What’s up with Miss Universe 2020 Pageant Anyway? Where Does Nepal Stand?

We’re in middle of a horrible pandemic and it’s hard to focus on anything else at the moment but while we do need to be aware of everything that’s happening, it’s okay to take a break from all the COVID related news once in a while. So what’s going on around the world? Err, looks like there’s going to be a war — another bad news; so let’s not talk about that either. Are you into pageants? Let’s talk pageants, okay?

So yeah, Miss Universe 2020 is finally happening right now in the US and one of the most important events in the competition, the National Costume segment, took place Thursday night (earlier this morning in Nepal) in Florida where Anshika Sharma donned an ensemble inspired by the mountains and mountaineers. It was pretty dope.

Designed and conceptualized by designer Bina Ghale, the costume is a work of collaboration between Everest Outfit (mountaineering suit), National Innovation Center (props), Rajesh Shakya (jewelry); and Abhijeet Prajapati and Gautam Shrestha (painting).

“Every year, the world visits Nepal for its mountains. This year, we take the mountains to the world!”, wrote the official Instagram handle of Miss Universe Nepal while unveiling the costume last week, which is an “ode to mountaineers”.

It’s been a little over a week since Anshika landed in Florida to represent Nepal at the 69th edition of the pageant that was earlier postponed due to the ongoing pandemic. The 24-year-old had won the title of Miss Universe Nepal last year in December, becoming the fourth hopeful from Nepal to bring home the prestigious crown. She stands 5’8.

It was in 2017 when Nepal debuted in the competition as Nagma Shrestha became the first Nepali to take part in the pageant. She also had a major role in bringing the coveted franchise to Nepal, that remained with The Hidden Treasure for three years until 2020 when Nagma herself became the National Director of Miss Universe Nepal with the franchise now owned by Brave Bold Beautfiul organization. That might also be the reason former Miss Nepal pageant title holders have hardly written or posted about Anshika on their social media handles.

It’s more than impressive how the Miss Universe Nepal team went digital for the auditions and few rounds before finally organizing the grand finale on December 30th in Kathmandu last year. Even during the pandemic, they’ve worked hard and made it possible; and the way Anshika has been groomed and prepared for the competition, I am acutally hopeful that this might be Nepal’s most successful year in the pageant yet. She has been doing well and her presence is being felt at the compeition as she has been making it to various Miss Universe prediction lists by experts.

Nepal’s best stint in the competition so far has been in 2018 when Manita Devkota placed in the Top 10 while Catriona Gray of the Philippines had won the title.

What’s next in the 2020 competition is the Premilinary Round, followed by the coronation night scheduled to take place at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood on May 16th (the morning of 17th in Nepal) where the reigning Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa, will crown her successor.

A total of 74 delegates are competing for the crown this year and if you’d like to help Nepal advance to the Top 21, you can vote for Anshika from HERE.

Bring it home, Anshika. All the best!


Neeraj Pun (NEO)

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