Celeste Cortesi not lone ‘veteran’ in Miss Universe pageant
MANILA, Philippines — When the delegates of the Miss Universe pageant gather together for their orientation scheduled on Jan. 6, the Philippines’ representative Celeste Cortesi will find a familiar face among the sea of international beauties, Telma Madeira from Portugal.
The two ladies participated in the 2018 Miss Earth pageant held in the Philippines, where they also both finished in the Top 8. Another Miss Earth alumna is Fernanda Rodriguez from Costa Rica who competed in 2017.
But they are not the only ones with international experience among the roster of Miss Universe delegates. Three more contenders have participated in the Miss Supranational pageant, 2022 Top 12 finalist Alexandrine Belle from Mauritius, 2021 Top 12 finalist Swelia Antonio from Angola, and 2019 Top 10 finalist Ngyuenthi Ngocchau from Vietnam.
Three delegates have already competed in the Miss Grand International pageant — 2017 Top 20 semifinalist Leah Ashmore from Paraguay, 2020 second runner-up Ivana Batchelor from Guatemala, and 2021 participant Kristina Ayanian from Armenia.
Two Miss World alumnae are also in the fray, 2019 quarterfinalist Tya Jane Ramey from Trinidad and Tobago and 2018 Top 12 finalist Solaris Barba from Panama. Barbara Cabrera from Argentina, meanwhile, finished in the Top 20 of the 2021 Miss Eco International pageant.
Toshi Choden from Bhutan has joined two international competitions before competing in the Miss Universe pageant. She was Miss Congeniality at the 2018 Miss Asia contest and was in the Top 15 of the 2019 Miss Supermodel Worldwide tilt.
Crossing over from one international pageant to another has been done many times over by countless of contestants, including Miss Universe winners Catriona Gray, Andrea Meza, Mpule Kwelagobe, and Angela Visser who all competed in the Miss World pageant.
Before Gray became the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe winner in 2018, she finished in the Top 5 of the 2016 Miss World pageant. Meza, who became Mexico’s third winner in 2020, joined the 2017 Miss World pageant where she finished second to Manushi Chhillar from India.
Kwelagobe, who became Botswana’s first Miss Universe winner in 1999, did not even place in the 1997 Miss World pageant, and so was Angela Visser from Holland who joined the rival competition a year before capturing the Miss Universe crown in 1989.
Lara Dutta, the second Miss Universe winner from India, won the Miss Intercontinental pageant in 1997 before claiming her second international title in 2000.
The 71st Miss Universe pageant, technically the tilt’s 2022 edition, will hold its coronation show at the New Orleans Memorial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States on Jan. 14 (Jan. 15 in Manila).
Eighty-five delegates are vying for the title currently held by Harnaaz Sandhu, the third queen from India. EDV