- Miss Universe is on its 67th year with a record-breaking 94 contestants.
- Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Philippines are projected front runners.
- Miss Ecuador and Miss Albania are expected to shine as well.
- The show is airing on December 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX.
This year a record-breaking 94 contestants from around the globe are competing for the title of Miss Universe. This is the 67th instalment of the pageant which is being held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Comedian Steve Harvey is returning as host along with model Ashley Graham, while tv personality Carson Kressley and runway coach Lu Sierra provide commentary. Singer and dancer Ne-Yo is expected to perform.
Taking a look at this year’s competitors, we’ve picked 20 of this year’s front-runners based on social media popularity, their goals as Miss Universe, Miss Universe Predictions, and personal opinion.
The following top contenders are expected to vie for the crown when the show is aired December 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX.
Catriona Grey is Miss Philippines.
The 24-year-old from Albay, Bicol earned a Master Certificate in Music Theory from the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, which explains her tendency to break into song. She made headlines for her rendition of “I can’t make you love me.”
Kiara Ortega is Miss Puerto Rico.
The 25-year-old is a native of Rincon who views the pageant as a way to spread the message of unity. When asked to describe herself, Ortega shared that she is helpful, spontaneous, and cheerful. Bodog released its odds and has Miss Puerto Rico running at 5/1 odds.
Sthefany Gutierrez is Miss Venezuela.
The 19-year-old from Barcelona counts her mother as a major influence in her life. Gutierrez credits her for her optimism, intelligence, and perseverance. The law student has drawn attention for her reported resemblance to Kim Kardashian. She also has amassed a large Instagram following.
Andrea Toscano is Miss Mexico.
The 20-year-old from Manzanillo stepped up to help guide her siblings when her parents divorced. She is currently studying Nutrition at Colimaas University and also participating in a Neurolinguistic programming course.
Tamaryn Green is Miss South Africa.
The 24-year-old from Paarl, Cape Town is a final year medical year student at the University of Cape Town who plans to specialize in pediatrics. Green survived tuberculosis and has been a passionate advocate against the disease.
Francesca Hung is Miss Australia.
The 24-year-old from Sydney already has one degree under her belt, a Bachelor’s of Art in Sociology, and is working on completing a Master’s in Publishing. In addition to her native English, she speaks Italian.
Valeria Morales is Miss Colombia.
H’Hen Nie is Miss Vietnam.
Marta Stepien is Miss Canada.
The 24-year-old has an impressive academic record. Stepien holds a 3.96 GPA as a Biomedical Engineering Technology student at St. Clair College with a passion for Genetics and Immunology. Stepien was born in Poland but grew up in Windsor, Ontario.
Trejsi Sejdini is Miss Albania.
The 18-year-old from Tirane is a model who is fluent in English, French, and Italian. Sejdini is one of the most followed contestants on Instagram.
Virginia Limongi is Miss Ecuador.
The 24-year-old from Portoviejo grew up in a large family with seven siblings. She also has an affinity for animals, particularly cats. She once adopted four of the furry felines without informing her parents.
Emily Sara-Claire Maddison is Miss Jamaica.
The 19-year-old from St. Andrew is passionate about equal rights and describes herself as adventurous, with a love for rivers and beaches. She recently graduated from Campion College. The Jamaica Observer reported she was a crowd favourite throughout the pageant.
Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers is Miss Great Britain.
The 25-year-old lives in Birmingham but grew up on the British isle of Anguilla. She is a competitive athlete who recently passed her law exams. Kentish Rogers is the first black Miss Universe Great Britain in the pageant’s 66-year history.
Akisha Albert is Miss Curacao.
The 23-year-old dreams of one day becoming a teacher. Albert is fluent in English, Spanish, Papiamento, and Dutch and is currently a student at the University of Curacao, studying English Education.
Wabaiya Kariuki is Miss Kenya.
Romina Lozano is Miss Peru.
The 22-year-old had humble beginnings growing up in the jungle region of San Martin. She eventually moved to Lima for better opportunities. Her mission is to “help those in need and promote a society where men and women can be seen as equal.”
Mayra Dias is Miss Brazil.
Sophida Kanchanarin is Miss Thailand.
The 23-year-old hometown favourite from Bangkok graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance with honours and worked as an international business manager before deciding to pursue pageantry.
Yulia Polyachikhina is Miss Russia.
The 18-year-old from Cheboksary has worked as a model and competed in fitness aerobics. She is currently a journalism student at Chuvash State University.
Nehal Chudasama is Miss India.
Nehal is currently a fitness instructor but aspires to be in Indian Police Services and serve the society. She frequently volunteers at an NGO that helps children with cancer.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.