South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters crowned Miss Universe 2017

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 27) — South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe 2017 on Monday after besting 91 other candidates from around the world.

Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere passed on the Mikimoto crown to 22-year-old Nel-Peters in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on Monday (PHT).

The first runner-up was Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez, 22, while Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett, 21, was named second runner-up.

For the final question and answer portion, the three candidates were asked what quality they are most proud of and how they will use it when they win the Miss Universe title.

Nel-Peters said she embodies the traits of an ideal Miss Universe title holder.

"As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. A a Miss Universe is a woman that has overcome many fears and by that she is able to help other women overcome their fears. She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for, and that is exactly who I am," she said.

The newly-crowned queen ended South Africa's 39-year title drought. The only time South Africa took home the crown was in 1978 when Margaret Gardener won.

Back in South Africa, Nel-Peters helped set up "Unbreakable", a campaign to help women empower themselves both emotionally and physically through self-defense classes.

The 5-ft, 7-in business management graduate said her "biggest motivation comes from her half-sister who has a disability" and lives with her stepmother and father.

Philippines' Rachel Peters rallied to reach the Top 10, after getting through to the Top 16 in the wild card round buoyed by massive online support and a huge fan base at The Axis in Las Vegas.

But from the Top 10, Peters, whom beauty pageant experts saw as a strong contender, didn't make it to the Top 5.

Earlier, Peters, during her backstage interview with model Ashley Graham said she was overwhelmed to be a part of the Top 16.

A day before the pageant, Peters said no matter what happens in the pageant, the experiences she had and the friends she made throughout her journey already made her "feel like a winner.