Fil-Am Beauty Queen R’Bonney Gabriel Turns Heads as the New Miss Universe Winner!
Filipino-American Houston-based R’Bonney Gabriel representing the United States of America won the 71st Miss Universe pageant held at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The “Force for Good” Mouawad crown she received is made up of 45.14 carats royal blue sapphire with rippling waves as the main motif. The final question was ‘how would the delegate work in demonstrating the empowerment and progressiveness of the organization?’
The new Miss Universe 2022 answered: “I would use it to be a transformational leader. As a very passionate designer, I’ve been sewing for 13 years, I use fashion as a force for good. In my industry, I’m cutting down pollution through recycled materials when I make my clothing, I do sewing classes to women who survived human trafficking and domestic violence. I say that because it’s so important to invest in others, invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference. We all have something special and when we plant those seeds to other people in our lives, we transform them and we use that as a vehicle for change.”
The 28-year-old winner now holds the record for the oldest winner of the Miss Universe pageant, which was previously held by USA’s Brooke Lee, who won when she was 26 years and 128 days old. Miss Venezuela was the first runner-up while Miss Dominican Republic was the second. Once again, the Miss Universe crown eluded the Philippines as its representative, Celeste Cortesi, failed to advance to the Top 16.
Those who made it to the Top 16 are: Ashley Cariño (Puerto Rico), Mideline Phelizor (Haiti), Monique Riley (Australia), Andreina Martinez (Dominican Republic), Payengxa Lor (Laos), Ndavi Nokeri (South Africa), Telma Madeira (Portugal), Amelia Tu (Canada), Alessia Rovegno (Peru), Tya Jané Ramey (Trinidad and Tobago), Gabriela Dos Santos (Curacao), Divita Rai (India), Amanda Dudamel (Venezuela), Alicia Faubel (Spain), R’Bonney Gabriel (USA), and María Fernanda Aristizábal (Colombia). R’Bonney is the ninth Miss Universe titleholder hailing from the US. The country won the title in the following years: 1954, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1980, 1995, 1997, and 2012.
It was revealed in a trivia portion by the hosts that the new Miss Universe had the most suitcases, numbering at 15, as well as the most friends and relatives supporting her during the competition proper, which are over a hundred. Her unique name originates from her Filipino dad’s name “R. Bon”.
She first turned heads way back Miss USA 2022 wearing a Maria Clara inspired outfit during the interviews, which she revealed has a flower embroidery similar to the one on her mother’s wedding dress. The Fil-Am beauty queen’s primary advocacy is sustainability, as reflected in her own eco-friendly label as a fashion designer, R’Bonney Nola.
*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Instagram (@shotbypratik)