Miss Universe 2017 Q&A: Miss South Africa Demi Leigh Wins+

The 66th Miss Universe just wrapped up and many have already posted their “‘wag muna magpaparlor statuses” because Miss Philippines Rachel Peters didn’t make the top 5. Geez, gay people have other professions too, you know. Anyway, like last year and the year before that, Amiciness transcribed all the Q and A from the most awaited pageant in the universe as accurately as possible. I thank you.


Miss Universe Top 5 Q&A

The 92 candidates of the 2017 Miss Universe (the highest attendance in the pageant’s history) were whittled down to the Top 16 for the swimsuit round, down to the Top 10 for the evening gown round, and to the Top 5 for the all-important Q&A. The last 5 standing were: South Africa, Venezuela, Thailand, Jamaica and Colombia. Here’s how they answered the Q&A:


Q: Women make up 49% of the global workforce. What do you believe is the most important issue facing women in the workplace today, and why?

South Africa Demi Leigh Nel-Peters answered: “In some cases, women get paid 75% of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours. And I do not believe that that is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world. Thank you.”

I like that South Africa provided statistics. We just have to verify this. *speaks into my non-existent (for now) Google Home Mini* Hey Google, how big is the gender pay gap?


Q: Social media has become a prominent factor in the way we perceive one another. Do you believe social media has had a positive or negative effect on the way we judge beauty?

Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago‘s interpreter said: “The social media is what we make of them. We must use social media in a positive way and take away any criticisms. Behind every photo, every social media account, there is a good person, a human who can feel. And we all deserve respect.”

Venezuela didn’t answer the question. She didn’t even mention beauty.


Q: What do you think has been the most important social movement of your generation, and why?

Thailand Maria Poonlertlarp blurted: “I think the most important social movement so far is that— we’re having a [sic] aging— aging population. But— so the most important movement in our time is definitely the youth. So the youth is… the future. The youth is something that we have to invest in because they are the ones who are gonna look after the earth that we live in.”

Thailand may not have heard the question correctly. Probably? Lesson #1 in pageant Q&A’s: you may ask the host to repeat the question. As the last Asian candidate standing, the whole of Asia was rooting for you though!


Q: Sexual harassment has been at the forefront of recent headlines, why is it important for men and women to work together in tackling this issue?

Jamaica Davina Bennett emphasized: “Sexual harassment is a form of abuse and no abuse should be tolerated whether in the workplace or in society. I believe that men and women should come together and be professional. Leave this act alone and anything that happens such as sexual harassment should be taken into the law, and should be dealt with.”

I love how Jamaica speaks. May diin at punto ang bawat salita! She’s like newscaster Mel Tiangco in 24 Oras. She makes every one listen to her every word. Her answer, BTW, is flawless!


Q: Terrorism is one of the main threats facing our world today. As Miss Universe, you will lead discussions on current issues with communities all over the globe. How would you go about explaining terrorism to a child?

Colombia Laura González‘s interpreter mentioned: “I’ve never been a victim or had a family member who was a victim of terrorism. I cannot really explain how it feels to be one of them. But if I had the opportunity to speak to a child, I would tell him that please your generation and my generation, we cannot be full of weapons. Please more books, more culture, more friendships, and more love.”

Although Colombia didn’t answer the question directly, she approached the question by contrasting the “opposite” of terrorism. It’s like when a friend asks you if you are free on Saturday, you answer I’m free on Sunday. Pak!


Miss Universe Top 3 Q&A

Immediately after announcing the Final 3 (Jamaica, Colombia and South Africa) is the final Q&A round. The Top 3 were asked the same question:

Q: What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?

Jamaica: “Thank you. The most [sic] quality that I’m most appreciative of is my drive, my determination. I am the founder of a foundation that spreads awareness for the deaf community. And this platform is such a great platform to just let persons know that these persons need opportunities and need equal opportunities as those in society. And so, Miss Universe competition will be the platform for me to use this foundation to spread awareness for all the deaf people around. Thank you.”

Jamaica could have won but she didn’t elaborate on her drive and determination. She used another pageant Q and A approach by citing a foundation or cause that you are passionate about (i.e. Pia Wurtzbach and HIV Awareness).

Colombia: “Soy supremamente apasionado por todo lo que hago. Con pasión, tengo disciplina. Con pasión, entrego todo todo mi ser en cada escenario que pizo. Así lo hice como actriz. Así lo hice como lo Colombia. Y no lo dudo que así lo haría como Miss Universo. Thank you.” (Forgive me for any errors por no hablo Español. 😅)

And as interpreted: “I’m incredibly passionate about everything I do. With passion, I have discipline. With passion, I put my full self in every situation that I work at. I’ve done this as an actress. I’ve done this as Miss Colombia. And I do not doubt that I will do this as Miss Universe.”

I was confused by the translation actually. Was it passion or compassion? Quien hable español? I’m pretty sure she talked about “passion” but please do correct me if I’m wrong. Gracias!

South Africa: “As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. And Miss Universe is a woman that has overcome many fears and by that she is able to help other women overcome their fears. She is a woman [who believes] that nothing is ever too much to ask for, and I think that is exactly who I am. Thank you.”

South Africa used another technique. She answered initially on a macro level, defining that Miss Universe equals confidence. You’d think she wouldn’t answer the question directly but she added a personal touch at the end, nailing the Q and A.


What was your favorite 66th Miss Universe Q&A question? How would you have answered? Which candidate gave the best answer? Sound off in the comments below.

More Amiciness

On the Cover

South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters wins Miss Universe 2017 (Via Philstar)

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