Miss Universe: Mexico's Andrea Meza wins, Miss India 3rd runner-up
Mexico's Andrea Meza is the new Miss Universe. Defeating over 70 contestants, the 26-year-old impressed everyone at the 69th edition of the event with her honesty. India's hopes were high too, with contestant Adline Castelino advancing to the top five, but in the end, she became the third runner-up. This year, the event was held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Florida.
Castelino was the second participant after Meza to advance to the top five. This same order was followed while asking the final questions in the pageant. Tatyana Orozco, CEO of Arena Del Rio, was selected to deliver the 22-year-old's final round question. She was asked whether or not the countries should impose lockdown to prevent COVID-19 spread and risk the strain on the economy.
A poised Castelino said she has witnessed how severe COVID-19's impact could be, given the current condition in India. "I've realized something very important," she said, adding, "there is nothing more important than the health of your loved ones." Urging the need to draw a line between economy and health, Castelino stressed that the "government should work hand in hand with the people."
This was followed by the final statement of the finalists. Miss India's statement dealt with the topic: "Free speech and the right to protest." The Kuwait-born model brought up the issue of women's protests while answering. She said despite protests held around the world through the years, inequality is still rampant. Crossing the time limit shortly, she pushed for healthy forms of protests.
The pageant was held after a year's break, as it had to be stopped in 2020 because of the pandemic. Contestants utilized the stage to raise awareness about the COVID-19 crisis and political turmoil. For example, Myanmar's Thuzar Wint Lwin spoke against the military coup in her country. Holding a sign that read "Pray for Myanmar," she gave an insight into the ruthless killing.