And the winner of the 2014 Miss World pageant is….Miss South Africa, Rolene Strauss!
The 22-year-old beauty queen was crowned onstage at the competition’s grand final at the Excel London ICC Auditorium on Sunday.
Strauss, the daughter of a doctor and nurse, is a fourth-year medical student who had put her studies on hold. She had said becoming Miss South Africa and later Miss World and studying medicine were her childhood dreams.
“Everyone in my town called me Little Dr. Strauss,” she said.
Donning a high, blue and golden jeweled crown and pale pink, off-the-shoulder, romantic-style, cleavage-baring, ruffled evening gown, Strauss waved and smiled at the crowd.
Strauss was among 122 contestants who competed for the coveted title this year.
During the ceremony, contestants wore colorful costumes representing their countries and territories and several also took part in a group performance of the hit ballad “You Raise Me Up,” made famous by Josh Groban.
After she was crowned, the remaining contestants on stage danced to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” Group member Sky Blu, who wore a fairytale prince-like outfit, performed solo.
“Miss World 2014. Put your hands up, ya’ll!” he shouted. “Put those hands up! Oh yeah! We love girls all around the world. All around the world, we love girls. I love ya’ll.”
The two runners-up were:
2. Hungary: Edina Kulcsár, a former finalist of the 2009 Miss Plastic Hungary beauty pageant. The contest featured contestants who had plastic surgery and aimed to promote the benefits of cosmetic procedures.
3. United States: Elizabeth Safrit, who represented North Carolina at the 2014 Miss United States pageant, has a BA in political science from the University of Southern California and has been dancing since she was little.
The other contestants who made it to the top 10 were:
4. Australia: Courtney Thorpe, a marketing student
5. England: Carina Tyrrell, a med student at the prestigious University of Cambridge.
6. Guyana: Rafieya Husain
7. Brazil: Julia Gama
8. Kenya: Idah Nguma
9. Mexico: Daniela Álvarez
10. India: Koyal Rana
Ghana made it to the top 25.