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Golden Globes, Fashion Week, meeting Kendall Jenner and falling in love - Demi-Leigh's reign as Miss Universe

2018-12-14 12:04
Demi-Leigh Nel Peters. (Getty Images)

Johannesburg – It’s been just over a year since Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe, and the beauty queen’s journey to the top was one that seemed to be straight out of a fairy tale.  

From a young woman with a dream, to the queen of the universe, we take a look at Demi-Leigh's whirlwind year.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN 

In March 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters took to the stage at the Sun City Superbowl, competing against 11 other young ladies for the Miss South Africa crown.  

Demi-Leigh dazzled the crowd, winning over the judges, and eventually claiming the coveted title.  

Speaking to The Juice on the night of her win, the beauty queen said that her reign would focus on empowering women.

“As Miss South Africa I really want to focus on entrepreneurship and on educating women, giving women the necessary skills in order to provide for their families,” she said.  

The next few days were filled with media interviews and exciting meet-and-greets for the new star.

But while many fans rejoiced in Demi-Leigh's win, a controversial question bubbled to the surface - Was the pageant rigged?

A number of contestants came forward in an interview with The Juice, claiming that the Miss South Africa 2017 pageant was fixed in Demi-Leigh's favour, giving detailed accounts of what they considered questionable behaviour during the competition.

The accusations did little to dampen Demi-Leigh's spirit - she immediately assumed duties as the reigning queen, spending her time giving back to communities around the country.

WATCH: DEMI-LEIGH BEING CROWNED MISS SOUTH AFRICA 2017:

UNBREAKABLE 

Only three months after her crowning, Demi-Leigh fell victim to an attempted hijacking while travelling in Johannesburg. 

According to a statement released on the Official Miss South Africa Facebook page, she was approached by three men on Jan Smuts Avenue in Hyde Park.

The star managed to exit the vehicle she was travelling in without harm. A good Samaritan came to her aid, getting her away from the scene of the crime. 

Her car, as well as her handbag, were later recovered by security personnel. 

Determined not to let the unfortunate incident get her down, Demi-Leigh found a way to turn tragedy into triumph - launching her Unbreakable campaign

The campaign saw the beauty queen running self-defence workshops for young women, teaching them the same skills which she said helped save her life during the attempted hijacking. 

"The Unbreakable campaign aims to educate, uplift and empower South African women. They can start to do by taking care of themselves and making wise decisions," she explained in a statement to the press. 

WATCH: DEMI-LEIGH CHATS ABOUT HER UNBREAKABLE CAMPAIGN:

TAKING ON THE UNIVERSE

Eight months after claiming the Miss South Africa crown, Demi-Leigh landed in Las Vegas where the 66th Miss Universe pageant was held.

The news broke in South Africa in the early hours of Monday 27 November - Miss SA crowned Miss Universe.

And in that instant, the 22-year-old from the small town of Sedgefield knew her life had changed forever. 

Demi-Leigh's win would see her become only the second South African to hold the Miss Universe title in the history of the pageant. The first being Margaret Gardiner in 1978. 

After her win the beauty queen was whisked off to New York where she moved into an apartment for the duration of her reign. She also received a salary as Miss Universe for performing her duties.

WATCH: RELIVE DEMI-LEIGH'S MISS UNIVERSE CROWNING MOMENT HERE:

INSTANT STARDOM

With the title of Miss Universe came superstar status. For Demi-Leigh that meant sitting front row at New York Fashion Week, attending the Golden Globes alongside Margaret Gardiner, and being interviewed on shows like Good Morning America.

The star also landed on numerous magazine covers, which included SA titles Women's Health and Cosmopolitan.

In an interview with The Juice in January, the newly crowned Demi -Leigh explained what it was like walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes for the first time.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'll be able to get to the Golden Globes so soon in my career. That was so phenomenal. Just to be in the same room as women like Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and Angelina Jolie who I look up to so much, that alone was life-changing." 

WATCH: ONE-ON-ONE WITH MISS UNIVERSE:

FINDING PRINCE CHARMING

Turns out the Miss Universe crown was only the beginning of the fairy tale for Demi-Leigh. In July she confirmed rumours that she had entered into a relationship with former NFL star Tim Tebow. 

In an interview with 947's Breakfast Club, Demi-Leigh referred to Tim as "very special," saying he is a "blessing" in her life. 

Tim obviously feels the same way. The author and sports star told E! News that he was "grateful and blessed" to have Demi-Leigh in his life. 

PIC: DEMI AND TIM SNUGGLE UP FOR A CUTE PHOTO:

CROWNING A NEW QUEEN

On Monday, the world will watch once again as the Miss Universe pageant crowns a new queen.

For South Africa, all eyes will be on Tamaryn Green as we wait in bated breath to see if she can achieve something that's only occurred once in the pageant's 67-year history - a back-to-back win.

The first, and only country so far, to win the Miss Universe title for two consecutive years was Venezuela.

Dayana Mendoza took home the Miss Universe crown in 2008, and in 2009 passed it down to fellow Venezuelan Stefanìa Fernández.

The 67th Miss Universe pageant will broadcast live on 1Magic (DStv channel 103) on Monday at 02:00 South African time.