Miss Universe pays special tribute to her former trans rival

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Miss Universe has played a special video tribute to Angela Ponce, who failed to win the contest but her win is in participation – she is the first transgender woman to compete in the beauty contest of such a level. The 27-year-old beauty queen was unable to reach the final 20 on Sunday (December 16) but during the tribute—which played after the finalists’ opening statements—she said that winning would be great but it was not her goal, she was there and she promoted trans visibility, this is enough. Ponce was praised by co-host and model Ashley Graham, who said in the video that she was “everything you’d expect from the reigning Miss Universe,” according to E! News, “She’s smart. Driven. Beautiful. But her path has been anything but ordinary. And nothing short of extraordinary.” Ponce, who won Miss Spain in June, was competing against 93 other contestants for the title in Thailand, which was awarded to the Philippines’ Catriona Gray.

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