Published Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015 | 4 p.m.
Updated Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 | 12:59 a.m.
2015 Miss Universe Red Carpet/Richard Corey
SPOILER ALERT: The 2015 Miss Universe Pageant at Axis at Planet Hollywood begins at 4 p.m. PT for live telecast on Fox on the East Coast. It is tape delayed in the Pacific Time zone, including here in Las Vegas, and begins airing at 7 p.m. PT. DO NOT READ THIS BLOG if you do not want to know the results before the pageant airs on Fox.
The 80 contestants of the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant, including our 2015 Miss USA Olivia Jordan, 27, of Oklahoma, have been at their home base of Planet Hollywood for 1 1/2 weeks culminating in today’s contest airing on Fox to crown the new queen.
The pageant at Axis at Planet Hollywood — home of Britney Spears’ resident show “Britney: Piece of Me” and, in the New Year, Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have” starting Jan. 20 — to find the successor of Paulina Vega of Barranquilla, Colombia — also the hometown of singer-songwriter Shakira and newlywed and “Modern Family” actress Sofia Vergara — kicks off its three-hour telecast at 4 p.m. PT for live airing on the East Coast and tape-delaying airing Pacific Time here in Las Vegas.
The Miss Universe Pageant and Miss Universe Organization, the parent organization of the Miss USA Pageant, was owned by businessman and GOP president candidate Donald Trump until this year, and the pageants aired on NBC before moving to Fox.
Comedian, actor and TV personality Steve Harvey and actress and model Roselyn Sanchez are pageant co-hosts, and Seal, The Band Perry and Charlie Puth will provide entertainment during the telecast.
Follow along on our live blog and via Twitter starting at 4 p.m. PT, although Robin Leach’s red carpet tweets at Planet Hollywood have begun; incidentally, Mr. Leach will be seated in the front row at the pageant.
Updated at 4:15 p.m.: And we’re off! “Let’s go,” Harvey shouts as he walks onstage in a tuxedo. “Welcome to Las Vegas!” His biggest three days in life? Being born, getting married and now hosting the swimsuit competition at Miss Universe. Sanchez will provide color commentary.
The parade of contestants begins at 4:03 p.m. to the music of DJ Zedd’s “We’re Beautiful Now.” Austria’s contestant has a beard! Cayman Islands is the oldest contestant at 27. China can speak six Chinese dialects. France’s costume is a statement for peace in light of the recent attacks in Paris.
Hungary is wearing Rubix cubes. India has the most Instagram followers. Ireland was crowned one week ago. Italy has been in the Top Five five times but has never won. Japan is the first biracial contestant from that nation. Mauritius traveled 11,250 miles to compete at Miss Universe.
New Zealand is the first country in the world to approve a woman’s right to vote. Philippines is a crowd favorite. Singapore is a “science-fiction geek.” South Africa has made the Final 10 15 times. Thailand is dressed as a vehicle, a tut tut. USA receives a big reception. Vietnam competed in “Vietnam’s Next Top Model.”
4:31 p.m.: The Top 15 finalists are 2015 Miss Brazil Marthina Brandt, who is in law school to become a judge; 2015 Miss Australia Monika Radulovic, who was born in Bosnia; 2015 Miss Indonesia Anindya Kusuma Putri, who loves to play music; 2015 Miss Dominican Republic Clarissa Molina, who says she was bullied all her life; 2015 Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who admires her younger sister.
4:33 p.m.: Also, 2015 Miss France Flora Cocquerel, who doesn’t speak English, and 2015 Miss USA Olivia Jordan, who calls herself a dork who busts out in dance moves. Now it’s a commercial break before announcing the remaining eight finalists.
4:45 p.m.: The No. 8 spot goes to 2015 Miss Curacao Kanisha Sluis, who is studying chemistry and math to become a clinical and chemical analyst; 2015 Miss Belgium Annelies Toros discusses philanthropy; 2015 Miss Japan Ariana Miyamoto, whose mother is Japanese and father is black; and 2015 Miss Venezuela Mariana Jimenez, who doesn’t speak English and says that she is very competitive and wants to be Miss Universe.
4:50 p.m.: 2015 Miss South Africa Refilwe Mthimunye, who is a third-year law student; 2015 Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, who is crazy for cats; 2015 Miss Mexico Wendy Esparza, who had a Mexican and American upbringing; and the final spot in the Top 15 is 2015 Miss Thailand Aniporn Chalermburanawong, who grew up selling fried pork skins in a street market and sings Thai country music.
2015 Miss Universe Pageant arrival
4:58 p.m.: Harvey announces that the Miss Universe website has crashed because of global voting. The judges are announced: Niecy Nash, Perez Hilton, Olivia Culpo, Emmitt Smith … and the fifth judge are the viewers at home. The reigning Miss Universe Paulina Vega is introduced.
5:04 p.m.: Thailand wins the at-home judging for national costume. Now it’s the swimsuit competition to narrow the field from Top 15 to Top 10.
5:19 p.m.: Puth, in a Hawaiian-print shirt, sings “Marvin Gaye” at a white piano during the swimsuit competition. In order: Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Dominican Republic (who twirls twice) and Philippines (a crowd favorite).
Puth sings “One Call Away,” his current hit, with interpretive dancers. Next up: France, USA (to loud applause), Curacao, Belgium, Japan, Venezuela, South Africa, Colombia, Mexico and national costume winner Thailand.
5:31 p.m.: The Philippines and Colombia received the highest number of at-home votes, Sanchez tells the audience. The Top 10 is announced: USA, Colombia, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Dominican Republic, France, Curacao, Philippines (who has become the crowd favorite) and Venezuela. Up next: The evening gown competition.
5:41 p.m.: Pageant judge Hilton has the quote of the night: “Thankfully, Donald Trump no longer owns the Miss Universe Pageant!” Wow, 2015 Miss Slovenia suffered facial paralysis during the first day competing at the pageant here in Las Vegas and is allowed to walk onstage. Very emotional.
5:55 p.m.: It’s time for the evening gown competition. The Band Perry sings its new hit, “Live Forever.” Lead singer Kimberly Perry is pretty in pink, and her brothers Reid and Neil are handsome in tuxes.
USA is in white with a long, flowing cape. Colombia is in glittering gold and silver. Va-va-va voom! Japan is in gold with a plunging neckline. Thailand also is in white, glittering white, with a long, flowing cape. Australia is in glittering gold and stumbles.
The Band Perry sings its uptempo hit “Done.” Dominican Republic looks like an angel in white. France is in bright red. Curacao also is in bright red and dons a high bun. Philippines is in blue. “It feels like the entire Philippines is here,” Sanchez quips. Venezuela is in white and twirls.
6:07 p.m.: The Philippines is the top contestant with at-home judges, Sanchez shares. Harvey announces the Top Five: Miss France Flora Coquerel, Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Australia Monika Radulovic and Miss USA Olivia Jordan.
6:21 p.m.: Now it’s the dreaded interview portion with 30 seconds to answer. France will be using an interpreter. Miss Philippines is asked about the U.S. reopening a military base in the Philippines. She says that she has no problem with it at all.
Miss France is asked about combatting terrorism. She says to fight terrorism, first we have to know where the problems originate — we have to find the problem at its heart. Miss Australia is asked about legalizing marijuana. She says in certain circumstances, it is necessary, as in treating cancer.
Miss Colombia is asked about drug abuse. How to handle it, Harvey asks? She, too, has an interpreter. Education begins in our homes, she says. USA is asked about gun ownership. Individuals have the right to protect themselves, but we need stronger regulations and to pay attention, she says. Next up: The final three and Seal.
6:26 p.m.: Two facts: The Miss Universe crown is valued at $300,000, and more than 6 million votes have been cast during the pageant telecast. Harvey announces the Top Three: Miss USA in white, Miss Colombia in gold and Miss Philippines in blue.
6:39 p.m.: It’s the Top Three, and each finalist will be asked the same question and has 60 seconds to answer. Harvey announces that the sixth surprise judge will be the other 77 contestants. The final question: Why should you be the next Miss Universe?
Miss USA says she is passionate and driven. She wants people to believe in themselves and be themselves. She wants equality for men and women — and to empower women all over the world.
Miss Colombia says she should be the third Miss Universe from Colombia because she has all the attributes of a Latin woman and all the attributes of a Colombian woman.
Miss Philippines says the title is an honor with responsibilities. She will shine the light on youths and HIV awareness. She says that she is confidently beautiful with a heart.
Seal will sing as the Top Three takes their final catwalk.
6:47 p.m.: Harvey announces that 10 million votes have been cast. Seal sings his hits, including “Kiss From a Rose” and “Crazy,” during the final walk.
6:58 p.m.: 2014 Miss Universe Paulina Vega takes her final walk. Harvey announces the final results: The second runner-up is Miss USA Olivia Jordan, the first runner-up is Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, and the new Miss Universe is Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez. Colombia repeats!
7:03 p.m.: Wow! Harvey admits to making a big mistake, and Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach is announced as the new Miss Universe!
Don Chareunsy is the Las Vegas Sun’s entertainment and luxury senior editor and has been a journalist for nearly two decades.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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