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Fans Suspect Rigged Miss Universe Competition

Lifestyle

The Miss Universe Organization denied accusations of rigging this year's competition in favor of Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel, who took home the crown in New Orleans on Jan. 14. | Image by Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Texas native R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned as Miss Universe last Saturday, but days later, individuals on social media accused the contest of being rigged.

 
Gabriel was the first Miss USA to claim the Miss Universe crown in 10 years. People on social media thought the competition was rigged in favor of Miss USA, calling the competition a “fraud” and tagging their posts with the hashtag #rigged.
 
Some think the competition was rigged in favor of Miss USA because the new owner of Miss Universe, Anne Jakrajutatip, also owns Miss USA. Jakrajutatip is a Thai businesswoman who acquired The Miss Universe Organization in October for $20 million. Fans of the competition also pointed out that Gabriel did not deserve to win due to her difficulty walking in her NASA tribute costume.
 
Even other contestants claimed that the competition was unfair. In response to similar allegations in October, Gabriel stated, “It was not rigged because I would never enter any pageant or any competition that I know I would win. I have a lot of integrity.”
 
Gabriel has her own sustainable fashion brand called R’Bonney Nola. She gives her time as a lead sewing instructor to a nonprofit in Houston called Magpies & Peacocks. The nonprofit is dedicated to eco-friendly practices and designs. Gabriel also works with women who have survived domestic violence and human trafficking.
 
Ahshia Berry, vice president and director of communications at Magpies & Peacocks, vouched for Gabriel’s integrity, saying, “R’Bonney is one of the most humble, authentic and nicest people you will ever meet.”
 
She added, “We’ve watched her train beyond measure for Miss Texas, Miss USA and Miss Universe (in awe that she was crowned for all three) while working with us. She has stayed grounded the whole time. We are immensely proud of this bright, intelligent young woman and can’t wait to watch her amazing future ahead.”
 
The Miss Universe Organization responded to the allegations in a January 16 statement, saying, “The false rigging allegations are absurd and distract from the incredible milestones our organization and the delegates experienced this weekend. Instead of focusing on unfounded statements, we will continue to shine a light on global women’s empowerment, inclusiveness, diversity, and transformational leadership.”

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Jeanine
Jeanine
7 days ago

I thought the same thing. “Rigged”

Wrath
Wrath
7 days ago

Useless pageant.

alan
alan
7 days ago

You would think the “woke” would have put an end to these useless pageants. No one watches anymore.