Life & Leisure

Israel applies finishing touches ahead of Miss Universe 2021

Eilat, Israel, Dec 12 (EFE).- Israel Sunday was putting the finishing touches to preparations ahead of the Miss Universe 2021 pageant, with 80 contestants competing for the crown.

The competition will be broadcast live from the southern Israeli city of Eilat to some 600 million viewers in 172 countries early Monday.

An all-female panel of judges, including Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima, are set to decide the winner of the 70th edition of the beauty pageant.

In a pre-pageant competition held Friday, the beauty queens showcased their styles in swimsuits and evening gowns and later modeled their country’s traditional dress.

Paraguayan Nadia Ferreira, Puerto Rican Michelle Marie Colon, Venezuelan Luiseth Materán, Spanish-Moroccan Sarah Loinaz, Thai Anchilee Scott-Kemmis and Belgian Kedist Deltour are among the contestants.

A candidate from Bahrain takes part for the first time ever in the pageant, while Morocco will also make an appearance for the first time in more than four decades.

A contestant from the United Arab Emirates was planning to participate in the competition but plans were canceled due to coronavirus restrictions.

In September 2020, Bahrain, as well as the UAE, established official ties with Israel. Morocco and Sudan followed suit months later.

The contestants have been in Israel for days and have visited various parts of the country such as Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Acre and Nazareth to attend promotional events for the pageant.

Israel’s ministry of tourism has taken advantage of the event to draw attention to the country as a tourist destination, although, since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the number of tourists has decreased due to the Covid-19-induced border closure.

Meanwhile, groups showing solidarity with the Palestinian cause have called for boycotting the competition, as the South African government has withdrawn its support for the Miss Universe candidate because of the “atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians.”

However, Lalela Mswane, Miss South Africa, decided to take part in the event despite her country’s stance.

US television presenter Steve Harvey and Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza are hosting the pageant this year.

Meza has had the shortest reign in Miss Universe history because the 69th edition of the event was postponed from December 2020 to May 2021 due to the pandemic.EFE


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