(UPDATED) Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa succeeded the Philippines’ Catriona Gray as she was crowned Miss Universe 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday (Manila time). She bested 89 other contestants for the title, and makes her the first wearer of the new Mouawad crown.
“I grew up in a world where women who look like me – with my kind of skin and my kind of hair – were never considered to be beautiful. And I think that it is time, that it stops today,” Tunzi said during her closing statement, moments before she was announced winner. “I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”
With her win, Tunzi was able to bring back the Miss Universe crown to South Africa, after Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in 2017. Madison Anderson Berrios of Puerto Rico was proclaimed first runner-up, while Sofia Aragon of Mexico finished second runner-up.
Filipina representative Gazini Ganados ended her Miss Universe 2019 journey early as she failed to crack the Top 10 of the pageant. This also meant the end of the Philippines’ Top 10 streak in Miss Universe, which started with Venus Raj’s fourth runner-up finish in 2010. The country has since consistently made it to the Top 10, at the very least, with the past decade highlighted by title wins of Pia Wurtzbach (2015) and Gray (2018).