Miss Universe 2023 crowns biological female Miss Nicaragua as winner over two biological males
Palacios, 23, was the first from her country to take the title. Among the other first-time candidates was Miss Nepal Jane Garrett, who was the first plus-size model, and the first ever Miss Pakistan Erica Robin, and the first contestants to be married mothers Miss Guatemala Michelle Cohn and Miss Colombia Camila Avella.
There were two biological male contestants who identify as females this year, Miss Netherlands Rikkie Kollé and Miss Portugal Marina Machete. Only Machete made it to the top 20.
As Miss Pakistan progressed through the top 20, she was featured in the swimsuit competition portion of the pageant. The Pakistani opted to wear a burkini for the first time in the pageant’s history.
Avella made it to the top five finalists in the competition. Miss Australia Morya Wilson was the second runner-up, and Miss Thailand Anntonia Porsild was the first runner-up.
Judges included two former Miss Universes, Janelle Commissiong and Iris Mittenaere, “Queer Eye” host Carson Kressley, model Halima Aden, and even a TikTok influencer Avani Gregg.
The pageant took place in San Salvador, El Salvador, with 2022’s Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel, who won the title as Miss USA, crowning Palacios.