In the opulent event hall of Sambil, Sunday night shimmered with anticipation and glitz. The long-standing beauty tradition that is the Miss República Dominicana Universo pageant began promptly at 9:00 PM. A total of 24 dazzling contestants graced the stage in swimwear, followed by their elegant evening gowns.
Representing Sánchez Ramírez, Mariana Downing emerged as the star of the evening, securing the title of Miss República Dominicana Universo 2023. The outgoing queen, Andreina Martínez, who had previously stood as the second finalist in the last Miss Universo, had the honor of placing the crown on Downing’s head.
The newly designed crown, a work of art by Alex Thomas, encapsulates the spirit of the Dominican Republic. Its design elements include dual oval arcs symbolizing the country’s stunning beaches. These arcs are adorned with aqua and transparent Austrian crystals, with a standout navy blue sapphire further enhancing its beauty.
The Journey to the Crown
Before the climactic crowning moment, the judges had the arduous task of narrowing down the contestants. From an initial group of 15, which included representatives from various regions like Hermanas Mirabal, Azua, La Vega, and international Dominican communities in places like Puerto Rico, the USA, and Italy, they further whittled down the numbers.
The evening was also graced by the soulful melodies of Cuban singer Amaury Gutiérrez. As he serenaded the audience with hits like “Dime corazón,” “Perdóname hoy,” and “Yo sé que es mentira,” the top 15 finalists showcased their evening wear.
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From the top 15, ten were then chosen: San Cristóbal, La Vega, Barahona, Santo Domingo de Guzmán, La Romana, Sánchez Ramírez, the Dominican communities in the USA and Puerto Rico, Santiago, and Distrito Nacional. These ten paraded in swimwear, moving to the infectious beats of “Farolito” by Juan Luis Guerra.
The musical journey continued with a performance by Las Ross María, setting the stage for the penultimate selection. From there, the judges faced their final challenge: narrowing the ten down to a top five. Santiago, La Vega, Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo de Guzmán, and Sánchez Ramírez were the chosen few. Ultimately, it was Downing who was selected to represent the Dominican Republic at the Miss Universo 2023 pageant in San Salvador, El Salvador, this coming November.
The Prize Awaits
For Downing, the title comes with more than just the honor of representing her country. The Miss República Dominicana 2023 prize package includes the payment for her Miss Universo franchise, an array of dresses, shoes, accessories, and a traditional costume. The organization will also cover her flight to the Miss Universo event, set to be held in El Salvador on the 18th of November.
This prestigious event not only celebrates beauty but also the rich cultural tapestry of the Dominican Republic. As Mariana Downing prepares for the international stage, the nation eagerly awaits to see her shine even brighter.