Miss Universe 2023: A night of firsts, the semifinalists who made history in the pageant

The 72nd Miss Universe final competition in El Salvador on Saturday night was undoubtedly the edition with the most inclusive set of semifinalists in the history of the Miss Universe pageant.

Here are the reasons why:

Cameroon, Issie Princesse (Top 20) - First representative from Cameroon to place in the semifinals since her country made its debut at Miss Universe in 2020.

Colombia, Camila Avella (Top 5) - First mother to win Miss Universe Colombia and represent her country at Miss Universe. She was also the first mother contestant to make it all the way to the Top 5.

El Salvador, Isabella García-Manzo (Top 10) - First representative from El Salvador to enter the Top 10 in more than 25 yeas. Her country's last placement was during Miss Universe 1996.

Namibia, Jameela Uiras (Top 20) - First representative from Namibia to enter the semifinals in two decades. The country's last placement was 20 years ago during Miss Universe 2003.

Nepal, Jane Dipika Garrett (Top 20) - First plus-size winner of Miss Universe Nepal and the first plus-size contestant to compete in Miss Universe.

Nicaragua, Sheynnis Palacios (Miss Universe 2023) - First Nicaraguan representative to win the highly coveted title of Miss Universe since her country's debut in 1955.

Pakistan, Erica Robin (Top 20) - She was not only the first Pakistani representative to join Miss Universe but also the first semifinalist to walk during the swimsuit competition in a burkini.

Philippines, Michelle Dee (Top 10) - First representative from the Philippines to enter the Top 10 at Miss Universe while sporting a short hairstyle. Apart from her placement, she was also one of three winners of the Voice for Change challenge. She also won the Spirit of the Carnival award as well as the fan vote.

Portugal, Marina Machete (Top 20) - First transgender woman to represent Portugal at Miss Universe and the first transgender contestant to enter the semifinals.

Spain, Athenea Pérez (Top 10) - First woman of color to represent Spain in Miss Universe. Apart from her Top 10 finish, she was also awarded Miss Congeniality.

Thailand, Anntonia Porsild (1st runner-up) - First contestant from Thailand to clinch a runner-up finish since Miss Universe 1966.

USA, Noelia Voigt (Top 20) - First Venezuelan-American to earn the title Miss Utah USA and eventually Miss USA, and the first one to place in the semifinals at Miss Universe.

Photo: Miss Universe


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