The Jakarta Post
Miss Philippines Megan Young was crowned Miss World on Saturday in Nusa Dua Bali, where the pageant's final round was moved to following protests by hard-liner groups.
Euphoria filled the hall of the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center as Julia Morley, chairwoman of the Miss World organization and head of the judges, announced Miss Philippines as the winner of this year's contest.
Young takes over the reign from Wenxia Yu of China. Miss France Marine Lorphelin, 20, took second place, while Miss Ghana Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter, 22, came in third.
Failing to win the event hosted by her home country, Indonesian contestant Vania Larissa only made it to the top 10. She, however, won the Talent Show thanks to her magnificent voice.
'I'm really looking forward to traveling the world to see what's out there and to see different cultures. I want to see what we can do to help others and involve my fellow Filipinos in my efforts. The one thing I'm going to miss the most is Filipino food,' Young told the press after the crowning.
Young was born in the United States but at 10 years of age moved to the Philippines, where she has since hosted television shows and appeared in films. The 23-year-old contestant, who studies digital film, also claimed a victory in the Top Model event.
Her mother Vicky Young was elated, saying after the crowning, 'If you want to travel around the world, go out there, explore, spread the good feelings in your heart, and help people. If that's what you want, it's OK. I'll stay here, taking care of your brother and sister.'
Julia Morley said Young was a worthy winner and expected that the new Miss World would be able to perform her duty of spreading good messages to the world.
'Everybody did great, and I'm very proud of all the contestants. Young will do a good job for Beauty with a Purpose projects around the world, and she will definitely draw a lot of attention.'
The 127 contestants that vied for the crown were introduced on Saturday wearing evening gowns shimmering in sequins, many of them with plunging necklines and slits up the leg.
Four candidates had dropped out earlier, mainly due to illnesses, said Syafril Nasution, one of the local organizers.
A day before the finale, the judges finished pouring over all of the tremendous work the contestants had done and announced the winners of five out of the six major challenge events.
The Netherlands' Jacqueline Steenbeek made it to the top position of the Sports event while Brazilian contestant Sancler Frantz and Indian Navneet Dhillon won the Beach Fashion and the Multimedia challenges, respectively.
The victory for Beauty with a Purpose fast track was achieved by Nepalese contestant Ishani Shrestha. She established a project called Smile, in which she raised oral hygiene awareness in remote villages in her home country.
Meanwhile, Miss World 2012 Wenxia Yu, discussed her future plans now that she has passed on her crown. 'Although my Miss World tenure has ended, I do believe this will be the start of a new journey. Since my parents do not have an income, I will return home to find a job that suits me and help my parents, as a daughter is supposed to,' she said.