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Miss South Africa wins Miss Universe

Associated Press

Las Vegas — The woman representing South Africa has won the Miss Universe crown.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who recently earned a business management degree, was crowned Sunday during the event that took place at The AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters cries after she was announced as the new Miss Universe Sunday.
Former Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere, right, crowns new Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters at the Miss Universe pageant Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas.

The runner-up was Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez. The second runner-up was Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett.

Ninety-two women from around the world participated in the decades-old competition. This year’s edition had the most contestants ever.

The 22-year-old Nel-Peters has earned a yearlong salary, a luxury apartment in New York City for the duration of her reign and more prizes.

Last year, Iris Mittenaere from France was crowned when the pageant took place in the Philippines.

This year’s edition of the Miss Universe pageant has separated contestants by geographic region for the first time.

The 92 women on Sunday were divided into three regions: Americas, Europe, and Africa and Asian Pacific. Four contestants from each region are guaranteed to advance to the finals. Four other women regardless of region will also move forward in the competition.

This year’s pageant has more contestants than ever before. Host Steve Harvey says Cambodia, Laos and Nepal are being represented for the first time in the show.

The decades-old competition is airing live on Fox from The AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort in Las Vegas.

Grammy-Award winner Fergie and Rachel Platten, best known for her 2015 hit “Fight Song,” are scheduled to perform during the show.

Ninety-two women took part in decades-old pageant that aired live on Fox from The AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort.

Steve Harvey returned as the show’s host despite botching the 2015 Miss Universe crowning.

This year’s judges included YouTube star Lele Pons and former judge on “America’s Next Top Model” Jay Manuel.

Kara McCullough of Washington, D.C. is represented the U.S.

Current Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere from France crowned her successor.