"More than your poise and beauty, you are a cut above the rest with your grace and elegance that exemplifies a true woman of substance and an inspiring Filipina", Araneta said in a statement. The native of Sedgefield in Western cape, South Africa also held prestigious leadership positions at her high school.
Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (L) reacts as she is crowned new Miss Universe 2017 by Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere on November 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was declared the victor and Miss Colombia Laura González Ospina, first runner up.
Georgia: 12 dead in hotel fire
Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced the government is mourning the tragedy alongside other citizens. Officials said all the 20 contestants, who were reportedly staying in the hotel, were safe, the BBC reported.
Nel-Peters, who recently earned a business management degree, was crowned during the event at The AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip. She helped develop a program to train women in self-defense in various situations after she was robbed at gunpoint a month after she was crowned as Miss South Africa.
During the question and answer session, the 22-year-old was asked by host Steve Harvey: "What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?"
The second runner-up was miss Jamaica and the first runner-up was Miss Columbia. Jamaica's Solange Sinclair secured a Top 10 spot and grabbed the Caribbean Queen of Beauty award in the 2017 Miss World pageant in Sanya, China last weekend. "Congratulations to our Miss Universe!"