Miss France beats Haiti and Colombia to clinch Miss Universe title

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(CNN) Miss France is the new Miss Universe.

Decked out in a gold-sequined gown, 24-year-old dental surgery student Iris Mittenaere beat 12 other finalists to take the crown. As Miss Universe, she will be campaigning for dental and oral care around the world.
“This sash is not only a sash,” said Mittenaere, who is from Northern France, in a Miss Universe interview after the pageant. “This is something to help people, to understand people.”
Miss Universe winner Mittenaere presents during the pageant’s national costume and preliminary competition at the Mall of Asia arena in Manila on Jan. 26.
The pageant changed its format this year; it had 12 instead of 13 finalists, and counted online votes from the Miss Universe app and Twitter.

Miss Universe contestants in their swimsuits during the preliminary competition
This was the first time Sierra Leone entered the competition and was represented by Hawa Kamara, 2013 Miss West Africa. Miss Canada, Siera Bearchell, also made headlines for taking on trolls who body-shamed her for her size.
Miss Universe candidate Iris Mittenaere (R) of France reacts after being named Miss Universe over fellow candidate, first runner-up Raquel Pellisier of Haiti (L).
The annual pageant was held on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. Host Steve Harvey joked on the show that he got the winner right this year, after last year’s snafu of getting it wrong. Rapper Flo Rida and R&B group Boys II Men provided entertainment.

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