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File photo: Miss India, Harnaaz Sandhu, is crowned Miss Universe during the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 13, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

There will not be a Miss Universe pageant this year, and the Miss Universe Organization plans to hold two pageants next year - for 2022 and 2023. The decision to postpone the event was taken to avoid the clash with the 2022 FIFA World Cup, slated to be held in Qatar from November to December this year.

The Miss Universe contest for 2022 will be held in the first quarter of 2023. It also means that Indian Harnaaz Sandhu, who won the prize in 2021, will extend her Miss Universe reign until the new winner is crowned.

Historic move

The Miss Universe competition will cease to be what it has been all along – a contest for unmarried girls - as the organisation has allowed mothers and married women to take part in the contests from the next edition onwards.

The historic move will throw the competition open to a wider section of women around the world and is expected to boost their confidence

As per its earlier regulations, contestants had to be single and they had to maintain that status throughout their reign if they become title winners. However, from 2023, marital and parental status will no longer be a criterion.

Around 60 contestants are expected to participate in the next Miss Universe pageant.

Date and venue 

New Orleans will be the site of the 71st Miss Universe contest, bringing together nearly 90 women contestants from around the world in January, the Miss Universe Organization said. The competition will be aired on January 14, 2023 - a Saturday - at the city's convention centre, according to the statement.

The live broadcast will culminate with the 70th Miss Universe, Bollywood actress Harnaaz Sandhu of India, crowning the winner. Last year's pageant in Eilat, Israel, was held in the middle of the night to accommodate the US primetime TV schedule.

2021 winner

India’s 22-year-old Harnaaz Sandhu is the reigning champion as she clinched the title in Eilat, Israel, defeating Paraguay's Nadia Ferreira and South Africa's Lalela Mswane in the finale. Sandhu is the third Miss Universe winner from India, following the title triumphs of Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.

The pageant

Miss Universe started its first global edition in 1952, and it provides a platform for women to “realise their goals through experiences that build self-confidence and create opportunities for success”. The US-based Miss Universe Organization (MUO) is the host of the Miss Universe beauty contest.


The Miss Universe pageant is one of the most prestigious titles in beauty contests.


The winner is expected to appear for media interviews, sponsored events and charity drives. She will also be the organisation’s chief ambassador during her reign, championing the various causes of Miss Universe Organization.


Besides excellent financial rewards, the winner can expect opportunities in movies and modelling. Many of the winners went on to become actresses and supermodels later in their careers.

Perks and benefits
• The Miss Universe crown, which is made of 18 carats gold and studded with 1,770 diamonds. The winner can wear the crown on special occasions for a year.

• Around $250,000 in prize money

• A six-figure annual salary.

• Free stay at the Miss Universe apartment in New York City for one year. The organization will take care of all her expenses, including food and transportation.

• Free services from well-known makeup artists, stylists, assistants, etc.

• Services of professional nutritionists, dentists, dermatologists, etc.

• Skincare, jewellery, shoes, clothes, makeup and hair products for one year.

• An opportunity to pose for top photographers, providing a chance to become a celebrity model.

• Access to events, parties, screenings, etc.

• She can travel across the world freely with hotel accommodation and food.

The $5 million crown

Mouawad's Miss Universe Power of Unity Crown
Radiant and resplendent, the Mouawad's Miss Universe Power of Unity Crown is a unique, bespoke work of extraordinary craftsmanship that carries with it a powerful message to the world.

The Miss Universe ‘Power of Unity Crown’, was designed and funded by the luxury Swiss jewellery brand Mouawad. It is worth $5 million, or around Dh18.3 million.

According to the info from Mouawad's official website, the crown is "a unique, handcrafted work of amazing craftsmanship that carries a powerful message with it to the world and symbolises the community of women from all around the world whose links bind them."

Miss Universe vs Miss World

There are four major international beauty pageants such as Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International and Miss World. While Miss Universe Organization hosts Miss Universe yearly, Miss World is considered the oldest major international beauty pageant.

Past 10 Miss Universe title holders


First title

Finland’s Armi Kuusela was the first title winner by clinching the crown in 1952.

Miss Universe 1952 Armi Kuusela of Finland.
Miss Universe 1952 Armi Kuusela of Finland. Image Credit: Twitter@MissUniverse

TV broadcast

In 1955, the Miss Universe competition gained acceptance when it was televised across the world. The contest, one of the most viewed beauty pageants in the world, now has over 500 million viewers across more than 190 countries.

Trump Ownership

Donald Trump

In 1996, former US President Donald Trump acquired Miss Universe, Inc., the operational company.

Two years later, Trump’s company changed its name to the Miss Universe Organization and relocated its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to New York City. However, Trump sold it to a talent agency and entertainment company WME/IMG in 2015.

The Big Three

The three nations that have participated in all editions of the Miss Universe pageant since 1952 are Canada, France, and Germany.

Wrong winner

The competition also had its share of controversies. In 2015, Steve Harvey, the host of the event announced the wrong winner. Later the title was handed over to the real winner Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, an actress and model from the Philippines.

Nude photographs

Vanessa Williams was the first black woman to win the Miss America in 1983. However, when her nude photographs were published in Penthouse magazine one year later, it created a controversy.

Miss America in 1983 Vanessa Williams
Miss America in 1983 Vanessa Williams. Image Credit: Twitter


Miss Russia Oksana Gennadyevna Borodina faced the ignominy of becoming the first Miss Universe titlist to be dethroned. Borodina, who won the title in 2002, could hold the crown for just four months before she was ousted for “failing to fulfil her duties.”


Destiny Velez, the 2015 winner, was indefinitely suspended by the Miss Puerto Rico Organization for posting anti-Muslim remarks.


Canadian beauty contestant Jenna Talackova, reportedly underwent gender-reassignment surgery at the age of 19. She held legal documents affirming her identity as a woman and entered the top 12 in the Miss Universe Canada pageant in 2012. Later she was kicked out of the Miss Universe Canada contest.

Youngest and oldest

The youngest and the oldest Miss Universe winners are Finland’s Armi Kuusela and Brooke Lee of US, respectively. While Kuusela clinched the title at the age of 17 in 1952, Lee bagged it at the age of 26 in 1997.

Miss Universe 1997 Brook Lee of the United States
Miss Universe 1997 Brook Lee of the United States. Image Credit: Twitter
Winning at home
Only seven Miss Universe champions managed to win titles when the competition was held in their home country. The following are the winners:

1. Miriam Stevenson (US) – Miss Universe 1954
2. Carol Morris (US) – Miss Universe 1956
3. Linda Bement (US) – Miss Universe 1960
4. Sylvia Hitchcock (US) – Miss Universe
5. Brook Lee (US) – Miss Universe 1997
6. Olivia Culpo (US) – Miss Universe 2012
7. Denise Quiñones (Puerto Rico) - Miss Universe 2001

Consecutive wins

Venezuela is the only country that has produced two consecutive winners. Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela won the title in 2008, and one year later she had the privilege of crowning her countrywoman Stefana Fernández as the winner.

Most wins

The US has the most number of victories in the contest, having eight title winners. Venezuela is following closely with seven winners. While Puerto Rico has five winners, the Philippines has four titles. India, Sweden and South Africa have had three winners so far. Colombia and Canada also have two Miss Universe winners.

Winners of the prestigious title so far
2021 - Harnaaz Sandhu (India)
2020 - Andrea Meza (Mexico)
2019 - Zozibini Tunzi (South Africa)
2018 - Catriona Gray (Philippines)
2017 - Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (South Africa)
2016 - Iris Mittenaere (France)
2015 - Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (Philippines)
2014 - Paulina Vega Dieppa (Colombia)
2013 - Gabriela Isler (Venezuela)
2012 - Olivia Culpo (USA)
2011 - Leila Lopes (Angola)
2010 - Ximena Navarrete (Mexico)
2009 - Stefanía Fernández (Venezuela)
2008 - Dayana Mendoza (Venezuela)
2007 - Riyo Mori (Japan)
2006 - Zuleyka Riviera Mendoza (Puerto Rico)
2005 - Natalie Glebova (Canada)
2004 - Jennifer Hawkins (Australia)
2003 - Amelia Vega Polanco (Dominican Republic)
2002 - Justine Pasek (Panama)
2002 - Oksana Fyodorova (Russia)
2001 - Denise M. Quiñones (Puerto Rico)
2000 - Lara Dutta (India)
1999 - Mpule Kwelagobe (Botswana)
1998 - Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)
1997 - Brook Lee (USA)
1996 - Alicia Machado (Venezuela)
1995 - Chelsi Smith (USA)
1994 - Sushmita Sen (India)
1993 - Dayanara Torres (Puerto Rico)
1992 - Michelle McLean (Namibia)
1991 - Lupita Jones (Mexico)
1990 - Mona Grudt (Norway)
1989 - Angela Visser (Holland)
1988 - Porntip Nakhirunkanok (Thailand)
1987 - Cecilia Bolocco (Chile)
1986 - Barbara Palacios Teyde (Venezuela)
1985 - Deborah Carthy–Deu (Puerto Rico)
1984 - Yvonne Ryding (Sweden)
1983 - Lorraine Downes (New Zealand)
1982 - Karen Baldwin (Canada)
1981 - Irene Saez (Venezuela)
1980 - Shawn Weatherly (USA)
1979 - Maritza Sayalero (Venezuela)
1978 - Margaret Gardiner (South Africa)
1977 - Janelle Commissiong (Trinidad & Tobago)
1976 - Rina Messinger (Israel)
1975 - Anne Marie Puhtamo (Finland)
1974 - Amparo Munoz (Spain)
1973 - Margie Moran (Philippines)
1972 - Kerry Anne Wells (Australia)
1971 - Georgina Rizk(Lebanon)
1970 - Marisol Malaret (Puerto Rico)
1969 - Gloria Diaz (Philippines)
1968 - Martha Vasconcellos (Brazil)
1967 - Sylvia Hitchcock (USA)
1966 - Margareta Arvidsson (Sweden)
1965 - Apasra Hongsakula (Thailand)
1964 - Corinna Tsopei (Greece)
1963 - Idea Maria Vargas (Brazil)
1962 - Norma Nolan (Argentina)
1961 - Marlene Schmidt (Germany)
1960 - Linda Bement (USA)
1959 - Akiko Kojima (Japan)
1958 - Luz Marina Zuluaga (Columbia)
1957 - Gladys Zender (Peru)
1956 - Carol Morris (USA)
1955 - Hellevi Rombin (Sweden)
1954 - Miriam Stevenson (USA)
1953 - Christiane Martel (France)
1952 - Armi Kuusela (Finland)

With inputs from AP/ANI/Reuters and