The Miss Universe 2013 pageant will air on Saturday, Nov. 9, live from Russia with 86 beautiful contestants from all over the world competing for the crown. The 62nd annual pageant will be broadcast live from the Crocus City Hall beginning at 9 p.m. ESTon NBC.
“SNBC Live” host Thomas Roberts and “America's Got Talent” judge Melanie Brown, of Spice Girls fame, will host the show with musical guests Panic! At The Disco and EMIN slated to perform. Other hosts include Style Network’s Jeannie Mai and 2012 Miss Universe winner Olivia Culpo.
The show’s host for the past several years, Andy Cohen, announced in August that he would be boycotting his hosting duties this year because of anti-gay laws in Russia that make it “unsafe” for openly gay people to enter the country. "The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested," he told E! News of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “anti-gay propaganda” law, adding he "didn't feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia."
Fifteen celebrity judges, including infamous models Anne “V” Vyalitsyna and Carole Alt and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, will narrow down the competition to 16 finalists and then pick the winner from among them. The rest of the judges include Chef Nobu, Farouk Shami, Italo Fontana, Philip Kirkorov, Tara Lipinski, Alicia Quarles, Corrine Nicolas, David Perozzi, Elena Semikina, Gabriel Rivera-Barraza, Irina Agalarova and Jose Sariego. Tyler is also slated to perform at the show as well as judge.
Contestants of the Donald Trump-owned pageant will compete in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview. The 86 women have been in Moscow since Oct. 20 participating in pre-pageant activities, including the National Costume show and other preliminary competitions.
Erin Brady, the 26-year-old Connecticut native and reigning Miss USA 2013, will represent the United States in the pageant. America has the highest number of Miss Universe wins since the competition began in 1952 with eight wins total. Last year, Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo won the international pageant.
According to the Examiner, betting odds from Las Vegas’ oddsmakers have Brady tied for sixth place along with Miss Brazil, Jakelyne Oliveria, and Miss Croatia, Melita Fabčeić. The group has selected Miss India, Manasi Moghe, to win, following by Ariella Arida (Miss Philippines), Aysel Manafova (Miss Azerbaijan), Carolina Brid (Miss Panama) and Hinarani de Longeaux (Miss France) to round out the top five.
Several other contestants have made recent headlines for a variety of reasons.
Miss Bulgaria, Veneta Krasteva, was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago but is now recovered. "It was terrible news. I never thought it would happen to me," said Krasteva, now cancer-free after two years of “aggressive treatment,” Today.com reported. "My recovery took a while, but after I fully healed, I was able to start my life again.”
Miss Israel, Titi Yitayish Ayanaw, is an Ethiopian-born orphan and the first black Miss Israel.
"My community is very proud of me; I'm the first beauty queen,” she said. “I think the girls, they see my picture and it's the first time an Ethiopian Jew is on [magazine] covers and in photos. They're so excited, the young girls start to believe in themselves, that they can do it also. If I win here, it's going to be like history."
Moe Set Wine, Miss Myanmar, is the first Miss Universe contestant to compete from the war-torn nation in 53 years. “I know this is my chance to put my country on the world stage so people know about Myanmar. It's an honor,” she said.
So where can you watch the 2012 Miss Universe pageant? Check your local listings for the NBC channel, as well as the NBC live webpage. An estimated 1 billion viewers will watch the finale show.
But there are also a few live-streaming options for watching on your laptop or mobile device. The 2013 Miss Universe YouTube account will have live video of the show as well as the official Miss Universe page here. Live updates will be posted on the official Facebook and YouTube pages throughout the competition.
The Miss Universe pageant is one of the top three pageants in the world run by the Miss Universe Organization. Started in California in 1952 by clothing company Pacific Mills, Trump acquired it in 1996 and currently owns it in joint partnership with NBC Universal to select women who “personify the combination of beauty and intelligence that defines the 21st century.”
Below are the 86 contestants in 2013's Miss Universe pageant in alphabetical order by country. For more information about the contestants, visit the Miss Universe website to read all about the women competing. Who do you think will be crowned the winner?