SINGAPORE - The latest Miss Singapore Universe to wear the crown is Ms Manuela Blanka Bruntraeger, 24.
Beating 19 other finalists at the grand finale held at Resorts World Sentosa's West Ballroom on Wednesday (Oct 11) evening, Ms Bruntraeger took home $10,000 in cash as well as prizes worth $45,000, including treatment and services from local spa Beaute Hub and a smile makeover from Orchard Scotts Dental.
Ms Bruntraeger, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Lasalle College of the Arts, will represent Singapore in the Miss Universe 2017 pageant in Las Vegas on Nov 26.
Ms Bruntraeger received the crown from last year's winner, Ms Cheryl Chou.
"I'm in so much shock. I worked really hard for this and it's something that I dreamt of, so I'm very happy to be standing here with this crown on my head. I hope it's because the judges saw my hard work and determination," the outdoors and nature enthusiast told The Straits Times.
"To say that this was a dream would be a complete understatement. It's amazing to be able to call myself a beauty queen and I guess even more amazing to be able to represent Singapore."
The first runner-up is pricing analyst Rudhira Ramathas, 26, while the second runner-up is Ms Emilbiany Nenggal Intong, 18, a theatre student at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
The results were determined by a panel of seven judges, which included Miss Singapore Universe's National Director Nuraliza Osman; Mr Murali Subramaniam, Deputy Managing Editor, English Malay Tamil Media, SPH; media personality Paul Foster and celebrity stylist Keith Png.
Finalists were evaluated in swimwear, gown and question-and-answer segments.
Miss Universe Singapore contestants, who must be between 18 and 27 years of age, go through several rounds of selection before making it to the grand finale.
In addition to representing Singapore on the global stage, winners go on to be involved in the organisation's selected charities.
The Miss Universe Singapore 2017 pageant, which has been running since 1951, was organised by The New Paper in partnership with the Miss Universe Singapore Organisation.
The evening also featured pop performances by musicians Gareth Fernandez and Aisyah Aziz. About 450 people attended the event over a five-course dinner.