Miss Supermodel International 2011 Bunga Jelitha, 26, is representing her home country Indonesia at Miss Universe 2017. She and 91 other candidates from around the world are in the running to becoming the successor of Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere, 24, of France.
On March 31, Jelitha won the 21st edition of Puteri Indonesia at Sentul International Convention Center, Jakarta, Indonesia, besting 37 other candidates. This made her the official candidate of her country to the 66th edition of Miss Universe.
Before winning Puteri Indonesia 2017, Jelitha won several modelling competitions. The first one was Gading Model Search 2005.
In 2011, Jelitha won the inaugural Supermodel International, where she was also the Best Swimsuit first runner-up. In 2015, Jelitha took home $10,000 in prizes as the winner of the inaugural Southeast Asian edition of the Guess Girl Model Search, which was held in Jakarta.
If Jelitha wins Miss Universe 2017, she will become the first Miss Indonesia to win the crown from the prestigious beauty pageant. In the past few years, the candidates from Indonesia have been placing well.
In 2013, Whulandary Herman placed Top 16 while both Elvira Devinamira Wirayanti and Anindya Kusuma Putri placed Top 15 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In 2016, Kezia Roslin Cikita Warouw made it to Top 13.
The pressure is on Jelitha as her fellow Puteri Indonesia 2017 winners have performed well in their respective competitions. Puteri Indonesia Lingkungan 2017 Kevin Lilliana became the first ever Miss International from Indonesia while Puteri Indonesia Perdamaian 2017 Dea Rizkita made it to Top 10 at Miss Grand International 2017.
Puteri Indonesia Pariwisata 2017 Karina Nadila is set to represent Indonesia in Miss Supranational on Dec. 1, Friday. On Nov 18, Miss Indonesia 2017 Achintya Holte Nilsen made it to Top 10 at Miss World 2017.