69th Miss Universe selects top 21 candidates: Did Rabiya Mateo make the cut?

Published May 15, 2021, 9:55 AM

by Robert Requintina

Miss Universe 2019 Zozi Tunzi of South Africa

The 69th Miss Universe Competitions wrapped up its preliminary competitions as it finally selected its 21 semifinalists.

During the preliminary competitions, the 74 candidates paraded in evening gown and swimsuit at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood in Florida.

Prior, the girls attended the closed-door interviews with the panel of all-female judges led by former Miss Universe winners Zuleyka Rivera, Brooke Lee and six others.

Rabiya Mateo in Furne One Amato creation (Jonas Gaffud)

Incidentally, the judges will select 20 candidates. One contestant with the highest number of fan votes will also join the semis.

The preliminaries paved the way for the selection of top 21 candidates for the title of Miss Universe 2020. But the names of the girls who made it to the semis will be announced during the finals on May 16 (May 17 in Manila).

Rabiya Mateo in swimsuit by Eva Savahl (MISSUUPDATES)

On May 17, Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo entered the Top 21 of the 69th Miss Universe Competition. Other candidates in the semifinals round: Colombia, Peru, Australia, France, Myanmar, Jamaica, Mexico, Dominican Republic, USA, Indonesia, Argentina, India, Curaçao, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Great Britain, Nicaragua, Thailand, Costa Rica and Vietnam (fan votes).

Wearing shoes by Filipino designer Jojo Bragais, the girls kicked off the 69th Miss Universe preliminaries in their two-piece swimsuit. The swimwear was designed by Eva Savahl Couture.

Later, the girls shifted to glamour as they sashayed the stage in their evening gown.

Rabiya showcased her dramatic yellow evening gown created by Furne One Amato.

On Instagram, the designer wrote:

“The one sided neckline tulle gown is elegantly encrusted with Citrine Swarovski crystals on the bodice cascading to the hem and cape over alabaster Swarovski components, glass beads and paillettes. 

“The dramatic and fitted silhouette adds interest and pizzazz on its own. The cape added royalty to the gown, and its beadwork was inspired by the radiance of the Philippine sun which symbolizes positivity and optimism. A hope for a new tomorrow, a world with endless beauty and happiness.”