People September 4, 2023 | 9:53 am

Miss Sánchez Ramírez Mariana Downing is crowned Miss Dominican Republic Universe 2023

Santo Domingo.- Mariana Downing, the representative of Sánchez Ramírez, was crowned as the new Miss Dominican Republic Universe 2023 on Sunday night. The 27-year-old beauty is set to represent the Dominican Republic in the upcoming Miss Universe competition, scheduled to take place in El Salvador in December of this year. The event unfolded at the Sambil Convention Center and was broadcast on Color Visión, channel 9.

Chantal Silliman, and Miss Santiago, secured the position of fourth runner-up, while Miss Distrito Nacional, Eoanna Constanza, claimed the third runner-up title. Melissa Domínguez from Miss Santo Domingo de Guzmán took the place of the second finalist, and the first finalist position was secured by Yamilex Hernández, the representative of La Vega.

Downing, a 27-year-old Dominican model of British heritage, gained international recognition for her relationship with Puerto Rican salsa singer Marc Anthony when she was 21. Born in the Dominican Republic, she pursued her modeling career in Miami, signing with the Wilhelmina agency and collaborating with renowned brands such as Calvin Klein and Chanel.

Despite her Dominican and English heritage, Downing does not speak Spanish, which became evident during the question section of the gala where she responded in English. This raised reactions on social media, though her response was deemed excellent. Journalist Alicia Ortega asked her what she would prefer among being pretty, rich, or intelligent. Downing replied in English, saying, “Between being smart, beautiful, or rich, I would choose to be smart. Intelligence builds legacies, and inner beauty is crucial in an educated society. Intelligence takes us far, and wealth comes with intelligence. As Nelson Mandela said, ‘Knowledge is power.'”

The Miss RD Universo gala was hosted by Yulianna Vargas and the current Miss RD Universo, Andreína Martínez, who was also the second runner-up in Miss Universe. Participants discussed various causes they support, such as mental health, circular economy, and autism awareness campaigns.

The Dominican singer La Ross María added musical charm to the event with her songs, including “My Most Beautiful Gift.” Throughout the gala, participants were acknowledged for their efforts and dedication during the contest.

In addition to Mariana Downing’s victory, several participants received special awards:

– Best Body: Amelia Ramírez, Miss San Cristobal
– Best Talent Test: Madelyn Mejía, Miss Peravia
– Overcoming Girl: Yndiana Abreu, Miss Salcedo
– Miss Photogenic: Francheska Pujols, Miss Azua
– Miss Communication: Heidy Rosado, Miss Barahona

Out of 24 candidates, the number was reduced to 15 semifinalists, then 10, and finally, five, with Mariana Downing emerging as the winner. The participants showcased their elegance in swimsuits and evening gowns, featuring designs by Bride To Be, Leonel Lirio, and Giannina Azar.

The jury for the contest included the “Beauty Czar” Osmel Sousa, along with communicator Miralba Ruiz, designer Nina Vásquez, and designer Gustavo Arango.

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September 4, 2023 9:58 am

lol lol Miss Dominican Republic does not speak Spanish

Deivy Campusano
September 6, 2023 11:04 am
Reply to  there

Miss Universe is obviously broadcasted in English, speaking Spanish is not a requirement, although it is a preference of the general population.

Last edited 9 months ago by Deivy Campusano
Paul Tierney
September 4, 2023 10:17 am

It would be nicer if a lifelong resident, a Dominicana, be the authentic representative for the country.

September 4, 2023 11:22 am

This is just the normal corruption that pervades the DR. This girl does not even speak the language of the country she will represent and she was far from the most attractive contestant nor was she the most photogenic nor did she have the best body . A joke and not fair for the other entrants

Raquel cuello
September 4, 2023 6:53 pm
Reply to  Richard

This has nothing to do with corruption. She stated she moved frequently as a child because her father was a diplomat. He is British and her mother is Dominican. She is very pretty and eloquent.

Tonio R.
September 4, 2023 7:34 pm

Ofcourse. They want to have a person that looks white represent our country, BUT SHE DOESNT SPEAK A LICK OF SPANISH BUT ITS OKAY BECAUSE SHE LOOKS WHITE WHICH IS WHAT DOMINICAN PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE .????

Raquel cuello
September 4, 2023 9:15 pm
Reply to  Tonio R.

Someone is angry. Comments like this shows your lack of knowledge. Please do not speak for me or the Dominican people. She does speak Spanish. Watch her interviews.

Deivy Campusano
September 6, 2023 11:01 am
Reply to  Tonio R.

Stupidest comment ever, your ignorance is astronomical. Surely you must not realize that there too have been dark-skinned contestants to represent the DR in the past. Dominicans come in a WIDE variety of shades, but when a white or light-skinned contestant represents the country she gets critiqued for it. Give me a damn break…

Rib Mendez
September 5, 2023 7:46 am

To elect someone who doesn’t speak the language of the country she represents is a head scratching decision, stupid choice, but is not racist.
Pageants have rules they abide by before making a choice.
Feel free to google Denni Mendez 1997 and let me know if selecting her over many other candidates was racist, then draw the parallels between this story and Denni’s.