And the winner is…. Miss Philippines!
Megan Young, Miss Philippines 2013, was crowned Miss World at the competition on Saturday night (Sept. 28, 2013).
The contest has faced many obstacles this year, including a mystery contestant, protests, and calls for the show to be banned. The final round of the competition was moved from Jakarta to the Indonesian resort island Bali after protests from Muslim hardliner groups in Jakarta threatened to disrupt the event as they claimed it is against the teachings of Islam.
The 23-year-old US-born contestant becomes the first Filipino to ever win the title since the Philippines first competed at the pageant in 1966.
“No words! Thank you so much everyone for choosing me. I promise to be the best Miss World ever,” the 23-year-old beauty gushed after being announced as the winner. She vowed to “just be myself in everything I do, to share what I know and to educate people.”
Young was an actress since 15 and now wants to pursue a career as a movie director. She was born in the United States and moved to the Philippines at the age of 10. She beat 126 candidates from around the globe to be the successor of last year’s champ, Miss China Wenxia Yu.
She was a front-runner throughout the competition. She won the Top Model competition, placed fifth at the Beach Fashion, and finished fourth at the Multimedia Contest. She was also one of the few candidates who performed a solo dance showcasing the Moro dance Singkil from her country.
She advanced to the top 6 along with Miss France Marine Lorphelin, Miss Ghana Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter, Miss Brazil Sancler Frantz, Miss Spain Elena Ibarbia, and Miss Gibraltar Maroua Kharbouch (People’s Choice winner).
In a pre-taped segment, the finalists all answered the same question of “Why should you become Miss World?” Miss Philippines said she wanted to show people the core values of humanity “so that as one, together, we shall help society.”
Miss France, who won the second runner-up at the pageant, stated, “I appreciate the fact that Miss World travels a lot and meets people around the world and tries to help them.”
The third runner up, Miss Ghana, noting that Miss World should be someone who “truly embodies beauty with a purpose,” said she wanted to embrace the title “and to make an impact on the lives of the less-privileged.”
The coronation night was hosted by Miss Scotland 2012 Jennifer Reoch and Mister World 2010 Kamal Ibrahim with a performance by British Boyband Blue. It was supposed to take place in Sentul, Bogor near the capital city Jakarta, but was moved to Bali amidst protests from Muslim hardliners.
In addition to the change of the venue, the organizers tweaked the bikini contest. Instead, the contestants modeled less-revealing numbers with Balinese sarongs at the Beach Fashion event.