Miss Angola Crowned Miss Universe in Brazil

Leila Lopes says she "wouldn't change a thing" about her body

Miss Angola has been named this year's Miss Universe.

Leila Lopes beat out 88 competitors to win the beauty pageant's top prize for the African nation after deftly answering a question over which physical characteristic she would change and why.

"Thank God I am very well satisfied with the way God made me – and I wouldn’t change a thing," the 25-year-old said, adding that she considered herself endowed with inner-beauty.

She replaces last year's winner, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico. 

In the final moments of NBC's telecast from Sao Paulo, Brazil, 23-year-old Olesia Stefanko of Ukraine was named first runner-up, and 25-year-old Priscila Machado of Brazil was second runner-up. The third was Samcey Supsup of the Philippines and the fourth was Luo Siln of China.

Miss USA, 21-year-old Alyssa Campanella from Los Angeles, did not make the top 10.

The top five candidates had faced a final questions round and stroll in their evening gown.

Miss Ukraine said the one person she would trade lives with from history was Cleopatra because, “she’s a very powerful and strong woman who is very much worthy of respect.”

“I think a woman can also be a leader like Cleopatra,” she said.

Miss Philippines asked whether she would change religious beliefs to marry the person she loved, said she would not.

"If someone loves me they should love my God too,” she said.

Miss China said she believed each country has “its own rules and regulations,” which she would keep in mind when judging whether public nudity was appropriate.

Home crowd favorite Miss Brazil and Miss Angola both said that people should “respect” one another.

The contestants had spent the past three weeks in Sao Paulo, trying to learn samba dance steps, visiting impoverished children and kicking a football around for cameras as the globe's biggest beauty contest is held in Brazil for the first time.

This year's contest generated headlines when Miss Colombia Catalina Robayo was told to wear panties.

Before the contest began, judges offered little insight into who they thought might win.

"I know my job and I'll be tough, but fair," said pageant judge and journalist Connie Chung. "You have to keep in mind that these women are not objects just to be looked at. They're to be taken seriously. I want to choose somebody I take seriously and the world takes seriously, too."

The pageant, hosted by NBC "Today" anchor Natalie Morales and the Bravo network's Andy Cohen, was distributed to about 170 countries. The contest is co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC, and was judged by celebrities including Connie Chung, supermodel Isabeli Fontana and Indy race car driver Helio Castroneves.

Morales, who is half Brazilian, said that "what's most important is for the women to be beautiful inside and out."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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