Filipino pageant fans don't need to file a leave or skip class to watch the 71st edition of Miss Universe as it will be held on a weekend in January 2023.
The Miss Universe Organization on Tuesday said that the next pageant will take place on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. This means that the event will air live on Sunday, Jan. 15, Manila time.
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The last time Miss Universe aired on a weekend in Manila was in 2013, when the pageant was held in Moscow on a Saturday and saw Venezuela's Gabriela Isler taking home the crown.
It will also be the third time, excluding the 2020 edition which was delayed by the pandemic, that the pageant will skip an entire year, with the new queen to be crowned in January. The winner of the 2014 edition, Colombia's Paulina Vega, was crowned in January 2015 in the U.S., while the 2016 winner, France's Iris Mittenaere, was crowned in January 2017 in Manila.
Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, earlier described the host city for the 71st edition as "built for tourism, culture, food, and fun."
"I'm ecstatic this year. I feel finally, after all of these years, we are in a venue which will have plenty of seating. We will be able to accommodate everyone, and I feel that this is our first step back. So I'm thrilled," Shugart said in an earlier interview with ABS-CBN News.
At least 67 contestants, including Philippines' Celeste Cortesi, will compete for the crown to be passed on by current titleholder Harnaaz Sandhu of India.
In the same interview, Shugart also said the organization has decided to allow mothers, married, and divorced women to join Miss Universe to make the pageant more inclusive.
The Miss Universe Organization has yet to formally announce the rule changes, but pageant websites earlier reported that the new eligibility requirements will apply in the 72nd edition of Miss Universe.
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