A young ethnic woman from the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak took home the crown of Miss Universe Vietnam 2017 on Saturday evening after a sweeping performance in the grand finale.
Forty-two contestants from across Vietnam shone their brightest in the final night of Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, held in the resort city of Nha Trang in south-central Khanh Hoa Province.
H’Hen Nie, a 25-year-old contestant of ethic Rade descent, took home the VND2.7 billion (US$119,000) crown of the competition together with a cash prize of VND200 million ($8,800).
The Ho Chi Minh City-based freelance model is dubbed ‘the black pearl’ of Vietnam thanks to her vigorous brown complexion, athletic shape, short hair and powerful strutting skills.
Professional models Hoang Thi Thuy and Mau Thi Thanh Thuy became the pageant’s first and second runner-up, respectively.
Hoang Thi Thuy was the champion of the 2011 cycle of Vietnam’s Next Top Model, a modeling reality television series, while Mau Thi Thanh Thuy was the winner of the show’s 2013 cycle.
This year is only the third time Miss Universe Vietnam has been organized to select Vietnam’s representatives to enter international pageants, with the other two times being in 2008 and 2015.
The 2017 edition of the competition was suspended for two months by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in November after it drew criticism for holding the semifinal in typhoon-hit Nha Trang.
Typhoon Damrey hit Vietnam’s south-central coast on November 4, cutting off power, unroofing houses and disrupting traffic in the provinces from Phu Yen to Ninh Thuan, with Nha Trang among the affected locations.
A total of 106 people in the region lost their lives to the natural disaster, with 25 others still missing.
Among the board of judges were Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza and Miss Vietnam 2006 Mai Phuong Thuy.
During the final night that lasted two and a half hours, the 42 finalists displayed catwalk skills in the traditional Vietnamese dress ao dai, evening gowns, and swimsuits.
In the interview round, H’Hen Nie picked a question from Mai Phuong Thuy, asking what she could do, as Miss Universe Vietnam, to encourage people to use social media in a more positive way.
“Social media is a two-edged knife with both positive and negative impacts. I want to stress that there are many other more beautiful things in life for us to treasure, so let’s cut down on our use of social media so we can be closer to one another,” Nie answered. – TuoiTreNews
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