The countdown to the Miss Universe finale has begun and Miss Universe South Africa Bryoni Govender is emerging as one of the front-runners at the Miss Universe competition currently under way in El Salvador.
The competition finale takes place on Saturday, November 18, but due to the time difference, it will be broadcast live on SABC 3 (DStv Channel 193) from 3am on Sunday, November 19, and if you want to catch it later instead, the final will be repeated on the same day at 7.30pm.
Miss Universe 2023 will be the 72nd Miss Universe pageant and will be held at the José Adolfo Pineda Arena in San Salvador.
R'Bonney Gabriel of the United States will crown her successor at the end of the event.
Contestants from 85 countries are competing in the competition, which will be hosted for the second consecutive time by ‘How Do I Look?’ host Jeannie Mai and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, along with US TV presenter Maria Menounos.
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Zuri Hall will once again serve as backstage correspondents.
John Legend will be performing at this year's pageant.
This finale marks the debut of Pakistan, and the return of Denmark, Egypt, Guyana, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Norway and Zimbabwe to the competition.
Govender is currently busy with rehearsals ahead of the pageant finale with the personality interviews on November 14 and the National Costume Show on November 16.
Speaking from El Salvador, Govender said: “I want the world to stop spinning on its axis so I can breathe it all in and savour this glorious time.
“Meeting wonderful women from all over the world and connecting with them at so many levels has been a true delight. It’s all going too quickly. I want more time to enjoy every precious moment.”
Miss South Africa Organisation CEO Stephanie Weil added: “We are delighted with the support that South Africans are showing Bryoni who is flying the flag high for the country.
“We wish her everything of the best as she competes on the international stage and we know that she has what it takes to win the title as she exudes leadership, focus and passion.
“She has worked incredibly hard as Miss Universe South Africa and is an inspiration for a generation of young girls who wish to reach for a dream.”
South Africans are encouraged to vote for Govender with online voting now open via the official Miss Universe app; the contestant earning the most votes gets an automatic placement in the semi-finals.