Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua was crowned Miss Universe 2023 during the annual beauty pageant, held Saturday night in El Salvador’s capital city of San Salvador. Anntonia Porsild of Thailand was crowned first runner-up.

The Central American country hosted the competition for the first time since 1975.

National pageant winners from 84 countries competed in this year’s Miss Universe, judged by a panel that included model Halima Aden, Queer Eye star Carson Kressley, TikTok influencer Avani Gregg and two former winners, Janelle Commissiong from Trinidad & Tobago (Miss Universe 1977) and Iris Mittenaere from France (Miss Universe 2016).

Miss Universe

According to CNN, twenty finalists were announced at the start of Saturday’s glitzy event, while after the swimsuit round, the number of finalists was reduced to 10. The evening gown appearance cut the number of contestants in half.

Two rounds of questions and answers then left only three women in the final: Palacios, Porsild and second runner-up Moraya Wilson of Australia.

Miss Universe

Asked in the final round who she would choose to spend a day in the life of, Palacios chose 18th-century British philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who she said broke stereotypes and “gave a lot of women a chance.” “There are no restrictions on women today,” she added, through a translator.

Miss Colombia Camila Avella and Miss Puerto Rico Karla Guilfú rounded out the top five, while another member of the top 10, Spain’s Athenea Pérez, was crowned the pageant’s Miss Congeniality.

Miss Universe