Mario Lopez and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo hosted the Miss Universe 2020 coronation ceremony at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Broward County, Florida, United States on May 16, 2021. It aired live on FYI and Telemundo.
For the first time since Miss Universe started in 1952, Germany did not send a candidate. Some candidates did not win a national pageant but were appointed.
It was the third time Miss Universe was held after the calendar year. Miss Universe 2014 was held on January 25, 2015 and Miss Universe 2016 was held on January 30, 2017.
At least 80 candidates participated annually from 2008 to 2019. Only 74 candidates competed in Miss Universe 2020 because several countries and territories withdrew amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Practicing social distancing, the final two Andrea Meza of Mexico and Julia Gama of Brazil did not hold each other’s hands while waiting for the announcement of the winner. In between them was Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa holding the Miss Universe 2020 crown.
In the end, Lopez announced Meza as the winner, making her the third Miss Universe from Mexico following Lupita Jones and Ximena Navarrete, who were crowned in 1991 and 2010, respectively. Here are 13 more things about the 69th edition of Miss Universe:
- Angèle Kossinda became the first ever Miss Universe candidate from Cameroon.
- Miss Universe Kazakhstan 2020 Kamila Serikbai was 18 years old during the competition, making her the youngest candidate. Miss Universe Great Britain 2020 Jeanette Akua, Miss Universe Mauritius 2020 Vandana Jeetah and Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2020 Estefania Soto were all 29 years old during the competition, making them the oldest candidates.
- Miss Universe Canada 2020 Nova Stevens is 6’0″ tall, making her the tallest candidate. Miss Universe Australia 2020, Maria Thattil, who is 5’3″ tall, is the shortest.
- South Sudan was never represented in Miss Universe. The African country was somehow represented in the beauty pageant’s 69th edition by Miss Universe Canada 2020 Nova Stevens, who is originally from South Sudan.
- Morocco has not been represented in Miss Universe since 1978. The African country was somehow represented in the beauty pageant’s 69th edition by Miss Universe Argentina 2020 Alina Luz Akselrad who is of Moroccan descent.
- Miss Universe South Africa 2020 Natasha Joubert was not the only South African candidate. Miss Universe Great Britian 2020 Jeanette Akua is of South African and Ghanaian descent. Akua finished in the Top 21 while Joubert was unplaced, breaking the three-year placement streak of South Africa.
- Aside from Miss Universe India 2020 Adline Castelino, three more candidates are of Indian descent namely Miss Universe Australia 2020, Maria Thattil, Miss Universe Mauritius 2020 Vandana Jeetah and Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo. Castelino was third runner-up, Thattil and Mateo finished in the Top 21 and Jeetah was unplaced.
- Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo was not the only candidate who is fluent in Filipino. Born to Chinese parents in the Philippines, Miss Universe Singapore 2020 Bernadette Belle Ong is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and Filipino.
- Miss Universe Belgium 2020 Dhenia Covens was not the only candidate of Belgian descent. Miss Universe Laos 2020 Christina Lasasimma was born to a Laotian father and a Belgian mother.
- Miss Universe Netherlands 2020 Denise Speelman is not the only Dutch candidate. Miss Universe Curaçao 2020 Chantal Wiertz is also of Dutch descent.
- Like Miss Universe USA 2020 Asya Branch and Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2020 Estefania Soto, Miss Universe Dominican Republican 2020 Kimberly Jimenez is also a U.S. citizen. Branch finished in the Top 21, Soto finished in the Top 10 and Jimenez was fourth runner-up.
- Miss Universe Myanmar 2020 Thuzar Wint Lwin finished in the Top 21, marking Myanmar’s first placement in Miss Universe. She is also the first candidate from Myanmar to win Best in National Costume.
- Two inaugural special awards were given. Miss Universe Bolivia 2020 Lenka Nemer and Miss Universe Dominican Republican 2020 Kimberly Jimenez won the Social Impact Award and the Carnival Spirit Award, respetively.