Miss Universe 2023 was the 72nd Miss Universe pageant, held at the Gimnasio Nacional José Adolfo Pineda in San Salvador, El Salvador, on 18 November 2023.
At the end of the event, Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua was crowned as Miss Universe 2023 by R'Bonney Gabriel of the United States.
Contestants from eighty-four countries and territories competed in this edition. The competition was presented by Jeannie Mai and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo for the second consecutive time, along with Maria Menounos. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Zuri Hall also served as backstage correspondents for the second time. John Legend performed in this edition.
On 14 January 2023, during the Miss Universe 2022 pageant, Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele announced that the 72nd edition will be held in El Salvador in late 2023, after having last hosted the pageant in 1975. Later, on 27 July 2023, the Miss Universe Organization announced that the pageant will take place on 18 November 2023.
The choice of El Salvador as the host country was met with criticism due to the country's ongoing state of emergency amid the Salvadoran gang crackdown. Protests were staged in the capital San Salvador following the allocation of public funds for the hosting of the pageant amid an economical crisis.
To promote the pageant, the organization offered a "Hello Universe" travel package.
Contestants from eighty-four countries and territories were selected to compete in the pageant. Five of these delegates were appointed to the position after being runners-up in their national pageant, or being chosen through a casting process. For the first time since 1957, the Miss Universe Organization allowed the participation of married women and women with children to compete in the pageant.
This edition's roster of contestants was noted by media outlets for its diversity and inclusivity compared to past pageants. Among the contestants in the edition were Rikkie Kollé of the Netherlands and Marina Machete of Portugal, who became the joint second transgender women to compete in the pageant, after Ángela Ponce of Spain in 2018. Furthermore, the edition also saw the participation of the first married women and mothers to compete in the pageant since 1957, with the participation of Camila Avella of Colombia, Michelle Cohn of Guatemala, and Lorena Santen of Switzerland. Jane Dipika Garrett of Nepal was also recognized by media outlets to be the "first plus-sized" delegate to compete in the pageant. Erica Robin, the first delegate to be sent by Pakistan to the pageant, was also cited as another contestant who was "making the pageant more inclusive", though her participation was met with mixed reactions within her country.
Namuunzul Batmagnai, the second runner-up of Miss Universe Mongolia 2023, was appointed to represent Mongolia after the original winner, Nominzul Zandangiin was deemed unable to compete due to undisclosed reasons. Lê Thảo Nhi, the first runner-up of Miss Universe Vietnam 2022, was initially set to participate in this year's edition. However, the Saigon Universe Joint Stock Company had lost the Miss Universe franchise back in February 2023, and the license was transferred to the Miss Universe Vietnam Trading Joint Stock Company. After the negotiation process between the two companies failed, the latter decided to organize a new contest called Miss Universe Vietnam to choose the new representative of Vietnam at Miss Universe. The winner of the contest was Quỳnh Hoa Bùi.
This edition marked the debut of Pakistan; and the returns of Denmark, Egypt, Guyana, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Norway, and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe last competed in 2001; Latvia last competed in 2006; Guyana last competed in 2017; Egypt and Mongolia last competed in 2019; meanwhile the others last competed in 2021.
Armenia, Belize, Bhutan, Ghana, Haiti, Seychelles, Turkey, and Uruguay withdrew after their respective organizations failed to appoint a delegate, hold a national competition, or lost their national franchise. Maya Turdalieva was appointed to represent Kyrgyzstan after Diami Almazbekova, the original representative of Kyrgyzstan, decided to withdraw from the competition due to lack of preparation. Turdalieva was then replaced by Akylai Kalberdieva due to undisclosed reasons. However, Kalberdieva also decided to withdraw due to undisclosed reasons, leading to Kyrgyzstan's withdrawal from the competition. Miss Universe China 2023 Jia Qi withdrew due to logistical problems, and will compete at the next edition of Miss Universe.
Seven contestants from the Miss Universe Indonesia 2023 pageant filed police reports regarding incidents of sexual harassment from the pageant organizers. The complaints cited a "body check", where contestants were instructed to remove their clothes and undergarments in front of half a dozen people, both men and women, inside a cramped room, despite being told that it was a fitting session for their pageant clothing. One contestant alleged that she was coerced into doing multiple poses and was made to open her legs while standing, and five of the contestants alleged that they were photographed without their consent while being naked. An investigation was launched by the Indonesian government and the Miss Universe Organization, which led to the decision to sever ties with PT Capella Swastika Karya, the beauty company that runs the Miss Universe Indonesia pageant, and Poppy Capella, the organization's national director.
§ – Voted into the Top 20 by viewers
In the run-up to the main pageant, the contestants competed in the Voice For Change competition, where they shared their advocacies in the course of a three-minute video. A sponsored segment with jewelry brand Mouawad and communication platform CI Talks, the winners of the competition was determined through an online vote and by a selection committee. The ten silver finalists were announced during the preliminary competition, while the three gold winners were announced during the finals.
The Miss Universe Organization announced several different changes to the format for this edition. The number of semifinalists was increased to twenty—the same number of semifinalists in 2019. The results of the preliminary competition held on 15 November 2023, which consisted of the swimsuit and evening gown competition, and the closed-door interviews, determined the first nineteen semi-finalists selected at-large. Moreover, online voting was used again in this edition, with the voting public determining the twentieth delegate to advance into the semi-finals. The twenty semi-finalists competed in the swimsuit competition and were narrowed down to ten afterward. The ten semi-finalists then competed in the evening gown competition in which five delegates were chosen to advance as finalists. The five finalists competed in the interview questions, and were narrowed down to three. The three finalists competed in the final question, after which Miss Universe 2023 and her two runners-up were announced.
Eighty-four contestants competed for the title.
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