Gunning for the Miss Universe crown: Can the Philippines score a back-to-back win?
Gazini Ganados (Photo: Getty Images)
Johannesburg – In the history of the Miss Universe pageant, only one country has managed to pull off a back-to-back win – Venezuela.
Dayana Mendoza took home the crown in 2008, and in 2009 passed it down to fellow Venezuelan Stefanía Fernández.
Since then, while some have come close, including South Africa's Tamaryn Green in 2018, none have achieved the seemingly unattainable feat.
As the 2019 pageant draws nearer, there may be one contestant who will be feeling the heat more than any other.
Gazini Ganados took home the Miss Universe Philippines title in June, which means that she will go on to represent the country at the Miss Universe pageant on 8 December in Atlanta.
The 23-year-old model was crowned by the reigning Miss Universe, Catriona Gray, who hails from the Philippines too.
Because a back-to-back win is so rare, pageant fans always pay close attention to the country who has the title at the time, hoping to see if they can hold onto it for another year.
A firm favourite
Just like South Africans kept a firm eye on Tamaryn Green in 2018, Filipinos have done the same with Gazini, with The Manila Times calling her the country's "best bet" for a back-to-back win.
The beauty queen has also been listed as a "hot pick" by many who have made predictions about the final outcome of the competition.
Feeling the pressure
According to an article by ABS-CBN News, Gazini says she is using the pressure to fuel herself. The beauty queen mentioned that she would make her own mark on the pageant, bringing something different than Catriona did last year.
She is also looking forward to meeting her South African competitor Zozibini Tunzi as well as the representatives from Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand who, according to the publication, are all considered front-runners.
Choosing the winner
The judging begins long before the finalists take to the stage on pageant night. Contestants will land in Atlanta two weeks before the show, taking part in a number of competitions which will all contribute toward final scores.
While it's difficult to tell just yet whether or not Gazini will take the crown, One thing is for sure, all eyes will be on her to see if she can do what only one other country has been able to thus far.
Compiled by Nikita Coetzee (Sources: Channel24, The Manila Times, ABS-CBN News)