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Miss Universe New Zealand Returns to Free-to-Air TV

Miss Universe New Zealand Returns to Free-to-Air TV for the First Time in a Generation

August 8 2017 - Bravo TV will air the Grand Final of Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 live this Saturday, August 12, from 8 p.m. It marks the first time the Grand Final has appeared on free-to-air television in New Zealand since the 1990s.

The Grand Final will also be streamed at Miss Universe New Zealand's website,

Miss Universe New Zealand was fully revamped and reinvigorated into a modern competition after new management took over in 2013, with a retreat for the Top 20 each year, and winners determined partly by a public vote and by a judging panel. The on-stage swimwear segment was removed that year.

Veteran broadcaster Mark Leishman and The Cafe's Holly Pollock are this year's MCs, and illusionist Andre Vegas, singer Lavina Williams, and rising talent Raze perform live during the Grand Final.

The judging panel comprises Teuila Blakely, Frankie Stevens, Samala Robinson, Anna Jobsz, Evana Patterson, and Areena Deshpande.

A fashion parade called Pacific Fusion, with designs by the students of Sewtec, will feature for the first time, as will an eveningwear parade with designs by international couturier Sidney Eculla, who has flown in especially for the event.

The 20 finalists come from all over the country, and were selected after a Stiletto Camp, where they attended workshops and seminars, held in May. In July, they flew to Phuket, Thailand, on an international retreat, staying at the Thavorn Beach Village Resort & Spa, where they shot a swimwear calendar. The finalists also raised funds for Variety, the Children's Charity, as part of their Entrepreneurial Challenge, helping deserving Kiwi kids; as well as SCOT Foundation, helping disadvantaged children in the Philippines. To date, Miss Universe has donated over $125,000 to Variety, the Children's Charity.

The winner of the Challenge gets immunity when the Top 20 become the Top 10 in what promises to be a tense and exciting show. A further elimination takes place later in the evening before the announcement of Miss Universe New Zealand 2017, who succeeds last year's winner, Auckland schoolteacher Tania Dawson, and gets the keys to the Honda Jazz RS Sport Limited and flies off to represent New Zealand at the international final.


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