The year 2017 is now coming across as not being a year for a Philippine beauty pageant sweep. Aside from Miss Earth 2017, won by Karen Ibasco, the country’s crop of contestants have not quite lucked out in the “original three” global beauty pageants that have had a constant Philippine presence. From Miss International (did not place) to Miss World (Top 40), the story has been the same. Now the frustration extends one further to the recently-concluded Miss Universe 2017 pageant held Sunday evening. The nation’s bet, Filipina-British model Rachel Peters, advanced only two tiers before being outclassed by the competition.
According to ABS-CBN News, the 26-year-old Rachel Peters managed to enter – by wildcard – the Top 16 contestants of the 2017 Miss Universe pageant held November 26 at The AXIS of Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. This enabled Peter, buoyed by sizeable online support, to make a strong showing at the swimsuit round, before passing to the Top 10 and participating in the evening gown competition. Unfortunately, despite good predictions on her chances by pageant experts watching the event, Peters failed to advance further, marking the first time since only 2014 that a Miss Philippines failed to make it to the Top 5, where the two runners-up and the Miss Universe winner are chosen.
Everyone knows of course that in 2015, then-Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach won as Miss Universe (following the mistaken announcement of Steve Harvey, who returns 2017 for his third straight pageant hosting gig). On 2016 in Manila, Philippines, Wurtzbach passed her crown on to Miss France Iris Mittenaire, who on Sunday night crowned her own successor, 22-year-old business management Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa as told by CNN Philippines. Miss Colombia Laura Gonzales was first runner-up while Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett was name second runner-up. Completing the Top Five were Maria Poonlertlarp (Thailand) and Keysi Sayago (Venezuela).
Rachel Peters was born 1991 in Bahrain, to British national Nigel Peters and her Filipina mother Annie Obregon, whose hometown of Canaman, Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region is stated as Rachel’s own for the Miss Universe competition. She was educated in Thailand and Australia, from which she gained her love for the beach and surfing. Peters has also recently opened a café in Siargao, the Philippines’ surfing capital, as an extension of her interests.
In addition to Steve Harvey’s three-peat, Ashley Graham also returns as co-presenter from Miss Universe 2016. Pia Wurtzbach also sat as one of the judges for the pageant. There were 92 contestants for Miss Universe 2017 this year, surpassing the previous high record of 89 in both 2011 and 2012. It also included the longest returning nation participant in Miss Iraq Sarah Idan, whose country last competed back in 1972.
Photo courtesy of parade.com