Countdown to 71st Miss Universe pageant begins

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Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu
Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu
Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty

The countdown to the 71st annual Miss Universe pageant has begun with the opening of voting lines for the semifinals.

Voting opened on Wednesday. The Miss Universe pageant takes place on 14 January 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Announcing the news on social media via a video, reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu said she could not believe the 71st instalment of the pageant was "so close".

"I can't believe the time has come for me to almost hand over the crown," Sandu said in the video. "The good thing is, you can help crown my successor."

Miss South Africa Ndavi Nokeri will represent the country at the pageant alongside 89 other women from around the globe, who will be vying for the title.

"Still cannot believe my name is written next to South Africa," she wrote on social media. "Excited to take you all on this beautiful journey along with me."

Nokeri's predecessor Lalela Mswane was crowned the second runner-up at the pageant last year. Miss South Africa 2019, Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe in 2020.

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