T&T rallies around Miss Universe delegate
The Miss Universe dream came to an early end for Trinidad and Tobago representative Yvonne Clarke on Sunday night as she failed to secure a spot in the top 16.
Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters went on to win the pageant.
It was a rocky road for Clarke, who faced several challenges in her preparations for the competition, which was held at the Axis at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
Clarke was stripped of the Miss Trinidad and Tobago title after airing concerns with a lack of sponsorship for the competition.
She was later reinstated, after a war of words with local franchise holder Jenny Douglas.
Clarke's cause was taken up by soca artiste Fay Ann Lyons, who herself later backed out of the preparations.
Clarke walked the Miss Universe stage as the full slate of 92 contestants was presented by host Steve Harvey.
She however did not advance to the next round of competition.
Despite not placing in the top 16, T&T showed its support for Clarke.
The top 16 countries were Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, South Africa, Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Great Britain, Columbia, United States, Brazil, Canada, Philippines, Venezuela, Jamaica and China.
South Africa, Venezuela, Thailand, Jamaica and Columbia rounded off the top five.
Thailand and Venezuela were eventually eliminated.
Miss Jamaica Davina Bennet was announced the second runner up while Miss Columbia Laura Gonzalez secured the 1st runner up position.
This year's pageant had a number of stand-out contestants including several countries participating for the very first time.
Iraq also made a comeback, with its first representative in 44 years. The country last competed in 1972.
Former Miss Trinidad and Tobago Wendy Fitzwilliam was a member on the panel of judges.