MANILA, Philippines – This year, the Top 6 candidates in the Miss Universe pageant took part in the question and answer portion.
Here's a look at what the judges asked them and what they said in response.
The contestants had 30 seconds to answer. The countries from Colombia, France, Thailand, and Haiti requested interpreters.
Question for Miss Philippines, Maxine Medina: What is the most significant change you've seen in the world in the last 10 years?
Answer: The last 10 years of being here in the world is that I saw all the people being in one event like this in Miss Universe, and it's something big to us that we are one, as one nation, we are all together.
Question for Miss Kenya, Mary Esther Were: Arguably, no US president has had an active first 10 days in office. What are you most excited about, and what most concerns you when it comes to the presidency of Donald Trump?
Answer: Politics...let me just start again. Donald Trump, having been elected as president of the United States may not have been the choice of many people living in the United States because of the divided support system for the outgoing president Barack Obama, who was supporting an upcoming woman president, who was supposed to be a woman president, Hillary Clinton. So so many people oppose his position, but I feel that once he took up his position, he was able to unify the entire nation.
Question for Miss Thailand, Chalita "Namtan" Suansane: Name a curent or past world leader whom you admire and why.
Answer: Mabuhay, Philippines! For me that would be the king of Thailand. His Majesty has been working tirelessly on behalf of the Thai people ever since I was born. For all the Thai people, His Majesty has been like a father to us. Thank you very much.
Question for Miss France, Iris Mittenaere: Given today's worldwide refugee crisis, do countries have an obligation to accept refugees, or do they have a right to close their borders?
Answer: The country should have the right to open or close their borders. Throughout the world, people can choose to have the borders open or closed. In Europe we have open borders. In France we want to have the most globalization that we can, we want to have the biggest exchange of people that we can. Maybe someday that will change, but now we have open borders. Having open borders allows us to travel more through the world, and to find out more about what's out there in the world.
Question for Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier: On January 21, an estimated 4.8 million people marched woldwide for human rights, women's rights, and other issues. If you were able to participate, what would you have been marching for?
Answer: One of the women I admire in the world is Eleanor Roosevelt because she fought so much for human rights and I feel like that's what we need in the world. We are just one. A hundred thousand years ago, 6 species of human lived in the world. Now we are just one. And we all need each other, and we need to respect each other.
Question for Miss Colombia, Andrea Tovar: why do we believe violence is so prevalent in today's society and what can we do about it?
Answer: I come from a country that does have violence and this is my reference point. And although there are presidents who don't get along with others, we work together to be able to unite. Campaigns, respect, and inclusivity to be able to have a social transformation that will educate our children.
After the break, the top 3, candidates from Colombia, France, and Haiti, were announced, sealing Philippine bet Maxine Medina's top 6 finish.
All 3 participated in a final Q&A, and the 3 had to answer the same question: "Name something over the course of your life that you failed at, and tell us what you learned from that experience." All 3 used an interpreter.
Miss Colombia's answer: I think that many times, one makes mistakes for many things. During moments when you may not accept someone due to their differences, to not accept them due to their sexual preferences, and to not be capable of accepting their error. I think any of those experiences gives you the opportunity to have strength and value and principles.
Miss France's answer: I've failed several times in my life, so I thought that I failed the first time that I went out on a casting, because my name wasn't on the list. The very next day, I found that I was in a new book. So I think that when you fail, you have to be elevated, you have to try again, and keep going. If tonight, I'm not one of the winners, I will still have the great honor of being one of the 3 finalists, so I think that I have failed before, but I think this is a great first opportunity.
This answer did encounter some scrutiny on social media, as some social media users said that her original answer in French was different from the interpreter's translation. Celebrities (and siblings) Solenn Heussaff and Erwan Heussaff were among the ones who pointed this out online.
French translator said: when i missed my first casting. But she really said 1st year of Medicine school — Solenn Heussaff (@solennheussaff) January 30, 2017
Mas maganda sagot ni miss France without the interpreter. So she won on her own. Not because of the translation. — Solenn Heussaff (@solennheussaff) January 30, 2017
Miss Haiti's answer: About 7 years ago, I survived the earthquake. I feel I was failing myself because I was not living my dreams, I was living day by day in that earthquake, it was a bad event, but I choose to be a very positive person and learn a great lesson from it. Because if I am here today, it's because I am living my dreams.
Recently, the questions at Miss Universe have touched on political and social issues. In 2015, Pia Wurtzbach answered a question about the US reopening military bases in the Philippines.
The Miss Universe 2016 coronation night was held at the Mall of Asia Arena on Monday, January 30, with Miss France crowned the winner. – Rappler.com