Miss Universe 2022: Revealing the Top 16 Close-Door Interviews and Insights

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After the grand coronation night of the 71st Miss Universe pageant which was held on January 14 2023 in New Orleans, United States. JKN Company has posted the close-door interviews of the Top 16 semi-finalists where they talk about their relevant advocacies, and the important purpose they are bringing to the Miss Universe platform. Let's take a look at the Top 16 semi-finalists' interviews with the judges.

Miss Universe Australia – Monique Riley

Monique Riley is passionate about health and looking after one’s body. She is an advocate for self-defense, which she believes plays a crucial role in empowering women. Riley professes that self-defense training teaches women skills that facilitate the setting of healthy physical and emotional boundaries. After a terrifying personal encounter where Riley’s self-defense skills proved necessary, she vowed to educate and train other young women in the craft. She now works closely with an experienced coach to run boxing classes specifically for women. Riley has a Bachelor's in Creative Industries degree with a focus on Fashion and Acting. She loves bringing joy to audiences through performance art, and the fact that the practice allows her to become anyone and anything in a given moment. She has always loved the entertainment industry since a young age, beginning with taking dance classes most afternoons after school. Riley currently works as an actress and executive assistant and is working to create her fashion line.

Miss Universe Canada – Amelia Tu

Amelia Tu is currently pursuing a dual bachelor’s degree in Biology and Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She is passionate about environmental sustainability and has established her company called Organic Code, which includes an organic skincare collection and a sustainable clothing line. Her goal is to spread awareness on the issue of global warming and convince more people to adopt sustainable lifestyle choices. She also works closely with several nonprofit organizations, including SOS Children’s Villages, a foundation that provides support to children without parental care. She plans on growing her business so that she can continue to show her support for children in need.

Miss Universe Colombia – María Fernanda Aristizabál

María Fernanda Aristizabál is a motivational speaker, model, and influencer with a degree in media and journalism. Through her campaign #MakeEveryMomentWorthIt, she shares her philosophy of life via supporting vulnerable communities in Colombia. She is especially passionate about generating a positive impact in children’s mental health. Aristizabal works with various nonprofit organizations, including Smile Train and Best Buddies. Aristizabal wishes to use her Miss Universe platform to give visibility and awareness to water scarcity through her campaign #SOSWATER.

Miss Universe Curaçao – Gabriëla Dos Santos

Gabriëla Dos Santos is a certified life coach who speaks four languages; English, Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamentu. She has visited over ten countries and is passionate about kickboxing, modeling, traveling, and nature as well as helping others to reach their full potential. In 2019, she founded Light4change, an organization whose aim is to enable young people to find purpose in adversity and embrace who they are with full authenticity. Dos Santos has partnered with Kòrsou Uní, a nonprofit organization fighting discrimination and bullying. She also volunteers for Green Phenix, a social enterprise based in Curaçao that transforms plastic waste into new, usable products creating a circular economy. Soon, she hopes to continue her professional objectives as a motivational speaker and eventually host her very own television show to empower, educate and positively impact the lives of others. She seeks to be the voice of her generation. Her goal is to be an example of a multifaceted woman who fights for equality, embraces challenges, and is fearless in the pursuit of her goals and dreams. Gabriëla is unrelenting, courageous, and focused on passionately championing social causes she wholeheartedly supports.

Miss Universe Dominican Republic - Andreína Martínez

Andreína Martínez draws courage and inspiration from her unique Dominican and U.S dual-citizenship and migrating story. At the age of 13 and without the ability to speak a single word of English, Martínez moved from a rural part of the Dominican Republic to face the urban challenges of the Bronx in New York City. Martínez is the winner of Google’s Pay it Forward Award for her dedication to her community and earned a BA in Psychology from the City College of New York. Before graduating Magna Cum Laude, she earned a coveted spot as a Capitol Hill Intern in Washington D.C. working at Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s office. It was there that she discovered her passion for the preservation of female rights and has become an advocate for public policy that advances women. Her struggle as an immigrant sparked a fire in her to protect systematically marginalized communities. She currently works at The Women’s Equality Center, a nonprofit organization directed solely by women that resiliently guards the rights of women in Latin America and the Caribbean. Martínez’s ultimate goal is to become the first female ambassador of the Dominican Republic in the United Nations. Andreina is a firm believer that your background does not define your future, but your courage, determination and persistence do.

Miss Universe Haiti - Mideline Phelizor

She faced a troubled childhood; her mother passed away when she was only five years old and she had to move in with her aunt in Port-au-Prince as her father wasn’t totally present in her life. She lost her childhood illusions quickly, but understood the need to take advantage over her inconveniences and transform them into a source of motivation moving forward. As a teenager, Phelizor established herself in regional athletics competitions and became a coach for school-aged children. She focused on her academic studies and became one of the brightest in her class. She faced harassment and teasing due to her tall height, but her father pushed her to enroll in modeling school where she learned to appreciate these physical attributes and became a professional model. She is currently studying law with the dream to specialize in children’s rights, particularly those of orphans. Her success in modeling led her to beauty contests. By age 23, she represented Haiti at an international beauty contest, Miss Supranational and won the title of Miss Supra model Caribbean. Full of ambition and feeling an entrepreneurial spirit, Phelizor launched her modeling agency. Her other interests include cinema, travel, fencing, and food.

Miss Universe India - Divita Rai

A creative at heart with a passion for learning, Divita Rai emphasizes the importance of never placing limits on what’s possible in your life. This belief led her to graduate from India’s top architecture program, assist in the set design for a film, and pursue a career in modeling in India’s fashion capital of Mumbai. A firm believer in the power of education and inspired by her father’s struggles to educate himself, she hopes to use her work and platform to make education more accessible to children, especially girls. By partnering with India’s top NGOs like CRY, Nanhi Kali, and Teach for India, she hopes to empower children with the freedom of choice. Always willing to explore new versions of herself, Rai’s passions include; listening to music, cooking soulful recipes, and running. If a dialogue had to sum up her journey, it would be the line from “The Pursuit of Happyness” which states, “The world is your oyster. It is up to you to find the pearls.”

Miss Universe Laos - Payengxa Lor

Payengxa Lor is the first Hmong woman to win Miss Universe Laos, therefore making her the first Hmong woman to compete in the MISS UNIVERSE Competiton. As a result of growing up poor, Lor recognized the struggles of poverty which motivated her to find a career in education. She believes that education can erase poverty. Lor worked hard to teach herself English in order to become an English teacher. As a teacher, she has the ability to support herself to go to a university which she believes will inspire others like her. She believes English is not a key to success, but instead a tool to success, saying that “If you know English, you will be like a tiger with wings.” Lor is also a volunteer for underprivileged people, a motivational speaker, and holds a silver medal in taekwondo.

Miss Universe Peru – Alessia Rovegno

Alessia Rovegno comes from a family of strong, independent women. Her mother’s side is full of performers and artists, while she received her business savvy from her father. She was taught to seek economic independence from day one, and at age 18 achieved the pillar of her life goals which is financial success. Rovegno believes that early childhood education is the ultimate key to a better world, she even originally dreamed of opening a school. She is part of many nonprofit organizations including Bridges, Help Perú, and Estee Lauder’s Breast Cancer Campaign. Rovegno is a proud entrepreneur and co-owner of her family’s bakery. She has also followed her passion of music by founding a musical duo with her sister and performs all over Perú. Her greatest attributes are her strong sense of values and resilience, her creativity, her love of life, and her ability to turn negatives into positives. She has made it her mission to lead by example, and to inspire and uplift others to conquer their own doubts.

Miss Universe Portugal – Telma Madeira

Telma Madeira is very engaged in helping people with mental health issues as she herself was a victim of bullying. She is in constant contact with her local hospital where she creates awareness of medical malpractices relating to women’s reproductive rights. She also uses her platform as Miss Universe Portugal to promote better protection of the environment. Madeira has completed many courses including those on dental customer service and culinary and baking courses. On several occasions she voluntarily cooked and served the local fisherman of her town to provide them with warm, nutritious food after long hours of hard work.

Miss Universe Puerto Rico – Ashley Cariño

Ashley Cariño dreams of becoming the first Miss Universe to ever go to space. She is completing a degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida with hopes of specializing in the field of rocket propulsion. Her ultimate goal is to work for NASA, which has been a childhood dream of hers. As the eldest of five siblings, three of whom are girls, Ashley knows the impact that role models have on today's younger generation. For this reason, she has spent the last five years working with children and adolescents with mental health diagnoses or who are cognitively diverse to harness their curiosity and creativity through STEM initiatives. Cariño is also a baseball fan and big “Trekie,” or fan of the TV show “Star Trek.” With her serenity and mysticism, she challenges what strength and power can look like.

Miss Universe South Africa - Ndavi Nokeri

Ndavi Nokeri was crowned Miss Universe South Africa in August 2022. She has a BCom Investment Management degree from the University of Pretoria and was working for an asset management firm at the time of her crowning. Nokeri is passionate about advocating for equal educational opportunities for all and is devoting her reign to increasing this awareness. Before earning her title she had already partnered with various organizations to work towards lessening the educational inequality in South Africa through increasing computer literacy in undeveloped schools. As Miss Universe South Africa, she will continue this work with a campaign called Ed-Unite. She believes that pageants give women the platform to advocate for a cause they believe in and lists her role models as Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, former Miss World Rolene Strauss, and her own mother, Betty Nokeri.

Miss Universe Spain - Alicia Faubel

Alicia Faubel is a strong advocate of raising awareness about eating disorders in Spain and worldwide. Motivated by her own experiences with eating disorder, body dysmorphia, and bullying, she is currently working with different organizations in Spain to elevate and amplify the voices of women who have suffered different types of eating disorders. She believes that the film industry, the fashion world, and beauty pageants should be platforms to combat this health crisis among girls, women, and all people. Additionally, Faubel has been passionate about film since an early age. In fact, she was cast in a minor supporting role in the Steven Seagal film “General Commander.” Faubel has lived in the Philippines for over three years working in modeling and acting. She loves Filipino culture, food, and fashion in addition to it’s cultural and historical connections to Spain. Faubel speaks fluent English, Spanish, Valenciano, and is proficient in Tagalog. She is currently studying to become a psychology assistant with an expertise in eating disorders. In the near future, Faubel aspires to open her own chain of superfood restaurants in Spain to promote, uplift, and normalize healthy eating habits.

Miss Universe Trinidad and Tobago - Tya Jané Ramey

Tya Jané Ramey is a two-time national beauty ambassador. Her titles include; Miss Universe Trinidad and Tobago 2022, Miss World Trinidad and Tobago, and Miss World Caribbean 2019. She is currently earning her Master’s degree of Social Work and holds a Bachelor’s of Science and certificate in Social Work and Social Policy. She has dedicated her life to being an agent of change which is reflected in her current capacity as a children’s services associate in the Child Justice Unity of the Children’s authority, and in her work as an executive administrative coordinator for the Caribbean Regional Youth Council. Ramey frequently works with community-based and NGO organizations, and even pioneered her own humanitarian project advocating for Venezuelan migrant children. Ramey credits her philosophy of dedication and discipline to her over five-year experience as a national volleyball athlete and her ability to be creative to her background as a dancer and saxophonist. She has a passion for community, culture, travel, and food. She hopes that whether she’s on the volleyball court, the runway, or the international stage, she has the impact to create a better world and a brighter future.

Watch Miss Universe R'Bonney Nola's full closed door interview from the 71st MISS UNIVERSE Competition. 🎤 pic.twitter.com/sokSZKZYb2

— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) February 1, 2023

Miss Universe USA - R'Bonney Gabriel

R’Bonney is an eco-friendly fashion designer, model, and sewing instructor with an excitement for life. She attributes her opportunistic outlook to her upbringing immersed in the arts, sports, and travel. As a high-school volleyball player who pivoted to fashion, she quickly fell in love with constructing designs with fabrics and textiles at the young age of 15. At the University of North Texas, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design with a Minor in Fibers in 2018. She is currently CEO of her own sustainable clothing line, R’Bonney Nola. R’Bonney is the lead sewing instructor at Magpies & Peacocks, a Houston based non-profit design house that is dedicated to using “Fashion As A Force For Good” through sustainability and community impact. As a “Gucci Changemakers” recipient, they were honored for their work of diverting unwanted textiles and fabrics from landfills and turning them into fashion collections. Within the “MAKR” program, she teaches sewing classes to women that have survived human trafficking and domestic violence. As the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA, she shares the importance of embracing your culture. As a voice for Asian-Americans, she opens the door for more diversity and representation in society and was honored to be published in Vogue Philippines. R’Bonney’s mission is for women and young girls to see themselves in her, and feel inspired to conquer their goals by owning who they are.

Watch Miss Universe Venezuela Amanda Dudamel’s full closed door interview from the 71st MISS UNIVERSE Competition. 🎤 pic.twitter.com/khiBe6laD9

— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) February 1, 2023

Miss Universe Venezuela - Amanda Dudamel

Amanda Dudamel is a successful fashion designer who received her degree from Rome’s European Institute of Design and also specialized in fashion sustainability at the London College of Fashion. She has lived in eight different countries and those experiences have provided her with first-hand knowledge of current trends on digital design and sustainable production processes. As a young fashion businesswoman, she wants to convey her message of mindfulness about eco-friendly industry practices and corporate social responsibility through her own label “Amanda Dudamel." She also works as the chief executive officer of Made in Petare, an accessories brand that employs local artisan women living in the urban population of Petare. This company benefits the Un Par Por Un Sueño foundation which provides clothing, food, and medical aid for more than 800 children. Her work focuses on creating an impact for women’s right to work and as Miss Universe Venezuela, her workshop “Press Play on Success” has brought communities together through job creation and imaginative education. Her project Voices Across the Universe, has opened a dialogue with her fellow Miss Universe sisters making it a great success among contestants and fans alike.

Which is your favorite interview? Comment below

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