When an annual institution has been going on long enough, not even crises like a worldwide pandemic could keep it down permanently. This includes even events such as beauty pageants, in particular any one of the current “Big Four” competitions. For Miss Universe, the worst it did was push the pageant date, usually held around December of its year, to January instead; and that was for the 69th edition in 2020: pandemic year 1. Miss Universe 2021 returned to December of its year, but for 2022 no word on the date came up as the year begins winding down. Finally, the organization announced when it will happen, with some extras.

According to the Philippine Star, the 71st Miss Universe pageant will go a bit over the usual period again with the announcement of coronation night next year. Miss Universe 2021, India’s Harnaaz Sandhu, will crown the winner this coming January 15, 2023 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana USA. It would have to be one of the most vibrant locations for a Miss Universe pageant yet. Not even Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has completely destroyed the city’s image as the unique blending of French trappings and the American South, with the Mississippi River, Creole cuisine, Cajun culture and Mardi Gras among its most iconic imagery.

In addition to the official venue confirmation, the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has also laid down some new rules on eligibility for contestants in future pageants. Rest assured: the new changes call for more expanded criteria with entries. Yes, they must still fall within the age bracket of 18 to 28 years old. But starting from pageant 72 (2023), a hopeful Miss Universe need no longer strictly be a “Miss” (single). Are you married or a single mother? You can be the next Miss U, if you work for it.

Miss Universe 2022 will be fielding around 75 beauties, all either winners of local pageants with the MUO franchise, or chosen by their organizations to represent. At the latest 67 contestants have been confirmed. Notable is the debut of a Miss Bhutan, model Tashi Choden who is among the first Bhutanese to openly profess being LGBT following the relaxation of the country’s homosexual crime laws.

As for the Philippines, Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi, who won the title last April, is already busy undergoing beauty camp training for next January. That may mean going light on the usual Christmas Holiday feasting by December. Interestingly, Miss Cambodia Manita Hang is apparently holding her own beauty camp in this country, having been spotted in Quezon City.

Image courtesy of TripAdvisor