Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua wins Miss Universe 2023, first for her country
MANILA, Philippines — The winner of Miss Universe 2023 is Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua, her country's first-ever crown, earning her title at the 72nd Miss Universe pageant held in El Salvador, succeeding Filipino-American R'Bonney Gabriel.
Sheynnis is a trilingual model, television host, and community developer who previously finished in the Top 10 of Teen Universe 2017 and Top 40 of Miss World 2021.
Prior to Sheynnis' win, Nicaragua had only placed at Miss Universe four times since first joining in 1955.
The beauty queen was a perennial frontrunner in the lead-up to the 72nd Miss Universe, ranking high on pageant experts list and had an impressive preliminary and National Costume performance.
Her winning response to the final question, "If you could live one year in another woman's shoes, who would you choose and why?," was British author, philosopher, and women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft.
"She opened [a] gap and gave an opportunity to many women. What I would do, I would want that gap [to] open up so that women could work in any area that they chose to work in because there [are] no limitations for women. That was 1750. Now in 2023, we're making history," Sheynnis said in Spanish.
Related: Michelle Dee finishes at Miss Universe 2023 Top 10 in Apo Whang-Od-inspired evening gown
Anntonia Porsild from Thailand followed Sheynnis as the first runner-up, and will take over as Miss Universe in the event Sheynnis is unable to perform her duties.
The Thai beauty queen is a half-Danish model who previously won Miss Supranational 2019, the pageant's first Thai winner. Anntonia would have become the first woman to ever win two of the world's biggest beauty pageants.
The second runner-up was Moraya Wilson from Australiaand rounding off the Top 5 were Puerto Rico's Karla Guilfú and Colombia's Camila Avella, the latter making history as the first mother to reach this stage of the pageant.
The Philippines' Michelle Dee finished at the Top 10 despite a strong evening gown performance, switching from an emerald, snakelike dress to a black gown inspired by legendary tattoo artist Whang-od; both outfits were designed by Mark Bumgarner.
This marks the