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USA crowned new Miss Universe, Croatia misses out on semi-finals

Miss USA, R’Bonney Gabriel, has been crowned Miss Universe 2023 overnight.

The 28-year-old model, who is an environmentalist who also works as a fashion designer and sewing instructor, won the title last night at the 71st Miss Universe competition which was held in New Orleans.

Venezuela’s Amanda Dudamel was the first runner-up, while Andreína Martínez from the Dominican Republic became the second runner-up.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Miss Universe (@missuniverse)

Contestants from 84 countries took part in the competition which was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana and hosted by Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo and ‘The Real’ star Jeannine Mai Jenkins.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Arijana Podgajski (@arijanapodgajski)

Miss Croatia, Arijana Podgajski, was not among the 16 finalists selected on the night. The 16 finalists came from India, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Laos, Australia, Haiti, South Africa, Portugal, Canada, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Colombia, the United States, Spain, and Venezuela.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Arijana Podgajski (@arijanapodgajski)

20-year-old Arijana, who hails from Krapina in northern Croatia, wore eye-catching dresses from Portia and Scarlett and Sherri Hill on the night, as well as a dress designed by Mina Petra which was inspired by traditional national costumes of Zagorje in the National Costume section. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Arijana Podgajski (@arijanapodgajski)

“We had a great time. Congratulations to the new Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel. I wish you all the luck. This is your time to shine,” Arijana said. 

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