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30 January 2017

Miss France wins Miss Universe 2017 competition and wants to ‘advocate for oral hygiene’

Iris Mittenaere, a 24-year-old dental student from Paris, was crowned following a three-hour show in the Philippines

A 24-year-old woman from Paris has won the Miss Universe 2017 competition.

Iris Mittenaere, who is pursuing a degree in dental surgery, beat off 85 hopefuls on Monday following a three-hour show in the Philippine capital.

“I was very surprised I won, I feel blessed,” said Mittenaere after winning the 65th edition of the annual competition.

On the Miss Universe website, the student had said she wanted “to advocate for dental and oral hygiene” if she won.

“Miss Universe was a dream, every girl wants to be Miss Universe…the stage is amazing, everything is amazing,” Iris said.

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Iris Mittenaere of France wipes her tears after winning (Photo: AFP)

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Iris Mittenaere (Photo: Splash News)

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Contestants congratulate Miss France Iris Mittenaere (Photo: REUTERS)

She added: “I want to help people, I want to understand people, I want to meet people, that’s why this is a dream for me.”

Raquel Pelissier of Haiti is the first runner-up, while Andrea Tovar of Colombia placed second runner-up.

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Miss Universe candidates gestures for a picture during a red carpet inside a SMX convention in metro Manila, Philippines (Photo: REUTERS)

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Miss France Iris Mittenaere reacts after being declared winner (Photo: REUTERS)

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Steve Harvey hosted the competition again, two years after he mistakenly announced the wrong winner (Photo: Rex Features)

Thirteen contestants were picked for the swimsuit round of the finals after a preliminary competition last week, before being pruned to nine for the evening gown segment, and then to six.

Rounding out the top six were Maxene Medina of the Philippines, Chalita Suansane of Thailand and Mary Esther Were of Kenya.

Steve Harvey returned as show host after a gaffe in the 2015 competition, when he mistakenly announced the wrong winner.

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