Miss Universe

‘A new chapter’: Franki Russell to represent New Zealand in Miss Universe 2024


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‘A new chapter’: Franki Russell to represent New Zealand in Miss Universe 2024

Franki Russell's Instagram

The 'Pinoy Big Brother' alum will be the first delegate of New Zealand to the Miss Universe pageant since 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-Kiwi actress and model Franki Russell said that her appointment as Miss Universe New Zealand 2024 “feels like a 10-year journey in the making.” 

Russell was officially announced as the representative of New Zealand on Friday, March 22, during the launch of XPedition Magazine. It is owned by Dubai-based Filipino businessman Josh Yugen, who owns multiple franchises of the Miss Universe pageant, including New Zealand, Egypt, and Bahrain. 

According to XPedition Magazine, the 29-year-old model will be New Zealand’s first candidate in the Miss Universe competition in more than four years. New Zealand’s last delegate for the pageant was Diamond Langi during Miss Universe 2019. 

They also noted that Russell will banner efforts against cyberbullying in her pageant stint, added that it’s a “prevalent concern among youth in New Zealand.” 

Following the announcement, Russell took to social media to share her excitement for her pageant journey. She recalled that she first applied for Miss Universe New Zealand in 2014 when she was still 19 years old. 

“Now that I am 29, 10 years older and with far more life experience, I realized that life definitely works in mysterious ways,” she said. 

Russell also told the press that she’ll take a break from acting as she’ll be focusing on training for the Miss Universe 2024 competition. 

Russell rose to fame after joining the reality show Pinoy Big Brother: Otso. She also appeared in several television projects and films, including Ang Probinsyano, Laruan, Pabuya, and Martyr or Murderer. 

In 2021, Russell made it to the top 30 finalists of the Miss Universe United Arab Emirates pageant. 

Meanwhile, the Miss Universe 2024 coronation night is set to take place in September in Mexico. Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios will crown her successor. 

As of writing, the Philippines has yet to crown a representative for the pageant. – Rappler.com

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