South Africa’s Natasha Joubert is a hot favourite to take the Miss Universe title according to polls on social media.
The Miss Universe pageant takes place on May 16 in the US (02h00 to 05h00 on May 17 SA time). The show will be broadcast live on 1 Magic (DStv Channel 103) and replayed in prime time (details to be announced later).
It will be the 69th edition of Miss Universe competition and will be held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel Casino in Hollywood, Florida, in the US. Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa will crown her successor at the end of the event and South Africans are hoping for the “magic double” – back-to-back consecutive wins which has only happened once before in the history of the pageant.
Contestants from 74 countries and territories are expected to compete. The show will be hosted by Mario Lopez and Olivia Culpo; Lopez last served as host during Miss Universe 2007 while Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012. South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Tebow (Nel-Peters – Miss Universe 2017) will serve as an expert analyst. American rapper Pitbull will perform.
Joubert says she is working extremely hard in the run-up to the finale. “I know I have big shoes to fill but Zozi and Demi have inspired me and given me great advice. I will go out there and give it my all – the preparations have gone well. I just want to thank all South Africans for their fabulous support. The messages I have received mean the world to me.”
Says Miss South Africa creative director Werner Wessels: “It has been the most incredible experience working with Natasha and seeing her growth and commitment towards becoming the best version of herself as has been evident by her participation at Miss Universe. We, as the Miss South Africa Organisation, are so proud of her and how she is competing to get that elusive back-to-back crown for South Africa.”
South Africans are encouraged to download the Miss Universe official app and vote Natasha into the Top 21.