MJ Lastimosa among favorites in 63rd Ms U


A total of 88 delegates from all around the world compete for the coveted crown of the 63rd Miss Universe pageant which will be airing its grand coronation night live from the Florida International University Arena in Doral, Miami on Sunday, 8 p.m. ET on Jan. 25.

Mary Jean Lastimosa, the Philippine bet is getting good reviews after the preliminary competition, boosting her chances to the coveted title. She is now among the hot favorites after the swimsuit and evening gown competitions. The 27-year-old beauty queen from North Cotabato was also among the top picks of journalist, producer Lee Phelps, that include Desiree Ferrer of Spain, Migbelis Castellanos of Venezuela, Nia Sanchez of the USA, and Paulina Vega.

“Today’s” anchor Natalie Morales and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts will be hosting the annual beauty competition, while Miss Universe 2013’s third runner up Ariella Arida of the Philippines will be the show’s online backstage host. The guest performers before the Miss Universe winner is announced include Nick Jonas and Prince Royce. The judges include Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, shoe designer Kristin Cavallari, actor William Levy, reality star Lisa Vanderpump and fashion journalist Louise Roe.

The Philippines achieved its four-year consecutive Top 5 finish beginning with Ma. Venus Raj (4th runner-up, 2010) ; Shamcey Supsup (3rd runner-up, 2011) ; Janine Tugonon, (1st runner-up, 2012); and Ariella Arida (3rd runner-up, 2013).

The country has won all big four international beauty pageants namely, two Miss Universe crowns (1969, 1973), one Miss World crown (2013), five Miss International crowns (1964, 1970, 1979, 2005, 2013) and two Miss Earth crowns (2008, 2014), making them the only Asian country to win all four titles.