After being postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 69th annual Miss Universe competition is back on.
On Friday, May 14, two days before the 2021 ceremony, the 74 contestants took part in preliminary contests, showcasing Ema Savhal Couture swimsuits paired with flowing turquoise, pink, peach and blue cover-ups, as well as elegant evening gowns and elaborate costumes representing their countries and territories.
Not all of them will qualify to take part in the main ceremony, which will air live on Sunday, May 16. Only 21 contestants will advance to the main pageant, first competing in the swimsuit contest, after which 10 of them will advance to the evening gown competition. Five finalists will then be chosen to take part in the question and answer round. At the end, Miss Universe 2019 and South African beauty Zozibini Tunzi, the longest-ever reigning title-holder, will crown her successor.
Mario Lopez and Miss USA 2012 and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo are co-hosting the televised competition. This marks the first time since 2015 that Steve Harvey will not host the annual event and the second time Lopez will serve as host since 2017.