USA gains another Miss Universe title


Photo by Michael Palumbo

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA, taken Jan. 14, 2013. This is where Miss Universe 2022 was held.

On January 14, 2023, the Miss Universe pageant was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The competition was delayed to 2023 to avoid conflict with the FIFA World Cup. USA representative, R’Bonney Gabriel, was crowned Miss Universe 2022 by the 2021 winner, Harnaaz Sandhu of India. Gabriel had beat out 83 other candidates for the title.

The pageant includes an evening gown competition, swimsuit competition, and the women answer a set of mature and challenging questions. The top 5 came down to the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, USA, Curacao, and Puerto Rico. Dominican Republic representative, Amanda Dudamel, was first runner up. Gabriel was put at a slight disadvantage giving that her age is 28, and that is the oldest age you can compete. However, that is set to change next year along with other rules such as mothers and non single women being allowed to compete. This is a big step towards change considering how many people look up to Miss Universe. In its most popular days, the annual competition received over 500 million viewers. Viewers this year included East Senior, Rachel Farris.

“I love watching the Miss Universe pageant,” said Farris.“I look forward to it every year.”

This year the pageant was bought by Thai celebrity and transgender activist, Anne Chakrajutathib. These rule changes can be credited to her. Chakrajutathib is the first woman to own a global beauty pageant organization according to USA today article by Natalie Neysa Alund. Gabriel was also making big steps, but for Asian Americans. She is the first Filipino American woman to win and the 9th USA winner overall according to ABC7 News.

“I took that win home for my family, for my community, for Houston, for Texas, and for the Asian American community,” Gabriel said.