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Pia crowns new Miss Universe

Iris Mittenaere of France is crowned the new Miss Universe by former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines.

Former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines crowned Miss France, Iris Mittenaere, as the new Miss Universe at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on Sunday, January 29. (Monday in the Philippines.)

Mittenaere, a 24-year-old dental surgery student from Lille in Northern France, was chosen over 12 other finalists in this year’s pageant. As Miss Universe, she will be campaigning for dental and oral care around the world.

“This sash is not only a sash. This is something to help people, to understand people,” said Mittenaere in an interview after the pageant.

First and second runners-up were Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier, and Miss Colombia, Andrea Tovar. The other top finalists are from Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Colombia, the Philippines, Canada, Brazil, France, Haiti, Thailand and the U.S.

Miss Canada, Siera Bearchell, who placed in the Top Nine, made headlines for taking on trolls who criticized her for her size, while Miss Philippines Maxine Medina, who made it into the Top Six, was criticized in her home country for her poor English.

During the show, host Steve Harvey joked that he got the winner right this year, after mixing up the names of the winners last year. Among the entertainers this year were Rapper Flo Rida and R&B group Boys II Men.

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