OPINION: How Stephanie del Valle won the Miss World crown


The opening dance of the Miss World 2016 pageant offered some tell-tale signs on how it would conclude. The sassy, fast beat music of the Fifth Harmony’s That’s My Girl seemed like a prelude to a dramatic twist in the plot. It should have been a warning sign that something awesome was bound to happen that would shake the very core belief that we had about Miss World.

The usual notion that a Miss World should be a sweet beauty bordering to being aloof and even calculating has been shattered this year. The winner of Miss World 2016, Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico, is a breath of fresh air for she has broken all the typical perceptions. She is cheerful and outgoing with a subtle hint of fierce Latina attitude. But then, if she is supposedly the anti-thesis of what many believed a Miss World should be, how come that Stephanie is now wearing that blue crown?

Miss World 2016 Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico (center), with her runners-yp from the Dominican Republic and Indonesia. (Photo by Stephen Diaz/Missosology.Org)

For many pageant analysts and majority of the general public, Stephanie winning the Miss World 2016 title was a total surprise. But as the one who penned the final Hot Picks of Miss World 2016, I had a gut feeling that Stephanie could prevail. Sure, we did not predict her victory but she topped our pre-arrival Hot Picks. For our final prediction, this is what I wrote: “Also in a serious contention for the crown is Miss Puerto Rico Stephanie Del Valle (8th place). Her elegance, her glamorous beauty and her magnetic personality will make her a perfect Miss World.” I still stand by that comment for I believe it is her glamorous attitude, elegant demeanor and magnetic personality that persuaded the judges to give her the title.

READ: In Photos – Miss World 2016 finals night

Nevertheless, as tiresome it is to repeat it over and over again, there some people who are not happy with the results. They claim that Stephanie’s answer was not the best among the Top 5 but in my opinion hers was by far the strongest in terms of impact. Asked on what she would like to change something about the world, Stephanie, with her cute American drawl, eloquently summed it up by saying that she will “send a message of how important it is to change exclusion for acceptance, to promote and provide justice for others and the importance of helping of those in need.”

Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle with host and former Miss World Megan Young during the Top 10 question-and-answer portion. (Photo by Stephen Diaz/Missosology.Org)

Stephanie answered straightforwardly, without lofty rhetoric and in fact it was bereft of any hyperbole. The content of her answer is sensible and feasible, though we have to concede that what she proposed is truly easier said than done. In my opinion, though this is not the popular view right now, Stephanie’s answer was key to her victory.

While I think that the results of Miss World 2016 were fair, I have to admit that critics of the results have some valid points. Chief among them is having the National Directors of Puerto Rico and Indonesia sitting as members of the judging panel. Personally, I think that both of them were just one of the many voices within the group. It would be mathematically improbable that the scores of these national directors would have altered the collective opinion of the jury. Still, it gives fodder to conspiracy theorists out there. With all due respect, I think Miss World should stop this practice as it just unnecessarily clouds the results.

Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle beams with joy as she was called into the Top 5. (Photo by Stephen Diaz/Missosology.Org)

For now, we can all look forward for a fun-filled reign of Miss World 2016 Stephanie del Valle. She is indeed a huge departure from the usual and while her star did not shine from the very beginning, that fateful chilly evening at MGM National Harbor proved to be a turning point for her. That jovial mood during the opening was truly a harbinger of an exciting finale. Stephanie del Valle beat the odds and she went there onstage showing her true self never imitating anyone until the moment that the judges came to the realization that she is truly their girl.

Written by Ric Galvez, founder of Missosology






  1. Stephanie was great thoughout the night. Why is it so incomprehensible for some people to accept that judges liked her more. I personally think she had the best answer. All the best to Catriona . Remember Aishwarya wasn’t the winner at Miss India. That didn’t stop her.

    • Many is not happy with the result. Unlike in previous years, less people didn’t like the result because acceptable because the candidate who won is deserving. Many were shocked, even Miss Del Valle herself was really surprised because she was expecting the other candidates will win. Although she was lovely and competitive. The situation of Aishwarya is different from Catriona. Miss Rai won the title, Miss Gray didn’t win, does it mean that Miss Gray can can compete again? Probably, on another pageant like for Miss Universe. Well, that is a good point of view 🙂

      • You happen to assume that more people agree with you than disagree. More voices does not mean more tongues. I referred to Aish’s case as an example, not an analogy.

  2. I disagree. Its was okay if she won, but weighing the performance and choosing the best candidate as an over-all package, Catriona Gray deserves to win. It is a matter of favors and somewhat pageant political.

  3. I reviewed the final Q&A again and again and again and up to now still my conscience does not reconcile on how really did she won the title along with Miss Indonesia as the first runner-up. Irregardless of how so eager you are to depend them or try at the least to find remotest reason to justify their winnings our unjust disbelief still linger into our senses. In our end we still tried to reconcile any remote possibilities that they really deserve it though up to now we can’t find that avenue that says they really deserve it. Things had happened and they won we cannot eliminate that fact already from history, but at least a little peep of justice on how did things had happened. The challenge is that were are we going to get that justice that they really deserve that wining. Perhaps if they can show publicly an official judging score sheets from Miss World organization right from pre-pageant judging up to the final judging of the winners will help. Besides it is the face of Miss World Organization’s credibility here that is at world’s scrutiny and at the end possibly be tainted ugly. Good luck.

  4. Well well well, mirror mirror who’s the fairest of them all? Oh, the mirror whispered…”that queenly-bearing girl from the far East” ,hmm I was not surprised anymore but what surprised me about the mirror was the whispering thing… I thought, she was going to talk right away like it was used to be….OK, another question, mirror mirror who’s the smartest of them all… the mirror grinned, “that queenly-bearing girl from the far East”…and I asked the mirror last question, then why she was not winning?…the mirror smiled with a modelesque fierce smile and said, that queenly-bearing girl from the far East joined to a wrong pageant…She is destined to be in the more prestigious,more popular, and more credible pageant in the whole universe!

  5. Congratulations to Puerto Rico, and to Philippines.
    My respect for the Philippines, these girls are prepare to win, they are beautiful and humble,
    I am from Mexico and in my country are very beautiful women, but here in my country we don’t have the culture for beauty pagents, girls sent to beauty pagents can be very beautiful but they are not humble, they think they are hand made by the Gods, and that is why Mexico is not in the top 5, and the Filipino girls are always shinning because they are sound in mind.

  6. Miss Philippines practically repeated the same rethoric answer she gave to win her national pageant and obviously Julia Morley remembered that answer. That was a suicidal answer.

  7. The national director of Puerto Rico was sitting in the crowd his name is Carlos Bermudez while a former Miss World 1975 from PR was a judge. Wilnelia Merced has never been the ND her mom was until 2014 so get your facts straight before writing something so stupid the only ND was Indonesia.

  8. She is deserving winner. and her answer is straight forward & on point! I love Catriona but i think the main factor why Julia didnt crown her is because she is trying to be Megan Young 2.0! Her styling, the hair, the gown is so Megan Young.. and Her answer is great but too pageant patty & appears like she memorized it (its almost a same answer for Miss World Philippines right?)
    Afterall this is Julia’s pageant, she can choose whoever she want to work with, i dont think she care about people ranting & questioning the result. Julia was keep her eye on these girls for almost 4 weeks so she know who is the best for her organization.
    Btw Wilnelia is not PR National Director. Get your fact straight. She used to be a judge many times before & not everytime PR won. For Indonesian ND i think Julia’s trying to be strategy on this. Indonesia & China is THE ONLY country who volunteer to hosting MW in recent years. Where is other countries when MWO need them? So i dont see anything wrong for Julia to thanks them as long as their candidate is deserving.. Dont forget Indonesian contestant take BWAP very seriously! Thats so winning Julia..

  9. So much sore loser. I remember Amanda Vilanova from PR getting the highest points in 2012 and she was 2nd runner up. They crowned Venezuela that year and Philippines got 1st runner up …Amanda being by far a better delegate than both of them…I mean stop overreacting.

    • Stop digging a story from the graveyard. Jeesh, that was 4 years ago, move on butt wiper.

      So here’s why Catriona Gray lost:

      1. Julia Morley does not want to award the infamous Philippine President Duterte with another pageant winner from his country. She does not want to go to the Philippines and kiss ass with a leader that is known or suspected of extra judicial killings ( Morley- it is SO OBVIOUS).
      2. Catriona Gray was so CONFIDENT that she will win that when the host ask her how she was feeling, she could care less and MOVE ON to the question and get over with it and get the blue crown. Next time girls, DON’T be so overconfident.
      3. Catriona Gray did a redux of her famous TORCH answer when she won the local crown. Suggestion: next time please use a synonym Catriona- maybe a LIGHTHOUSE, A BURNING BUSH, A BONFIRE, A SOUTHERN STAR, A SUN, A MOON or A FLAME if you can’t think of a more spontaneous quickfire answer.
      4. Ms Puerto Rico was a strong candidate but played the underdog very well. Catriona Gray, who was also a strong candidate, was RUINED by the LOUDTARDS from the Philippines who are so worked up with beauty pageants and preaching non-stop in social media instead of devoting their time to help improve their country. There are MORE IMPORTANT things to do than BEAUTY PAGEANTS PEOPLE!
      5. Catriona is another WESTERNIZED Filipino that does not really represent the Filipino people. Go look at the Filipino audience waving their flags. None of them look WHITE like Catriona.

      • And whats up Morley with the 1st Princess, 2nd Princess and so on and so forth? That sounds so medievally and pre-medievally irrelevant. They are no princesses. They are women so just follow the pageant norm. Calling the non-winners 1st runner up, 2nd runner up makes more sense. Oh by the way, the Washington DC media did not even mention the Ms World and the Ms. World results. Dang, what an important event!! ugh ugh ugh

      • I have to reply to this IDIOT

        1. There were 10 judges, Julia Morley cant just hand the crown to whoever she wants to win

        2. Most of the candidates are confident and they should be, proud of representing their countries to an international event. Dont blame the candidate, she was confident because people believe and support her
        3. You are just being too critical about the answer and words she used. Try answering a question on the spot in front of a big audience that is being televised in front of millions of people
        4. Once again, Blame it on the Filipinos who supports our candidates wholeheartedly. There are so many other beauty fans from around the world who are loud and passionate.

        I do agree with what you said “There are more important things that Beauty Pageants”..SO WHY ARE YOU HERE PREACHING ABOUT THIS WHEN YOU JUST WROTE A STUPID ARTICLE ANALYZING AND BLAMING EVERYTHING ELSE?
        5. Who else do you expect to support Catriona other than Filipinos when she is representing the Philippines? and who made you an authority to say who or what truly represent a Filipino?

        • And I enjoyed your IDIOTsyncratic response.

          1. And you think Julia is completely privy to her personal choices? Your ignorance is appalling.
          2. I agree on the confidence, but overconfident? Yeah, baby.
          3. I think Catriona should fire whoever trained her for the Q & A. She should have been advised NOT to repeat the same answer from her winning Miss World Philippines response.
          Honey, when you are out there in PUBLIC to prove your worth, you are a FAIR GAME for critics and commentators. Standing in front of millions was HER CHOICE.
          4. Social media loudtards are really annoying. It is OK to rally for your candidate but trash/ bash other contestants to support your own? No excuse here to compete with loudtards from other countries.
          5. Did I say NOT to support Catriona? I said she does not REALLY represent the Filipino people. Have you been to the Philippines? Check out how common is her western face in the streets of the Philippines.

      • 1. It should be understood that the “BURNING TORCH” concept was the battlecry of Ms. Gray. It should also be understood that since it was her battlecry — or part of her mission statement — it should be carried on through the world stage.

  10. Dear Miss World Organization:

    In the preliminary competitions of the Miss World pageant, the lady from the Philippines mounted a good fight. She was 2nd Place in the Talent competition, 6th in the Top Model search (if the report came out reliable), one of the Top 5 in the Beauty with the Purpose award, and the winner in the Multimedia award. In short, and apparently, the lady from the Philippines held her “burning torch” especially high for everybody to see, so to speak. She
    was consistent. She was zealous in her quest for the crown. In comparison, the eventual Miss World from Puerto Rico was not even within the radar of the preliminary competitions. Her name was mentioned only as one of the Top 20 in the Talent competition.

    Just the same, they both went on to be included among the Top 20 and, eventually, the Top 11. When the lady from the Philippines was casually interviewed by host Megan Young, she had an impressive answer. And don’t you know she was articulate and her answer was
    thought-provoking? To her credit in the casual interview portion, sure, the lady from Puerto Rico came out just as impressive. The comparison, however, ends there, ladies and gentlemen of the judging panel of the Miss World. If we talk about elegance and style of both
    candidates, here’s the catch. The lady from the Philippines walked like a queen that she resembled a Greek goddess, miles apart, yes, from the Puerto Rican candidate who looked like a balloon with those brazen ruffles whose design you can find in many friendly neighborhood dress shops. If you think that the lady from the Philippines did not carry her long gown really well, think again. She carried herself so gracefully and stunningly, that’s for sure.

    Now in the final question, when the Puerto Rican beauty was asked what ONE thing she should change if she had the opportunity to do so, she enthusiastically gave us THREE without expounding in details those things she mentioned, all of which were MOTHERHOOD STATEMENTS SUCH AS INCLUSIVENESS, JUSTICE, AND CHARITY. She did not even elaborate how she would change those for the betterment of the world. When the lady from the Philippines was asked what qualities of a Miss World winner should possessed, is it not bravery one of the qualities? Sure, bravery to handle the daunting task of promoting the “Beauty with the Purpose” projects of the Miss World Organization? And she spoke about commitment by utilizing her voice and her talent. Is it not a committed lady the winner should be? Further in her response, she employed the “burning torch” as a metaphor or analogy so that we can imagine and think visually how zealous she would be to make a difference in our
    society. All of a sudden, she was not proclaimed Miss World. What a shame!

    With that superficial answer of the lady from Puerto Rico, she was crowned, surprise, Miss World instead! My goodness! It was so disgusting to think that silly and injudicious people are roaming around this world, and many of them were judging the Miss World contest. I could not help but to think this way aware that although these people were deciding an international
    beauty contest whose existence is as old as them, they were not known extensively the world over. Only their own countries know them!

    From start to finish, the lady from the Philippines was unswerving, dogged, if you may, unlike the lady from Puerto Rico who was plunged into the limelight the night in the finals. Sadly, and with a dissenting heart of this author, the Miss World judging panel turned blind on these blatant realities. What a shame!

      • We speak loudly and vehemently on things that breed injustice in this world. I can assure you we, Filipinos were not sour-graping for it was obvious that Ms. Gray is a superior candidate than yours.

        • ANOTHER Filipino Sore Loser !!!! So many of them.
          Gee, you need to move on,,,
          How come only the Filipinos complain about this and not any other pageant aficionados from other countries.
          You don’t hear Dom. Rep and Indonesia fans say that they were robbed.
          Your hatred for the winner and overzealousness of your Filipino will be a great backlash for future Filipino candidates in future contests.

        • You really need to speak” loudly and vehemently “about that dictator of your own country who are putting a lot of your people in horrible prison conditions. Every country is complaining about how he is violating human rights in your country but instead of “loudly and vehemently” complaining about him you and many misguided Filipinos choose to concentrate on losing Miss World. GET OVER IT !!!!1

          • We talked about beauty pageant, not politics. Who’s misguided now? Stop talking about our country, you know little about it. Where’s the logic by the way?

          • You give Filipinos a bad name by being such a SORE LOSER !
            If you do not like the winner and the judging process, then don’t watch the Miss World anymore.
            Your constant complaining will not change the results and will not give Phillippines the crown.
            I certainly cant wait to hear you start complaining when Maxine Medina does not win the MU crown.She is NOT of high quality like Thailand, Brazil Puerto Rico , Colombia or Indonesia.

        • every country wanted its rep to win, the same went to filipinos. but it all went down to the judges that night. maybe they saw something in PR that no one else saw…

      • Filipino candidates have never had under the table process to win beauty pageant competitions. Puerto has won all their crown in Miss Universe with political anomaly. YOUR GIRLS ARE PLASTIC. There’s actually a documentary on how a lot of latinas go under the knife to look beautiful. Swallow that, bitch!


  11. I’m from Puerto Rico and I believe that she won fair and square, yes, I agree that Wilnelia being among the judges doesn’t make it look good but people only one judge won’t make a contestand win or lose. Now to Catriona, great candidate but I agree that her problem was overconfidence and that she looked to rehearsed. Even in filipino media some people were saying that she was trying too hard to be Megan Young 2.0 and I believe she was. Her final answer was great but it sounded too rehearsed and I didn’t even know that it was a reheat of her final answer in the local contest! I really do not understand why filipinos are that mad, if PR didn’t win the crown was going to be for Dominican Republic, if it wasn’t for her it was going to be for Indonesia! Obviously the judges didn’t favor Catriona, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose! The Philippines is doing great in pageants and have demonstrated that it is a powerhouse, dang, you were in the Top 5 which is still great so move on people! Once again and back to Catriona, she should try Miss Universe (another thing I noticed is that I saw her more Miss Universe Pageant ready than Miss World), I bet she would do great in MU.

  12. This article could have been excellent had it not contained false information as the ND of Puerto Rico was not seating as a judge that night. Wilnelia Merced is Miss World 1975 from Puerto Rico and there were other former Miss World seating in the panel of judges as it is customary in Miss World. Stop hating and accept the outcome. All the girls did excellent but the judges chose Puerto Rico. Like you mentioned, one judge alone cannot determined the outcome.

  13. Elegance and glamour? For goodness sake!! Bitch has nothing, has no talent, brain and certainly don’t have any personality to be Miss World. It’s that witch Julia Morley’s fault to include that dumbass puerto rican guy to be one of the judges.

    • when they (we know who) lost, suddenly the organiser was at fault..why dont you pinoy dont send any more rep to any pageant, that will ensure you will lose and no butt hurts.