Iris Mittenaere of France became the new Miss Universe 2016 during the pageant Monday in Manila, Philippines, local time
Iris Mittenaere of France became the new Miss Universe 2016 during the pageant Monday in Manila, Philippines, local time

Iris Mittenaere from northern city Lille was crowned Miss Universe on Monday in the Philippines, local time,The 23-year-old dental student was speechless as the outgoing winner from the Philippines crowned her

 

A 23-year-old dental student from France won the Miss Universe crown Monday in the Philippines, local time, bringing her country its first win in the annual pageant in 64 years.

Iris Mittenaere from the city of Lille in northern France said in reply to a final question from pageant host Steve Harvey that she would be honored if she just landed among the three finalists. But she was visibly stunned when she was announced the winner among the field of 86 contestants.

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 took home the crown.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach (left) prepared to crown Mittenaere  shortly after her victory was announced

As he closed the ceremony, the American comedian host declared: ‘This is Steve Harvey, I got it right’ – joking about the gaffe that saw him mistakenly announcing Miss Colombia as the winner of the last pageant in Las Vegas more than a year ago.

Mittenaere is pictured during the pageant in her national costume - a cabaret-inspired ensemble with red feathers

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.’

Mittenaere, from the city of Lille in northern France, blew kisses to the crowd after being proclaimed the new Miss Universe
Mittenaere, from the city of Lille in northern France, blew kisses to the crowd after being proclaimed the new Miss Universe

 

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