A Magic Moment

Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi, pageantry, pageantry magazine
Miss Universe 2019: Zozibini Tunzi

Zozibini Tunzi becomes only the third woman from South Africa to capture the illustrious crown of Miss Universe


Miss Universe 2019 returned to the United States and it was a spectacular extravaganza. Televised worldwide on the FOX network and Telemundo, the global event was broadcast from an expansive soundstage at the new Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, the same production lot where such renowned names as Oprah and Whoopi are proudly displayed for all to see. Miss Universe brought her crown and title to this illustrious venue in what would be a historical night.

In an explosive opening number featuring the ninety beautiful and intelligent country representatives, the Miss Universe delegates and pop sensation Ally Brooke brought the live audience to their feet with an undeniable energy which only the Miss Universe pageant possesses. Hosted by the witty and self-deprecating Steve Harvey, along with Miss Teen USA 1998 and television personality Vanessa Minnillo Lachey and Miss Universe 2012 and social media influencer Olivia Culpo, viewers from around the world were initially treated to the delegates featured in their national costumes as they took to the Miss Universe 2019 stage.

Within the Miss Universe competition, the top twenty finalists would come from the regions of the Americas (five), Europe (five), Africa and Asia Pacific (five), with the remaining five finalists coming from any region. Taking the stage to compete for the title of Miss Universe 2019 from Africa and Asia Pacific: Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Indonesia Frederika Cull, Miss Vietnam Thuy Hoang, Miss Nigeria Olutosin Araromi, and Miss Thailand Paweensuda Drouin. The ladies representing Europe: Miss Albania Cindy Marina, Miss France Maëva Coucke, Miss Iceland Birta Abibi, Miss Croatia Mia Rkman, and Miss Portugal Sylvie Silva. Followed by the Americas’ Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson, Miss Peru Kelin Rivera, Miss Dominican Republic Clauvid Daly, Miss Mexico Sofía Aragón, and Miss USA Cheslie Kryst. To begin the competition for the Miss Universe 2019 title, all that was left was the announcement of the final five from various regions: Miss Philippines Gazinni Ganados, Miss Venezuela Thalia Olvino, Miss India Vartika Singh, Miss Brazil Julia Horta, and Miss Colombia Gabriela Nader.

With the twenty finalists recognized and after the presentations of a fifteen second Opening Statement and Personal Introduction, the Miss Universe field was narrowed to the Top Ten of Miss USA, Colombia, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Peru, Iceland, France, Indonesia, Thailand, and Miss Mexico. The outstanding Top Ten were diverse and represented all the regions within the competition.

Embracing the beauty, as well as the empowerment of women worldwide, the Top Ten country contestants displayed confidence, self-awareness, and commitment to a healthy and fit lifestyle during the Swimwear Competition.

Always graceful, poised and beautiful, the Evening Gown Competition would winnow the field to the Top Five. Throughout the appreciative applause and support of the live studio audience, each delegate was exquisite in her personal choice of evening wear which displayed her personal sense of style and elegance. With the final presentation, the Top Five of Miss Mexico, Miss Thailand, Miss Colombia, Miss Puerto Rico, and Miss South Africa would continue to the crown of Miss Universe 2019.

Next, was the Final Question Round with each contestant answering a socially current and pertinent question. The questions presented were, “Is protest a positive way to create change? (Mexico); What is more important, privacy of security? (Thailand); What do you feel is the most important issue in women’s health? (Colombia); Should social media platforms restrict free speech or regulate what people post? (Puerto Rico); Are leaders today doing enough to protect future generations from climate change?” (South Africa). Thought provoking and appropriate in today’s environment, each contestant was able to succinctly and eloquently answer the question presented to her, and all in front of a worldwide live audience! That’s extreme pressure and each one received the rousing applause and congratulations she deserved.

With each round of competition completed, another reduction of the field was announced, this time to the Final Three. They would each answer the same question to separate them from the others. The Final Three consisting of Miss Mexico, Miss South Africa, and Miss Puerto Rico would address the Final Word question, “What is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today?”

As the Miss Universe Selection Committee pondered the answers, a new Miss Universe opportunity presented itself with the Final Three finalists giving a Closing Statement as to why she would be the right choice for Miss Universe 2019.

After three hours of intense competition, the Selection Committee had come a conclusion and the ballots were cast. Miss Mexico Sofía Aragón was announced as 2nd Runner-up. With the final two standing center stage, the universe awaited the decision.

With the proclamation of Miss Universe, Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson placed 1st Runner-Up and from South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi captured the crown of Miss Universe 2019. She is only the third woman from the country to do so, and the first woman of color to capture the crown for South Africa. Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi is truly a reflection of the universe.


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