Miss Mexico Andrea Meza Wins 69th Miss Universe

We have a new queen.
Miss Mexico Andrea Meza is crowned Miss Universe 2021 onstage at the Miss Universe 2021 Pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 16, 2021 in Hollywood, Florida.
Photo/s: Rodrigo Varela, Getty Images via Agence France-Presse

(UPDATE) Miss Mexico Andrea Meza won the 69th Miss Universe, thrust into the role as a spokesperson for women empowerment during the pandemic.

The Philippines' Rabiya Mateo ended her campaign with a Top 21 finish.

Meza is a pageant veteran who placed first runner-up in the 2017 Miss World. She is the third Mexican to win Miss Universe after Ximena Navarette (who beat Venus Raj in 2010) and Lupita Jones from 1991. Jones is the head of the Miss Mexico organization.

Meza was asked how she would have handled COVID-19 if she were the leader of her country. She said the lockdown could have come earlier.

"I believe there's not a perfect way to handle this hard situation. However, I believe what I would've done was to create the lockdown even before everything was that big. Because we lost so many lives, and we can't afford that, we have to take care of our people. That's why I would've taken care of them since the beginning."

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Here are the results:

First Runner up -- Brazil, Julia Gama

Agence France-Presse

Second Runner up -- Peru, Janick Manceta

Agence France-Presse
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Third Runner up -- India, Adline Castelino

Agence France-Presse

Fourth Runner up -- Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jimenez

Agence France-Presse
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Ilonggo Pride: Fans Cheer Rabiya Mateo Through Art, Song

Rabiya makes it to semis

With Mateo's finish, the Philippines how has an 11-year unbroken streak in the Miss Universe semifinals. However, it's the second straight edition that the country failed to make the Top 10. 

The 24-year-old teacher from Iloilo City campaigned for the country's fifth Miss Universe crown, last won in 2018 by Catriona Gray and in 2015 by Pia Wurtzbach.

Several fan favorites at the 69th Miss Universe competition failed to make the first cut. South Africa's Natasha Joubert ended her campaign for a back-to-back win and third crown for their country since 2017.

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Also out of the running after the first cut are Canada's Nova Stevens, Venezuela's Mariangel Villasmil and Romania's Bianca Tirsin, who placed runner up in past editions of Miss International and Miss Supranational.

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The 21 semifinalists competed in swimsuit. The 10 finalists competed in evening gown while the Top 5 sluggged it out in the interview and final look rounds. Miss Vietnam was the winner of the Lazada fan vote.

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