Venezuelan beauty queen Stefania Fernandez, who won the Miss Universe crown in the year 2009, has included the Philippines’ Maria Mika Maxine Medina among her favorite contestants in this year’s prestigious pageant.
On her official Instagram account, Fernandez named Medina together with the equally-lovely representatives from Venezuela, France, Colombia, Brazil, Australia, Panama and Thailand.
The winner of Miss Universe 2016 will be announced during a coronation night to be held in Las Vegas on January 29 (January 30 in Manila).
According to the updated Miss Universe website, this year, the preliminary competition determines a Top 12, instead of a Top 15.
The coronation night will start with the Top 12 pre-determined by the judges during the preliminary round.
From the Top 12, the Top 9 are determined by averaging the scores of the judges and the fans’ votes after the swimsuit segment.
The Top 6 are then determined by averaging the judges’ and fans’ votes after the evening gown segment.
Last year, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach was part of the Top 5 and participated in the question and answer (Q&A) round then. She then answered another question as part of the Top 3.
This year, there will only be one Q&A round. The Top 6 will participate in the Q&A round, while the Top 3 will only get a “Final Look” from the judges and fans.
The worldwide score will then help determine which contestant will be crowned the next Miss Universe. One can vote for their favorite candidate by logging on to missuniverse.com/vote.
Meanwhile, the preliminary competition which is made up of the swimsuit competition and evening gown competition, was held in Las Vegas on December 16 (Thursday, January 26 in Manila).
Scores of the 87 candidates for the swimsuit competition will be added up with their scores from the evening gown competition and closed-door interviews.
The 12 candidates with the highest scores will be the ones who will move on to the finals.
This year the Miss Universe2016 pageant will be extremely different. The judging panel is not going to have celebrities like other years, this time titleholders from the past will determine the winner. Latinas that have confirmed their assistance are Lupita Jones (1991), Dayanara Torres (1993), Dayana Mendoza (2008) and Gabriela Isler (2013). Other ladies scheduled to appear are Armi Kuusela (1952), Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Porntip Bui Simon (1988), Sushmita Sen (1994), Jennifer Hawkins (2004), Riyo Mori (2007) and Olivia Culpo (2012).