A 23-year-old dental student from France crowned the winner of the 65th Miss Universe Monday in the annual pageant held this year in the Philippines.
Mittenaere was speechless and put her hands on her face as the outgoing winner from the Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, crowned her as the crowd erupted in cheers and applause at the packed Mall of Asia Arena by Manila Bay. In her profile, she said she would "advocate for dental and oral hygiene" if she takes home the crown.
In the final question to the top three finalists, the candidate were asked to cite a failure in their life and explain what they learned from the debacle.
Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier, a 25-year-old survivor of the devastating 2010 earthquake that destroyed her hometown, was named first runner up while Miss Colombia, 23-year-old, Andrea Tovar, was second runner up.
"I survived the earthquake," Pelissier said in reply to the same question, citing the quake the Haiti government estimated to have killed more than 300,000 people and displaced more than 1.5 million others. "I felt I was failing myself because I was not living my dreams ... But I chose to be a very positive person, and learned a great lesson from it because if I am here today, it is because I am living my dreams."
As he closed the ceremony, the American comedian host declared: "This is Steve Harvey, I got it right," referring in jest to his mistaken announcement of Miss Colombia as the winner in the last pageant in Las Vegas more than a year ago that sparked an uproar.
This year’s festivities were markedly less dramatic than last year’s when host Steve Harvey mistakenly announced the wrong winner. During the live show last December, the comedian, 60, originally announced that Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez had won, but the winner was actually Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.