The 65th annual edition of Miss Universe pageant was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. Host Steve Harvey joked on the show that he got the winner right this year but many people from the Haitian community feel he got it wrong. 24-year-old dental surgery student Iris Mittenaere is Miss Universe and will be campaigning for dental and oral care around the world.
First and second runner-ups were Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier and Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar. The top finalists hailed from Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Colombia, Phillippines, Canada, Brazil, France, Haiti, Thailand and the U.S.
The pageant changed its format this year; it had 12 instead of 13 finalists and counted online votes from the Miss Universe app and Twitter.
In the final question to the top three finalists, Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, Miss France Miss France Iris Mittenaere, and Miss Haiti Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier were asked by host Steve Harvey: “Name something over the course of your life that you failed at and tell us what you learned.”
Miss Colombia: I think that many times, one makes mistakes for many things. There were moments when you don’t accept someone for their differences, sexual preferences, and you’re not capable of accepting their error. I think of any those experience gives you the opportunity to have strength and value and principles.
Miss France: I failed several times in my life… When you fail you have to be elevated and you have keep going. If tonight I will not be the winner I am still honored that I’m still one of the three finalists. For me this is a great opportunity.
Miss Haiti: About seven years ago I survived the earthquake. I think I’m failing myself and I was not living my dreams, yet I chose to be a very positive person and I learned a great lesson. If I am here today it is because I am living my dreams.
Congratulations to Raquel for a job well done, she did an amazing job representing Haiti and she is a winner in our eyes. Thank you to everyone who tuned into our social networks and helped us vote, support and highlight Raquel’s performance throughout the night.
Raquel thanks supporters on her Instagram page.
Raquel Pelissier is the 2nd Miss Universe Haiti runner-up. The first was Gerthie David in 1975 who lost to Finland. Gerthie David competed in the Miss Universe Pageant in 1975 and placed in the finals, becoming runner-up to Miss Finland, Anne Marie Pohtamo in the 1975 title. In 1975, Gerthie became the second black woman to be placed in the finals.
Click below to watch Miss Haiti highlights from Miss Universe:
Click Here to Watch our Facebook Live interview with Raquel before she left for the Philippines.