France won its first Miss Universe crown in 64 years on Monday in a made-for-television spectacle where finalists spoke out on the refugee crisis and other hot-button global issues.
Iris Mittenaere, a dental surgery student from Lille in the north of France, beat 85 of the world's most beautiful women at the event in the Philippines scheduled for primetime viewing in the United States.
Mittenaere, 24, edged out Miss Haiti, the first runner-up, and Miss Colombia, the second runner-up, to win France's first Miss Universe title since 1953.
"I was very surprised. I am always touching the crown and saying 'Oh my God. I have the crown on my head. I don't believe it,'" Mittenaere said in a post-pageant news conference.
"French people love beauty pageants but they don't really know Miss Universe because never (did) our country win," she said, adding she would advocate for good hygiene and educating children.
In the final question round, the six remaining contestants were each asked questions relating to various political issues in their own countries or abroad.
When asked about the global refugee crisis, Mittenaere said France had the right to close its borders to refugees if it wanted but she also spoke about the benefits of migration.
"In France we want to have the most globalisation that we can. We want to have the biggest exchange of people that we can. Maybe someday that will change but now we have open borders," Mittenaere said, with her comments translated into English for the audience.
"Having open borders allows us to travel more through the world and to find out more about what's out there in the world."
Monday's show was headlined by US performers including Grammy award-winning rhythm and blues group Boyz II Men and rapper and Grammy award nominee Flo Rida.
Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines won last year following a major blunder in which the host -- Emmy Award winner Steve Harvey -- mistakenly awarded the title to Miss Colombia.
"Steve, I never got to thank you but thank you for making me the most popular Miss Universe," Wurtzbach told Harvey at the opening of show.
Harvey this year got through the closing moments of the ceremony smoothly.
The Philippines agreed to host the pageant as part of efforts to draw tourists and investors.
Beauty pageants are also hugely popular in the Philippines, particularly among the tens of millions of poor who see the contests as a chance for their beautiful compatriots to live a life of fame and luxury.
Give our Malaysian beauty queens a round of applause at the Miss Universe Malaysia Gala Night 2016.