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July 21, 2021 12:13 pm

Ex-Miss Israels Thrilled at Choice of ‘Our Pearl in the South’ Eilat to Host Next Miss Universe Pageant

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The southern Israeli resort city of Eilat. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Former Miss Israel beauty queens said they are excited for the world to be introduced to their home country following the announcement that the 70th Miss Universe pageant will take place in Eilat, Israel, in December.

“I am so excited that the competition is finally coming to Israel!” Miss Israel 2017 Adar Gandelman, who competed in the Miss Universe contest, told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “After many years that the Miss Israel title holder did not get anywhere in the competition, I hope that the competition here will allow the audience to be a little different, and to get noticed by more people around the world and thus allow participants from Israel to get the exposure and respect they deserve.”

Gandelman raved about her country. Israel has “the best food, the best people, and amazing views,” she said. “I hope that the girls and the audience that will arrive here will take advantage of the time in Israel to travel and get to know the country a little so that they can enjoy all the beauty that our country has to offer.”

The Miss Universe Organization announced on Tuesday that for the first time in history, the pageant will take place in Israel. The Miss Universe website described Eilat as “Israel’s southern gateway, an oasis on the shores of the Red Sea, a meeting point for the sun, desert and sea, and a crossroads between four countries and three continents.”

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Karin Alia — 2016’s Miss Israel, who competed in the Miss World competition — told The Algemeiner, “I’m very excited that the world has a chance  to see our wonderful country and especially Eilat, our pearl in the south of the country, where I’m originally from.”

And Miss Israel 2020 Tehila Levi, who participated in the Miss Universe pageant last month in the United States, said she’s “very excited and happy that the Miss Universe pageant will be hosted for the first time in my beautiful country.”

The three-hour 70th Miss Universe pageant will include multiple categories, such as personal statement, swimsuit, evening wear and interview. It will conclude with the current Miss Universe, Mexico’s Andrea Meza, crowning her successor. It has not been announced yet who will represent Israel in the competition.

In the weeks ahead of the competition, contestants will tour Israel and learn about its history and culture with visits to the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and locations throughout Eilat, among other areas. Meza will visit Israel later this summer to begin exploring the country in which she will give up her title.

“Israel has been on our shortlist of host countries for a number of years due to its rich history, beautiful landscapes, myriad of cultures and appeal as a global tourist destination,” said Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, in a press release. “As we sought an impressive location for our 70th anniversary celebration, it became clear through our conversations with acting Mayor [of Eilat Eli] Lankri and the Israeli Ministry that Israel has the resources and demonstrated the commitment to host Miss Universe in December. We look forward to deepening our commitment and creating meaningful cultural conversation, connection and understanding through this partnership.”

Israel’s Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov said, “We in Israel are delighted to host the 70th anniversary celebrations of the iconic Miss Universe pageant—an event celebrating women’s empowerment, optimism, tolerance and desire for excellence, which crosses every geographical and national border.”

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