Miss Universe Bahrain Evlin Khalifa unveils official photos as online voting opens

Fans now have a chance to send their favourite contestant directly to the semi-finals of the pageant in January

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Online voting is now open for Miss Universe 2022, giving fans the chance to send their favourite contestant into the semi-finals. This also means the official photos of many of the contestants have been revealed, including the only representative from the Gulf, Miss Universe Bahrain Evlin Khalifa.

Official photos of 83 contestants have now been uploaded to the Miss Universe website, with more to be added soon. The contestant with the highest number of fan votes will automatically qualify for a spot in the semi-finals of the live pageant, to be held in New Orleans on January 14.

For Khalifa's shoot, themed The Power of Modesty, the beauty queen wears an Egyptian-inspired gold gown by Filipino designer Furne One and his label Amato, which is based in Dubai. The dress, part of One's collection to mark the UAE’s Golden Jubilee and showcased in December, is complete with a ruffled cape and head cover with heavy gold beadwork.

Scroll through the gallery below to see more photos of Miss Universe Bahrain Evlin Khalifa

“Khalifa is a true standout in the headshot as she carries not only her beautiful face but also her core, her story, her values and culture," said Josh Yugen, owner and national director of Miss Universe Bahrain.

Miss Universe recently changed ownership, after Thai media entrepreneur Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip acquired the franchise from IMG through her company JKN Global Group.

Jakrajutatip promised to build on the pageant's 70-year legacy and further its commitment to inclusivity. There are also plans to expand the Miss Universe brand, including the launch of MU Lifestyle, a new licensing and merchandising arm.

"We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation," she said.

Earlier this month, four former Miss Universe winners joined the reigning queen, India's Harnaaz Sandhu, to celebrate Jakrajutatip at a gala event in Bangkok.

Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova of Canada, Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola, Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza of Mexico and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray of the Philippines shared the stage with Miss Universe 2021 Sandhu and Jakrajutatip at the gala event at the Siam Pavalai Royal Grand Theatre.

Reigning Miss Universe Thailand Anna Sueangam-iam and Miss Universe Spain 2018 Angela Ponce were also at the event along with Miss Universe president Paula Shugart and chief executive Amy Emmerich.

"Transformational beauty is not just about winning the crown," said Yugen. "It is about the unity of women as they cherish and nurture a common purpose which is to empower young ladies and spread peace, love and courage.

"I believe that Anne is a great soul to lead this pack of empowering candidates."

Miss Universe 2022, the contest's 71st event, was postponed to January, with New Orleans set to host the pageant. This means two Miss Universe contests will likely be held next year, one later in the year to crown the 2023 winner.

Miss Universe 2022 beauty queens crowned, from Turkey to Italy and Kyrgyzstan — in pictures

Updated: November 17, 2022, 12:18 PM