The Miss Universe 2022 preliminary competition was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States on January 11, 2023. It was hosted by Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu and WDSU News Channel 6 anchor Randi Rousseau.
Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Universe 2010 Ximena Navarrete and Miss USA 2015 Olivia Jordan served as the judges. They were joined by Big Freedia, Mara Martin, Emily Austin, Olivia Quido, Myrka Dellanos, Sweta Patel and Kathleen Ventrella.
Among the 84 candidates, 16 quarterfinalists will compete during the coronation night at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on January 14, 2023. From there, five will proceed as semifinalists then three finalists will compete for the crown.
During the preliminary competition, the 84 candidates graced the stage with their swimsuits, evening gowns and national costumes. Personally, I like national costumes that are neither too simple nor too complicated.
For me, the ideal national costume in a beauty pageant is one that makes the beauty queen beautiful and comfortable. The wearer and the costume must be one entity not two separate elements.
A costume is too simple if it does not look too different from a regular formal dress. On the other hand, beauty is wasted if an exquisitely and intricately designed costume is so heavy that the wearer cannot walk properly with it.
In general, the designers and the candidates did an excellent job at the Miss Universe 2022 preliminary competition. Here are my 22 favorites:
#22. Tashi Choden, 23, Bhutan
#21. Altynai Botoyarova, 18, Kyrgyzstan
#20. Irma Miranda, 26, Mexico
#19. Celeste Cortesi, 25, Philippines
#18. Floriane Bascou, 20, France
#17. Manita Hang, 24, Cambodia
#16. Tya Jané Ramey, 25, Trinidad and Tobago
#15. Anna Linnikova, 22, Russia
#14. Ashley Lightburn, 26, Belize
#13. Alexandrine Belle-Étoile, 26, Mauritius
#12. Korina Emmanouilidou, 22, Greece
#11. Alessia Rovegno, 24, Peru
#10. Amelia Tu, 21, Canada
#9. Andreina Martinez, 25, Dominican Republic
#8. Ashley Cariño, 28, Puerto Rico
#7. Evlin Khalifa, 24, Bahrain
#6. Maria Fernanda Aristizabal, 25, Colombia
#5. Amanda Dudamel, 23, Venezuela
#4. Ivana Batchelor, 22, Guatemala
#3. Viktoria Apanasenko, 29, Ukraine
#2. Engracia Mofuman, 27, Ghana