Miss Nicaragua wins Miss Universe 2023 with an answer about feminism
Sheynnis Palacios, Miss Nicaragua, was crowned Miss Universe 2023 at the annual beauty pageant on Saturday night in El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador.
With Palacios’ victory, the 23-year-old communicologist became the first woman from Nicaragua to win Miss Universe. She previously competed for Nicaragua in the 2017 Teen Miss Universe pageant, finishing in the top ten, as well as the 2021 Miss World pageant.
Miss Thailand, Antonia Porsild, was the first runner-up, while Miss Australia, Moraya Wilson, was the second runner-up.
Eighty-four women competed for the crown in the 72nd edition of the competition.
Twenty semi-finalists were announced at the beginning of Saturday night’s proceedings following the results of the preliminary competition (and a global fan vote). After the swimsuit round, the field was narrowed to 10—seeing the elimination of the first “curvy” contestant to make the pageant’s semi-finals, Miss Nepal, as well as the first contestant to choose a burkini as their swimsuit, Miss Pakistan. The evening gown round cut the number of contestants in half again.
Two rounds of hot topic Q&As then left just three women in contention: Palacios, Porsild and second runner-up Moraya Wilson of Australia.
Palacios’s win appeared to have been sealed in the final round when she was asked whose shoes she would choose to spend a day in. She chose the 18th-century British philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who she said broke boundaries and “gave an opportunity to many women.”
Palacios said she also wants to work to close the salary gap between the genders so that women can work in any area.
Miss Colombia, Camila Avella, and Miss Puerto Rico, Karla Guilfú, rounded out the top five, while another member of the top 10, Spain’s Athenea Pérez, was crowned the pageant’s Miss Congeniality.
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