On Saturday night, R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned the winner of Miss Universe 2022 at the 71st edition of the world’s most important beauty pageant. Miss USA is the winner of the competition’s new era, headed by Thai billionaire Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, a transgender woman.
The event was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Although the edition was held in 2023, this pageant corresponds to the Miss Universe 2022 title, which was postponed so as not to compete with the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Gabriel replaces Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu, winner of the contest in 2021. This young Texan will be the face of a new direction for the organization, which now seeks to highlight more important concepts over empty beauty, such as gender equality and women’s rights. The new administration points out that it is competition “made by women, for women.”
Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel and Miss Dominican Republic Andreina Martinez were first and second runner-up, respectively. The three winners will have to dedicate a year to the organization and move to Thailand, where the world headquarters of the contest are now located.
The 71st edition of the pageant was hosted by presenter Jeannie Mai and 2012 pageant winner Olivia Culpo, with 84 countries participating.
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) January 15, 2023
R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss Universe 2022 has Filipino roots
Gabriel, 28, was born in San Antonio, Texas and became the first woman of Filipino descent to win the Miss USA title. She received a degree in Fashion Design and graduated in 2018.
Her father Remigio Bonzon ‘R. Bon’ Gabriel, is a Filipino immigrant who came to the country to study psychology at the University of Southern California with only $20 in his pocket. He married Dana Walker, a U.S. citizen, and later went on to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Houston.
Gabriel received the crown from her predecessor, Harnaaz Sandhu, a new ‘Force for Good’ tiara that has 993 precious stones and a 45.14-carat sapphire. It is valued at $5.3 million, the most expensive crown in the pageant’s 71-year history. The sash, meanwhile, was made from recyclable materials for the first time in the pageant’s history.
The Miss Universe Organization informed that the next edition will be held in El Salvador.