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U.S. wins first Miss Earth crown

Gilbert Kim Sancha

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Lindsey Coffey is Miss Earth 2020, United States’ first titleholder of the said pageant and the first winner of an international beauty competition done virtually.

Coffey, who hails from Pennsylvania, was very emotional when host James Deakin announced she won after the two-hour telecast on Sunday morning, 29 November.

Aside from being an athlete at the age of 28, Coffey is also a climate and mental health advocate.

Her winning answer in the final Question and Answer regarding conspiracy theories and fake news was: “There have been many conspiracy theories going on.

“It is very difficult and hard to decipher what to believe and what not to believe. But this is why it is crucial to really look into your sources, try to find reputable sources that you can actually trust. It’s very important during this time to focus on that because now more than ever, we need to respect science.”

“We need to respect the solid evidence that’s brought before us. That’s why it is very critical to really follow up on your research and talk to one another and don’t really focus on the first thing that you hear.”

Puerto Rico, Poland, Philippines, Venezuela, Netherlands, Myanmar, USA and Denmark emerged as top 8 finalists and were asked the same question.

Each was given 30 seconds to respond to determine the winner of the environmental advocacy driven pageant founded 20 years ago in the Philippines.

Miss Earth 2020 Lindsey Coffey’s elemental court includes Venezuela’s Stephany Zreik (Miss Earth-Air), Philippines’ Roxanne Allison Baeyens (Miss Earth – Water) and Denmark’s Michala Rubinstein (Miss Earth-Fire).

Australia’s Brittany Dickson is this year’s Miss Eco Angel. Baeyens was also named as the Jewel Beauty Strong Earth ambassador.

She was also awarded with best in long gown for Asia & Oceania.

Baeyens wore a Rian Fernandez creation.

The highland and maiden gown is carefully handcrafted to perfection inspired by the majestic Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras, creating a social balance of the landscape of great beauty and harmony between mankind and environment. The gown’s bodice depicts the high rice fields of the Ifugao while its skirt represents the contours of the mountains.

Fernandez’s masterpiece reminds us of the sacred tradition — to continuously ensure the sustainability and conservation of this living cultural treasure over time.

The 20th edition of Miss Earth also marked the debut of Bangladesh (Meghna Alam), Burkina Faso (Amira Naïmah Bassané) and Syria (Tiya Alkerdi) into the pageant. 17 delegates returned for this year’s competition.

They last competed from 2005 to 2018, while 19 countries opted not to join this year because no national pageant was held.

The 84 eco angels from different countries and territories competed in Earth talk, talent, evening gown, swimsuit, sportswear, national costume portion and interview category.

To determine the top 20 semifinalists, they were judged not only according to their beauty and fitness but also their environmental awareness.

This year’s semifinalists from Asia & Ocenia, Africa, Americas and Europe were Mariia Reznyuk (Belarus), Kelly Ávila (Costa Rica), Aya Kadjo (Cote d’Ivoire), Michala Rubinstein (Denmark), Annabella Fleck (Germany), Anna Tode (Japan), Fridah Kariuki (Kenya), Amara Shune Lei (Myanmar), Tessa le Conge (Netherlands), Gwenivere Chioma Ifeanyieze (Nigeria), Anayansi De Gracia (Panama), Roxanne Allison Baeyens (Philippines), Sabina Półtawska (Poland), Ivanna Rohashko (Portugal), Krystal Badillo (Puerto Rico), Christina Cai (Singapore), Lungo Katete (South Africa), Teeyapar Sretsirisuvarna (Thailand), Lindsey Coffey (United States) and Stephany Zreik (Venezuela).

Costa Rica, Netherlands, Philippines and South Africa automatically advanced as semifinalists after earning the nods of the judges with their eco videos.

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