Miss Universe is one of the “big four” annual international beauty pageants - Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss International are the other three. Miss Universe is the second-longest standing international beauty pageant (it was first held in 1952, a year after the first Miss World competition) but many argue it is the most prestigious.
How will the winner of Miss Universe 2017 be decided?
Despite being labelled a beauty pageant, Miss Universe is intended to be much more than that - intelligence and manners are high on the list of attributes that entrants must exhibit. While question and interview rounds ensure the winner is a well-rounded individual, the classic swimsuit and evening gown rounds still play an important part in the decision process.
A high number of followers on social media platforms could show who is the most popular entrant (something that will help in terms of the audience vote).
The Miss Universe pageant lasts two weeks, with a variety of rounds used to narrow down the field. Ninety-two entrants (a pageant record) started in the preliminary round and will be whittled down to the top 16 for the final stages (with both public votes and the judge’s scores determining who progresses). After another round of scoring, the three entrants with the most combined votes move on to the final where viewers and judges vote for their winner.
The winner of Miss Universe 2017 will be given a year-long contract to represent the Miss Universe organisation, luxury accommodation in a New York City apartment (and living expenses), a one-year supply of hair care products and tools, cosmetics, shoes, clothing, dermatology and skincare services, dental services and much more.
The role of Miss Universe is to represent the Miss Universe organisation (and its sponsors), travelling the world “developing and representing her platforms, and raising awareness and funds for charitable initiatives.”
Miss Universe 2017 betting: The main contenders
Below is a lost of the top ten entrants in the Miss Universe 2017 odds:
More about the Miss Universe 2017 favourites
Maria Poonlertlarp (Miss Thailand) is the outright favourite in the Miss Universe 2017 betting at 5.11*. Having earned a degree in International Business Management, Maria went on to study for her Master’s Degree in Marketing. She hopes to become the second woman from Thailand to win Miss Universe and wants to tackle teenage pregnancy rates in her country with more sex education and reduce the amount of sea pollution.
Despite being labelled a beauty pageant, Miss Universe is intended to be much more than that - intelligence and manners are high on the list of attributes that entrants must exhibit.
Demi-Leigh Ne-Peters (5.67*) is looking to become only the second entrant from South Africa to be crowned Miss Universe. She speaks both English and Afrikaans and is motivated by her half-sister who has a disability. An interesting fact about Demi-Leigh is that she runs a program that helps train women in self-defence.
Laura Gonzalez (Miss Colombia) is different to the other entrants at the top of the Miss Universe 2017 betting, as she has pursued a career as an actress - graduating from performing arts school where she studied acting. Laura is currently 6.27* to win the pageant, she is bilingual (English and Spanish) and believes her experience in front of an audience will help her win this year’s crown.
Could an outsider be the surprise package?
While beauty is obviously subjective, there are some factors that will help inform your betting when trying to predict the winner of Miss Universe 2017. A high number of followers on social media platforms could show who is the most popular entrant (something that will help in terms of the audience vote) while analysing previous winners also highlights some interesting points to consider.
Of the last 65 winners, the most popular age is between 18-20 (39 winners in total) and only 10 women over the age of 24 have won the Miss Universe crown. This makes Denisse Franco (Miss Mexico) a standout contender given her substantial social media following (231,000 across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) and optimum age (19).
Miss Universe controversy
Throughout the pageant’s history, there has been plenty of controversy surrounding Miss Universe - perhaps none more so than in 2015 when host Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner (giving the crown to Miss Colombia before handing it to Miss Philippines over two minutes later after realising the mistake).
There was also notable controversy following the 2011 crowning of Leila Lopes (the winner of Miss Angola 2010). Although there were allegations of fraud tracing back to her participation in Miss Angolo UK 2010 (which made her eligible to enter Miss Angola), no conclusice evidence has been put forward and Lopes still holds the crown of Miss Universe 2011.
In recent years, there have been attempts to sabotage pageant attire, controversial answers from entrants when questioned about sensitive matters and plenty of furore about selfies featuring entrants representing states in conflict.