Despite being one of the top favorites to win this year’s Miss Universe crown, Rachel Peters only made it as far as the Top 10 during the pageant’s coronation night held Sunday (Monday morning, Manila time) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 26-year-old Filipino-British model had figured prominently in pre-pageant fearless forecasts and drew some of the loudest cheers from her Filipino supporters at the Axis Theater in Planet Hollywood where the pageant took place.
Peters, who was also a favorite of model and pageant co-host Ashley Graham, was even voted in the Top 5 by those watching at home but did not get enough points from the judges, which included Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
But the Filipina struggled in cracking the Top 16 as Miss Universe adopted a new format where the first 12 will come from their respective regions (Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe). With only four slots given to Asia Pacific candidates, Peters did not make the initial cut.
She, however, later made it to the Top 16 as one of the last four “wildcard” candidates that were selected from any region.
On pageant night, Peters looked every inch like the formidable contender she was touted to be from the get-go. She was particularly stunning in the swimsuit competition and looked very regal in her elegant glittering outfit during the evening gown competition.
In the end, however, it was another Peters that took the crown. South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was named Miss Universe 2017, with Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez as first runner-up and Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett second runner-up.
Peters’ Top 10 finish follows Maxine Medina’s Top 6 outcome last year when the Philippines hosted the pageant in Manila for the third time. After the Philippines’ rise as a pageant powerhouse in recent years, Peters fared only slightly better than the country’s bets in the other three of the Big Four international pageants this year.
Prior to Miss Universe, Binibining Pilipinas-International 2017 Mariel de Leon failed to even make it to the semifinals of the Miss International 2017 pageant in Tokyo, Japan, while Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann only made it as far as the Top 40 in this year’s Miss World beauty contest.
Only Karen Ibasco won the Miss Earth 2017 tilt held here in the Philippines.
The country fared better in the Miss Grand International pageant where Elizabeth Clenci placed second runner-up, Miss Globe 2017 where Nelda Ibe finished first runner-up and Reina Hispanoamericana won by actress Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez.