Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach
Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach is the first Miss Universe from the Philippines in more than four decades Reuters

The 65th annual Miss Universe beauty pageant has begun at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. The three-hour programme will end with the coronation ceremony in which a contestant will be crowned Miss Universe 2016 by last year's title holder, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

Steve Harvey announced top 13 contestants of the event: Miss Kenya Mary Esther Were, Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw, Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Miss Mexico Kristal Silva, Miss Peru Valeria Piazza, Miss Panama Keity Drennan, Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, Miss Philippines Maxine Medina, Miss Canada Siera Bearchell, Miss Brazil Raissa Santana, Miss France Iris Mittenaere, Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier and Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane.

Twelve of these finalists were selected by the Miss Universe Organization and one was chosen by voters.


The ladies competed in the swimsuit portion, where 9 candidates Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane, Miss France Iris Mittenaere, Miss Mexico Kristal Silva, Miss Kenya Mary EstherWere, Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, Miss Canada Siera Bearchell, Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier and Miss Philippines Maxine Medina will head to the next round.

The beauties will then enter the evening gown competition, where the Top 6 will be chosen.

Top 6 contestants announced: Miss France Iris Mittenaere, Miss Kenya Mary EstherWere, Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane, Miss Philippines Maxine Medina and Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier.


Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, Miss France Iris Mittenaere and Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier made it to the top 3. The candidates will move on to present their final look.


Miss Universe 2016 is Miss France Iris Mittenaere.

Where to watch live online

You can tune into the official website of the Miss Universe Organisation to live stream the event. The start time of the 3-hour pageant in Singapore local time is 8 am.

Viewers can follow live updates from the show on the official Facebook page of the Miss Universe competition. Twitter users can try #MissUniverse to catch the latest news @MissUniverse on Twitter.

Philippines' Maxine Medina is one of the favorites to win the contest this year. The judges for the Miss Universe pageant include Dayanara Torres, the former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico; Sushmita Sen, the first ever Miss Universe from India; Leila Lopes, the first Miss Universe from Angola; Mickey Boardman, the editorial director of PAPER magazine; Cynthia Bailey, the founder of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion; and Francine LeFrak, Tony award-winning producer, social entrepreneur and women's empowerment activist.