The newly crowned Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu, 21, hails from Chandigarh, India. She was crowned in Eilat, Israel.
Chandigarh serves as the joint capital of the Indian states Haryana and Punjab. The city’s incumbent mayor Ravi Kant Sharma, 53, assumed office on January 1, 2017.
Born in Chandigarh, Sandhu was Miss Chandigarh 2017, Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018 and Femina Miss India Punjab 2019. She finished in the Top 12 when she competed at Femina Miss India 2019 on June 15, 2019 then won Miss Diva 2021 on September 30, 2021, making her India’s Miss Universe 2021 candidate.
Sandhu is the third Miss Universe from India. She follows Sushmita Sen, 46, and Lara Dutta, 43, where were crowned in 1994 and in 2000, respectively.
Hosted by Steve Harvey, 64, the Miss Universe 2021 coronation night was held at the Universe Dome in Eilat, Israel. Carson Kressley, 52, and Cheslie Kryst, 30, served as commentators during the event, which featured performances by Joanna Noëlle “JoJo” Levesque, 30, and Noa Kirel, 20.
Including Sandhu, a total of 80 women competed for the crown. The judges were Rena Sofer, 53, of the U.S., Adamari Torres, 50, of Puerto Rico, Adriana Lima, 40, of Brazil, Marian Rivera, 37, of the Philippines, Iris Mittenaere, 28, of France, Urvashi Rautela, 27, of India and Lori Harvey, 24, of the U.S.
It was the 70th edition of Miss Universe. It was also the first time the international beauty pageant was held in Israel.
Runner-up to Sandhu was Nadia Ferreira, 22, of Paraguay while Lalela Mswane, 24, of South Africa was second runner-up. Valeria Ayos, 27, of Colombia and Beatrice Luigi Gomez, 26, of the Philippines finished in the Top 5.
Sandhu was crowned by Andrea Meza, 26, of Mexico. The latter reigned as Miss Universe 2020 from May 16, 2021 to December 12, 2021, making it the shortest completed Miss Universe reign.