Decked out in a gold-sequined gown, 24-year-old dental surgery student Iris Mittenaere beat 12 other finalists to take the crown. As Miss Universe, she will be campaigning for dental and oral care around the world.
“This sash is not only a sash,” said Mittenaere, who is from Northern France, in a Miss Universe interview after the pageant. “This is something to help people, to understand people.”
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.
This was the first time Sierra Leone…