Kismet reigns as R’Bonney Gabriel captured the Miss Universe crown in New Orleans
Mardis Gras festivities ruled as the Miss Universe Pageant descending upon the Big Easy city of New Orleans, Louisiana, aka NOLA. The spectacular show, viewed either through its live audience, broadcast partners or live-streamed viewers, showcased intelligent, poised, and accomplished women from around the globe. At the conclusion of the jazz filled event, one woman would capture the title of Miss Universe 2023 and the coveted Mouawad “Force for Good” crown.
The Top 16 announcement provided the evening’s first glimpse of the potential Miss Universe 2023. Misses Puerto Rico, Haiti, Australia, Dominican Republic, Laos, South Africa, Portugal, Canada, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao, India, Venezuela, Spain, United States, and Columbia would begin the road to the Miss Universe crown.
Following requisite competitions, the initial finalists were narrowed to the Top 5 of Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel, Miss United States R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss Puerto Rico Ashley Carino, Miss Curacao Gabriela Dos Santos, and Miss Dominican Republic Andreina Martinez.
The glamorous spectacle was in the hands of the judges following the final question. In the first presentation of the Miss Universe Pageant under the new leadership of Miss Anne Jukapong and the JKN Organization, the final three stood center stage awaiting the announcement of Miss Universe 2023.
With ascending approval from the live audience, the final three selections were proclaimed: 2nd Runner-up Miss Dominican Republic, 1st runner-up Miss Venezuela, and capturing the crown of Miss Universe was R’Bonney Nola Gabriela of the United States. As Miss Universe, R’Bonney Gabriel captured the hearts of the city of NOLA and demonstrated sometimes a name is more than just a name, it’s kismet.
Before beginning her world tour, Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel visited with Pageantry magazine to discuss her journey from Miss USA to Miss Universe, the coincidental similarity between her middle name of NOLA and the host city, overcoming obstacles, her passion for up-cycling fashions, and her goals as the first Filipina American Miss Universe.
Pageantry magazine: As discussed previously, Nola was a truly important part of the Miss Universe pageant in a few ways.
R’Bonney Gabriel: That’s right. It’s my middle name. I’m named after my great-aunt, who I’d never even met before, but I think it was fitting. It was only right. I had the saying, #NolatakesNola, and sure enough, it happened. I’m very thankful.
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