R’Bonney Gabriel of the United States was crowned Miss Universe on Saturday night, beating competitors from 83 countries around the world. She was the first Filipino-American to win the competition in its seven-decade history.
The pageant included a costume show where Gabriel donned an attire that paid tribute to NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing and the current Artemis program.
The instantly viral costume featured a truly scale moon held above her head by an intricate frame with silver stars and a bright red, white, and blue costume.
The video of Gabriel, 28, strutting in the outfit made it look like the lithe beauty queen was struggling to support the massive 33-pound structure.
The costume section also featured Miss Ukraine in a ‘Warrior of Light’ costume, Miss Seychelles in a tropical bird outfit and Miss Switzerland in a chocolate look.
Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel was the 9th Miss USA to win the global competition in its 71-year history
Miss USA stands alongside runners-up Amanda Dudamel of Venezuela and Andreína Martínez Founier of the Dominican Republic
Gabriel’s final victory followed a controversy at the Miss USA pageant that Gabriel’s victory had been rigged. Other American participants at the time said that Gabriel’s victory was the result of “favouritism”.
The legitimacy of her win was also questioned by competitors, who said it was suspicious that a beauty treatment company offering a prize to the winner featured Gabriel in an ad less than 24 hours after she won.
Gabriel appeared in an ad for NIZUC Spas less than 24 hours after she won the Miss USA pageant, leading other contestants to believe the pageant had been rigged from the start.
Miss Montana, Heather Lee O’Keefe, claimed the ads proved the winner wrongly selected: “@MissUSA was crowned less than 24 hours ago but she’s already gotten her sponsored vacation at @NIZUCResort,” wrote you.
Adding: “Are you kidding me? I thought you were right, but that’s just embarrassing at this point.’
In her defense, Gabriel claimed she is a brand ambassador for NIZUC’s subsidiary, MIA Beaute, which also sponsors the Miss Texas pageant and is opening a new spa at the NIZUC resort in Mexico.
However, doubters didn’t necessarily buy the apology, noting that MIA’s founder is one of the judges of the Miss USA pageant. O’Keefe claimed that Gabriel’s ambassadorship was a violation of the handbook and that no contestant should have been allowed to work with national sponsors of Miss USA.
The controversy turned for Gabriel when a picture circulated of Crystle Stewart, one of the Miss USA organizers, doing his hair backstage. The image served as greater fodder for claims of favoritism.
However, Gabriel said the photo was taken the day after the coronation, just before Miss USA was officially shot in the head.
The 28-year-old beauty queen won the global title after a controversial Miss USA pageant in which contestants claimed evidence the pageant had been rigged
R’Bonney Gabriel, 28, of Houston, (pictured) has been in full-fledged competitive mode since landing in Louisiana on Tuesday ahead of the January 14 Miss Universe pageant
Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel struts during the swimsuit portion of the competition
Semifinalists (left to right) Miss India Divita Rai, Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel, Miss Spain Alicia Faubel, Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel and Miss Colombia Maria Fernanda Aristizabal
Gabriel is hugged by fellow contestants after winning the Miss Universe crown on Saturday
Gabriel, a native of Texas who runs a sustainable clothing line, said Saturday that she will use her title to become a “transformative leader.”
During the competition, she said, “As a very passionate designer who has been sewing for 13 years, I use fashion as a force for good.”
“In my line of work, I reduce pollution by using recycled materials when making my clothes. I teach sewing classes to women who have survived human trafficking and domestic violence.
“And I say that because it’s so important to invest in others, invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference.
“We all have something special and when we plant these seeds on other people in our lives, we transform them and use that as a vehicle for change,” she said.
R’Bonney Gabriel, a 28-year-old fashion designer, during the 71st Miss Universe Pageant held in New Orleans on Saturday
Gabriel (left) with Miss Teen USA, Faron Medhi from Nebraska
Gabriel right after their win on Saturday night
Saturday night’s pageant was held in New Orleans to honor the late Cheslie Kryst, who was crowned Miss USA 2019 at the same venue.
The pageant paid tribute to Kryst, who jumped to her death in New York City last January, just weeks after appearing as a correspondent for the 70th Miss Universe pageant.
Kryst’s mom took to the stage Saturday to announce that the National Alliance on Mental Illness has established the Cheslie Kryst Memorial Fund for Mental Health in her honor.
“Cheslie struggled with high-functioning depression,” her mother, April Simpkins, said on the competition stage. “The Chelsie you saw didn’t always match her inner feelings. Just because someone tells you they’re fine doesn’t mean they’re fine.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11637465/Controversial-beauty-queen-RBonney-Gabriel-won-Miss-Universe-rigging-claims-plagued-Miss-USA.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Controversial beauty queen R’Bonney Gabriel became Miss Universe after Miss USA was plagued by rigged claims