The Miss Universe competition will see its 71st winner on Jan. 14 (Jan. 15 morning in the Philippines) in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Several changes have been made since the international pageant’s rights have been transferred to its new owner, Thai billionaire Anne Jakapong of JKN Global. With the end of Steve Harvey’s contract, an all-female ensemble of emcees and selection committee have been formed.
Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo and fashion stylist Jeannie Mai Jenkins have been tapped as main hosts for the event, while Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Access Hollywood correspondent Zuri Hall will cover the backstage events and commentaries.
Filipino-Chinese master esthetician, Olivia Quido-Co, who is also the CEO of O Skin Med Spa in California and Olivia Quido Clinical Skincare, the official skincare sponsor of the pageant, will be one of the 10 females making up the selection panel.
This year’s winner will get to wear the $5.5 million worth Mouawad blue sapphire and white diamond encrusted crown named “Force for Good”, which symbolizes “a future forged by women who push the limits” and women who “advocate for positive change”.
The biggest sapphire stone that stands at the peak of the crown represents the victory of creating good change. Smaller gems are arranged in rippling waves below this, depicting how “significant change does not happen in an instant, but only after a sustained effort over time”.
Unlike past titleholders, Miss Universe 2022 may spend more time in Thailand and Southeast Asia while fulfilling her duties instead of residing in New York City.
The franchise also made healdines earlier as it started opening its applications to women of any civil status for Miss Universe 2023.
Celeste Rabimbi Cortesi, a 25-year-old Filipino-Italian model and realtor will be representing the Philippines as 84 candidates from across the globe vye for the grand title this year.
Here are Cortesi’s preliminary competition looks:
Celeste channels her inner superhero as she dons this Darna costume. “Darna is the ultimate Filipina superhero and part of this country’s pop culture. She transforms from an ordinary woman with the help of a white stone, standing up for those who cannot defend themselves. Have no fear ’cause Darna is here in the Philippines,” the voiceover said.
Contestants were tasked to customize the plain capes given to them. Cortesi’s was inspired by her experience during the Save the Children Philippines outreach, and features handprints of children from Marawi.
LA-based fashion designer Oliver Tolentino crafted the Philippine bet’s gown. According to Celeste, her father knew her name should be Celeste while carrying her, which means “heavenly” and “sky blue” in Italian, thus the color chosen for the gown.