After a months-long delay due to the COVID-19, the competition has finally begun. Delegates of the 69th Miss Universe pageant have arrived at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida this week, in preparation for the event’s coronation night on May 16 (Monday, May 17 in Philippine time).
A total of 74 contestants will compete for the crown—including the Philippines’ Rabiya Mateo, who is hoping to be the country’s fifth Filipino Miss Universe titleholder after Gloria Diaz, Margarita Moran, Pia Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray.
The Miss Universe delegates will have a very tight schedule leading to the Miss Universe’s May 16 live show. After the registration and fitting this weekend, contestants will have to do photo and video shoots over the weekend.
The competition’s preliminary activities—namely the National Costume competition and the Closed Door interview—will start on May 13.
The Preliminary Competition will be held on May 14 in the US.
The tight schedule—the preliminary activities were usually spread out in a two-week timeframe in the past—may have something to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a previous press release, the Miss Universe Organization said it will follow strict health guidelines and policies—including mask usage, social distancing, quarantining upon arrival and rigorous testing, as well as a working group with others following the same restrictions, in coordination with health officials”—to ensure the safety of the contestants.