Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle was crowned Miss World 2016 on Sunday during the pageant’s 66th edition held at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland in the United States. First runner up was Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez of the Dominican Republic while Indonesia’s Natasha Mannuela was second runner up.
The Philippine’s Catriona Elisa Gray finished as 3rd runner up while Evelyn Njambi Thungu of Kenya placed 4th runner up.
The 19-year-old Del Valle hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico and is attending Pace University in New York City for a BA majoring in communication studies with a minor in pre-law. She is the second Purto Rican to win the crown after Wilnelia Merced who won the title in 1975.
Meanwhile, many Filipinos took to social media to express disappointment over Gray’s loss. They believe Gray performed exceptionally well particularly during the pageant’s question and answer portion compared to the other top 5 finalists and thus deserved the title.
During the pageant’s question and answer segment, outgoing Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna from Spain asked Gray about which qualities does she think should the next Miss World winner possess.
Gray responded: “I think first of all it takes bravery. To be a Miss World is to carry a burning torch. It is like action carried out by one to illuminate the lives of many. I would dedicate my whole self, my love for the arts and my voice to trying to uplift, empower and educate people. It would be my greatest honor and duty to hold this torch high enough so that all the world could feel and see its light.”
The Fil-Aussie model-turned-beauty-queen has a Masters Certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Gray joined the pageant in the hopes of winning the second Miss World title for the Philippines. Megan Young, who hosted the 2016 finals night, is the country’s first and only Miss World titleholder after winning in 2013.