Miss Thailand finishes in top six as Miss France is the new Miss Universe (Updated)

Miss Thailand finishes in top six as Miss France is the new Miss Universe (Updated)

Miss Universe candidate Chalita
Miss Universe candidate Chalita "Namtan" Suansane from Thailand gestures during the Miss Universe Red Carpet presentation on the eve of the pageant day in Pasay City, south of Manila, Philippines 29 January 2017. A total of 86 candidates are vying for the 65th Miss Universe crown. EPA/FRANCIS R. MALASIG Inset: Miss Universe contestant Iris Mittenaere (R) of France is crowned the new 2017 winner by former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines. AFP

The final round of the Miss Universe Pageant has finished and Miss Thailand, Chalita "Namtan" Suansane, made it all the way to the final six before being eliminated. The winner this year is Miss France.

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Monday morning update

Miss Thailand makes final 6 before her quest ends

Thai fans were kept on the edge of their seats as Miss Universe pageant presenter Steve Harvey began reading out the names of the 13 finalist. First came Kenya, then Indonesia, followed by Mexico, USA, Peru, Colombia, the Philippines, Canada, Brazil, France, and Haiti. With one finalist to go, Thai fans finally heard what they had hope for: "Miss Thailand".

The announcement for the final 9 was much less tense as "Namtan" was the second qualifier announced. Next came the final six and once again she stood among the finalists. But that is as far as she was able to go, leaving Miss France, Miss Colombia and Miss Haiti in the final 3.

9:58   Miss France has just been annouced as the new Miss Universe.

Miss Universe contestant Iris Mittenaere (R) of France is crowned the new 2017 winner by former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines (L) during the Miss Universe pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on January 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

Miss France crowned Miss Universe

AFP – Miss France was crowed Miss Universe on Monday in a made-for-television spectacle free of last year's dramatic mix-up but with a dash of political controversy as the finalists spoke out on the refugee crisis and other hot-button global issues.

Iris Mittenaere, a dental surgery student from Lille in the north of France, beat 85 of the world's most beautiful women at the event in the Philippines scheduled for primetime viewing in the United States.

Mittenaere, 24, edged out Miss Haiti, the first runner-up, and Miss Colombia the second runner-up.

In the final question round, Miss France highlighted the benefits of open borders when asked about the global refugee crisis.

"In France we want to have the most globalisation that we can. We want to have the biggest exchange of people that we can. Maybe someday that will change but now we have open borders," Mittenaere said.

"Having open borders allows us to travel more through the world and to find out more about what's out there in the world."

Sunday's story

(From left) Chalita "Namtan" Suansane of Thailand, Maxine Medina of the Philippines and Kezia Warouw of Indonesia. (Miss Universe website)

Neighbours flock online to crown Miss Universe

Thais, Filipinos and Indonesians have been casting their votes by the millions for their Miss Universe favourites in online polls and on mobile apps.

Online reporters

While the final round of the Miss Universe pageant is not until Sunday night, the race is on, with Thais, Filipinos and Indonesians by the millions casting their votes for their favourites in online polls and on mobile apps.

The winners will be guaranteed a place among the top 12 in the final round on Sunday.

According to unofficial voting results at 8.49pm, Maxine Medina, the Filipina beauty, emerged as the online winner with 39.98 million votes, followed by Chalita "Namtan" Suansane of Thailand (39.97 million) and Kezia Warouw of Indonesia (34.59 million) in a poll at the official Miss Universe website, which closed at 8pm on Saturday.   

Not surprisingly, the #Philippines hashtag trended worldwide at 8.46pm on Saturday.

Fans 13 years or older may vote 10 times per day per account at the Miss Universe website, through the Vodi and Miss U apps, or on Twitter using #MissUniverse #(country) hashtags.

Efforts to mobilise votes for the Thai contender were also intense, with operators offering gifts for people who retweet them.

Small Thai operators offered diverse gifts ranging from power banks to cooking pans, lipstick, iPhones, movie tickets, dolls, fresh prawns to 1,000 baht in cash in draws for people who retweeted votes.

Ms Chalita, 21, a Samut Prakan native, is apparently a clear online favourite. A third-year microbiology student, she studies at Maha Sarakhan University.

Live voting begins at 7am Bangkok time on Monday through the Miss U and Vodi apps, vote.missuniverse.com and Twitter with the hashtag #MissUniverse and #(country).

Voting will open at the top of each round and close at the end of each round.

It looks like Miss Thailand has some strong competition from our region:

Update:

Miss Universe candidate Chalita Suansane walks on stage in her evening gown during the Miss Universe preliminary show at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, south of Manila, on Thursday. (EPA photo)

'Nong Namtan' wins government's heart

Post Reporters

Miss Thailand Universe Chalita 'Nong Namtan' Suansane shows off the Jewel of Thailand national costume at the 65th Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines.

A deputy government spokesman has urged Thai people to vote for Chalita "Nong Namtan" Suansane as a way to support her being crowned Miss Universe 2016.

Deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukhondhapatipak posted his comments on Facebook, calling on the public to support and vote for Ms Chalita, who is representing Thailand at the 65th Miss Universe pageant.

"Thai people, please help vote for her. She is very beautiful. We are one of the superpowers of social media," he wrote.

Ms Chalita has gained huge popularity on social media, with many people believing she could become the country's third Miss Universe winner after Apasra Hongsakula in 1965 and Porntip Nakhirunkanok in 1988.

A clip featuring Ms Chalita introducing herself, released on the social network by the organiser of the contest earlier, had also received one million views as of yesterday.

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