The countdown has begun for the Miss Universe contest, which will be held at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. The 68th edition of the international beauty pageant is scheduled to be held on 8 December at 7 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

Around 90 contestants will be taking part in the show, out of which 20 will be selected after going through various rounds and interviews. And just like last year, this year too the selection committee consists of all women judges. They are Gaby Espino, Bozoma Saint John, Cara Mund, Sazan Hendrix, Crystle Stewart, Paulina Vega, and Riyo Mori.

At the end of the ceremony, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray will hand over the crown to the winner. American comedian Steve Harvey is set to host the three-hour event. He will be leading the show for the fifth time.

Catriona Gray
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray will crown the new beauty queen Facebook/catrionaelisagray/

In 2015, the 62-year-old talk show host, made a big error in front of a global television audience at the Miss Universe pageant, when he misread his cue card and announced Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner. Miss Columbia was even crowned. However, in what will be remembered as one of television's biggest blunders, Harvey apologised and announced that Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was the actual winner.

Where to watch live online

Viewers in the USA, can see Miss Universe on FOX Network. However, fans of the pageant around the world can follow live updates on the official Facebook page of the Miss Universe competition. Twitter users can try #MissUniverse to catch the latest news @MissUniverse on Twitter.

Meanwhile, for the first time in the pageant's history, a lesbian woman will compete in Miss Universe. Miss Myanmar Swe Zin Htet revealed that she chose to come out now, so she can bring a spotlight to LGBTQ rights in her home country, where homosexuality is still a crime.

She told People: "I have that platform that, if I say that I'm a lesbian, it will have a big impact on the LGBTQ community back in Burma. The difficult thing is that in Burma, LGBTQ people are not accepted, they are looked down by other people and are being discriminated against."

"It's like I just started a new chapter in life," she said.