen of Gros Islet the same year.

Saint Lucia last competed at the pageant in 2019, and have yet to make it to the semifinal following intermittent participation since 1977.

Miss Universe Seychelles Gabriella Gonthier is a monitoring and evaluation officer with a degree in international business and enjoys modelling and photography.

This will be Seychelles second-ever appearance at Miss Universe having first joined 27 years ago in 1995 when the archipelago was represented by Maria Payet.

Miss Universe Singapore Carissa Yap is a business student at the National University of Singapore and an alumna of Raffles Institution.

Last year Nandita Banna ended over three decades of a semifinal drought by making it to the Top 16, and Carissa is hoping to go even further.

Miss Universe Slovakia Karolina Michálcikova is a model and makeup artist who took up human resources and personnel management at the University of Tren?ín.

Slovakia has only ever placed during their first Miss Universe appearance in 1995 when Silvia Lakatošová made it to the Top 6, though Vladimíra Hre?ov?íková won Miss Photogenic in 1998.

Miss Universe South Africa Ndavi Nokeri is a multilingual consultant for an asset management firm who recently received her bachelor’s degree in investment management and will also represent her country at Miss World 2022 and Miss Supranational 2023.

The fan favorite is hoping to bring South Africa its fourth Miss Universe Crown after Margaret Gardiner in 1978, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in 2017, and most recently Zozobini Tunzi in 2019.

Miss Universe South Korea Hanna Kim is a model and classical ballet dancer with a degree in linguistics and interpreting; Hanna actually was a runner-up for her country's national pageant last year.

Related: Miss Universe Korea 2022 shares how to achieve the 'K-pop Idol Look'

South Korea has yet to win Miss Universe, the closest being Jang Yoon-jeong as a 1st runner-up in 1988 and the country's most recent placing by Lee Ha-nui being a 3rd runner-up in 2007.

Miss Universe Spain Alicia Faubel is an actress and model who likes to read and listen to music, and can speak three languages including Filipino — she was recently in the Philippines for the BYS Fashion Week.

Spain's sole Miss Universe win was by Amparo Muñoz in 1974, held in Manila, and the closest they have gotten since were 1st runner-up finishes by Teresa Sánchez in 1985 and Patricia Yurena Rodríguez in 2013.

Miss Universe Switzerland Alia Guindi will be one of four teenagers at Miss Universe 2022, and her experience includes being a finalist at Top Model Europe 2020 and making the Top 6 of Miss Suisse Francophone 2021.

Switzerland last competed at the annual pageant in 2018 and have yet to ever win the crown, the closest being a 2nd runner-up finish by Lauriane Gilliéron in 2006.

Miss Universe Thailand Anna Sueangam-iam is an actress and model who graduated with first-class honors from Kasetsart University in the faculty of liberal arts and science; she prevously figured in the Top 16 of Miss Thailand 2020.

Anna's parents were garbage collectors so she grew up in a garbage dump before staying with her great-grandmother who was a nun until her college graduation. Because of her German ancestry, Anna is the sixth consecutive representative from Thailand of the past seven years to be of Eurasian descent.

Thailand had two Miss Universe crowns — Apasra Hongsakula in 1965 and Porntip Nakhirunkanok in 1988 — and from 2015 to 2020 made it to the Top 10.

Related: Celeste Cortesi confident new Miss Universe owner won't be biased to Thailand

Miss Universe The Bahamas Angel Cartwright is a former front office banking officer with a background in business administration, earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Bahamas and her master’s degree from the College of Business of Florida International University.

Angel finished in the Top 6 of Miss World Bahamas 2018; the beauty queen she succeeded — Chantel O'Brian — was the first-ever delegate from The Bahamas to ever place at the pageant since the country joined Miss Universe in 1963, finishing in the Top 10.

Miss Universe Trinidad and Tobago Tya Jané Ramey is an athlete, dancer, and alto saxophonist, with a background in social work and social policies.

Tya placed in the Top 40 of Miss World 2019 where she Miss World Caribbean and Miss Photogenic; this will be Trinidad and Tobago's first appearance at Miss Universe since 2017, having won it in 1977 and 1998 by Janelle Commissiong and Wendy Fitzwilliam, respectively.

Miss Universe Turkey Aleyna Sirin is an interior architecture and environmental design student, and will hope to bring Turkey it first-ever Miss Universe crown as it only made it to the semifinals thrice since the pageant's inception.

Miss Universe Ukraine Viktoria Apanasenko is a professional model with a degree in social work from the Taras Shevchenko National University's Faculty of Psychology, which she has used for her volunteer work towards children, elderly people, and internally displaced families with food and medicine.

Viktoria was the Miss Universe Ukraine 2021 1st runner-up and was appointed for the 2022 edition because of the current ongoing war in her country; Ukraine has yet to pioneer a win since first joining in 1995, with Olesya Stefanko getting closest as a 1st runner-up in 2011.

Miss Universe United States R'Bonney Gabriel is a sustainable fashion designer, sewing teacher, model, and the first-ever Filipino-American Miss USA, graduating from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, minor in fibers.

The United States has won Miss Universe eight times, the most by any country, with Olivia Culpo in 2012 being their most recent crown.

Miss Universe Uruguay Carla Romero an image consultant with a background in business administration who finished in the Top 8 of Miss Mundo Uruguay 2022.

Uruguay has yet to win Miss Universe since the pageant's inception in 1952, with Andrea Beatríz López Silva's 4th runner-up finish in 1985 being the country's best mark to date.

Miss Universe Venezuela Amanda Dudamel is a multilingual fashion designer, model, psychologist, and philanthropist, and hopes to continue her country's perennial appearances at Miss Universe.

Venezuela has seven Miss Universe crowns, the most recent being Gabriela Isler in 2013, and 19 runner-up finishes.

Miss Universe Vietnam Nguyen Thi Ngoc Châu is an actress and model with a biotechnology degree from Ton Duc Thang University who won Vietnam's Next Top Model 2016 and was a Top 10 finalist in Miss Supranational 2019 where she won Miss Supranational Asia.


Vietnam's best-ever finish at Miss Universe since joining in 2004 was the Top 5 finish of H'Hen Niê in 2018.

The following countries withdrew from Miss Universe 2022 after being unable to hold a national competition or appoint a delegate: Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Morocco, Romania, and Sweden.

Kazakhstan had a representative ready but did not continue due to lack of sponsors while Latvia's Kate Alexeeva had to withdraw after contacting COVID-19 — it would have been Latvia's first appearance at Miss Universe since 2006.

RELATED: Miss Universe to evolve with new ownership

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