Beauties from across the globe converged in Las Vegas Sunday, where Miss South Africa was crowned Miss Universe.
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, edged out her rivals from Colombia and Jamaica to take the crown.
Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations.
In the pageant's 66th year, nearly 100 women from around the world -- including first-timers from Cambodia, Laos and Nepal -- took part.
The runner-up was actress Laura Gonzalez of Colombia, who was followed by second runner-up Davina Bennett of Jamaica.
The current Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere from France, crowned her successor to a din of squeals and cheers.
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American comic turned TV host Steve Harvey hosted the event for the third time, making several jokes at his own expense.
In 2015 he famously made a mistake heard round the world when he announced the wrong person as Miss Universe, resulting in an extremely uncomfortable, tense correction and a deluge of internet memes.
Grammy-winning singer Fergie and pop star Rachel Platten provided the musical entertainment for Sunday's show.
In the "Final Word" portion of the competition, Nel-Peters said "Miss Universe is a woman who has overcome many fears, and by that she is able to help many women overcome their fears."
"She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for," she said. "And I think that is exactly who I am."