Post Pageant Analysis of Miss Universe 2021

13 Dec 2021 | Camilla Suarez

Post Pageant Analysis of Miss Universe 2021


The 70th edition of Miss Universe was held yesterday, on 12th December at Universe Dome, Port of Eilat in Eilat, South District, Israel, where Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu of India was crowned as Miss Universe 2021 as she bested 79 candidates from all over the world to win the most prestigious title of the pageant world. She succeeded Andrea Meza of Mexico for the title and became India’s third ever queen to win the Miss Universe crown.

The competition followed the Top 16 – Top 10 – Top 5 – Top 3 format this year. Out of 80 delegates from all across the world, the top 16 finalists were chosen by the judges, and then the top-10, followed by top-5 and top- 3, finally revealing the winner and her court at the end.



The esteemed panel of jury included Sheryl Adkins-Green American marketing executive, Arden Cho – American actress, Christine Duffy – American businesswoman, Keltie Knight – Canadian television host, Brook Lee – Miss Universe 1997 from the United States, Deepica Mutyala – American entrepreneur, Tatyana Orozco – Colombian businesswoman and Zuleyka Rivera – Miss Universe 2006 from Puerto Rico.

The 2021 edition saw the return of Steve Harvey as host and Fox as the official broadcaster of the show. The event was a grand success but people all across the globe were a tad bit disappointed in the fact that viewership could have been made more accessible by officially streaming it on a more public platform like YouTube.

The 2021 edition saw the debut of the United Arab Emirates, and the returns of Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sweden, and Turkey; Morocco last competed in 1978, Greece, Guatemala, and Hungary last competed in 2018, while the others last competed in 2019. Barbados, Belize, Indonesia and Malaysia withdrew from the competition due to travel restrictions and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic while Myanmar withdrew due to political constraints



The pre-pageant activities kick started weeks ago during which winners of the several preliminary competitions were announced. The award for national costume went to Maristella Okpala of Nigeria while Chantel O'Brian of Bahamas and Antonia Figueroa of Chile went on to win the Spirit of Carnival Award and Social Impact Award respectively.

The last leg of the competition was the much-awaited question and answer round, which took place amongst the candidates of South Africa, Colombia, Philippines, India and Paraguay, i.e., the Top 5.

A beautiful rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen was done in English, Hebrew and Arabic afterwards. In an interesting turn of events, there was another question-and-answer round held for the top 3, i.e. India, Paraguay and South Africa where they were asked the same question. To keep the competition fair and square, the contestants supported sound free headphones during the final round. The last question was, “What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?” Both Harnaaz Sandhu, the now reigning queen and Lalela Mswane gave powerful and empowering answers and impressed the judges with their wits and humility.



This year was full of ups and downs, from a contestant testing positive for the corona virus, advent of omicron variant creating even more uncertainties, protests being held by the South African government to boycott the competition to Lalela Mswane, the South African representative proving everyone wrong and making women proud all over the world by making it to the Top 3 of the competition and the contestant rejoining the competition successfully after the quarantine period.

All in all, this year’s edition was a complete package of excitement, thrill, surprises and a whole lot of emotions, successfully produced and hosted by the Miss Universe organization. We wish our heartiest congratulations to the newly crowned queen, all the other contestants and event managers for holding such a blockbuster edition in the face of a pandemic.