Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler has been crowned Miss Universe 2013 in a ceremony that drew controversy because it was being held in Russia, where LGBT citizens are under siege. The event will be televised tonight on NBC, with former Spice Girl Mel B and openly gay newsman Thomas Roberts serving as hosts.
Roberts, who brought his husband along on the trip, said he had been called a sellout for taking the gig—which Bravo’s Andy Cohen turned down—but insisted he came to lend “support [to] the LGBT community in Russia… as a journalist, an anchor and a man who happens to be gay.”
The out MSNBC anchor certainly didn’t hold back from criticizing his host country: “[The Russian government is] seeking a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist,” he told AFP of the country’s anti-propaganda law. “There really is no reason to demonize the LGBT population.” Roberts also interviewed Anton Krasovsky, a Russian journalist fired after coming out on the air.
But there was more pomp and circumstance than politics inside Moscow’s Cronus City Hall, where Isler beat out 85 other contenders for the crown and sash. After her win was announced, Isler was crowned by the current Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo of the United States.
It was a Spanish-speaking sweep, with Miss Spain Patricia Yurena Rodriguez named runner-up, and Miss Ecuador Constanza Baez coming in third.
Here are the final winners and top ten finalists:
National Costume: Miss Nicaragua
Ice Princess Glam Shoot: Miss Philippines
Fan favorite: Miss Philippines
The top 10 contestants (in random order):
1. Miss Philippines
2. Miss India
3. Miss Great Britain
4. Miss Brazil
5. Miss USA
6. Miss Ukraine
7. Miss Ecuador
8. Miss Venezuela
9. Miss Dominic Republic
10. Miss Spain