Just days after the final of the Miss Universe competition, Miss Universe South Africa has shared her disappointment at not taking the crown in an emotional Instagram Live session.
Natasha Joubert thanked her followers for their support throughout the competition, and said she had been feeling “quite emotional” in the days since.
“I have done everything I could, I gave my best, I showed 110 per cent, I've learned so much about myself. I've given everything I could," she said.
Joubert left the Miss Universe competition early after failing to place in the Top 21, something that came as a shock to her and many pageant enthusiasts, who had pegged her as one of this year’s frontrunners.
"It was hard to accept," Joubert said during the Live Q&A. "It wasn’t something I expected. I’m still trying to understand, and there's obviously not a certain answer I’m going to get at this moment."
She said the loss was even harder to take considering South Africa had placed highly in the three years previous. In 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters won the crown; in 2018, Tamaryn Green won 1st Runner-Up in 2018; and in 2019, Zozibini Tunzi was named Miss Universe.
"It was extremely hard standing there, knowing that South Africa did so well for three years," Joubert said.
"But I gave everything. I'm proud of myself for standing there. I overcame so many things that I've struggled with for such a long time," she said.
However, she still described the whole experience as “amazing”.
"I actually learned how to embrace my vulnerability, how to put myself out there regardless of what the outcome is," she said.
"I have to accept that I've put myself out there, and that was more than enough. In five years time, I will understand why. I will understand why things didn't work out like I wanted it to," she said.
The Miss Universe 2021 crown was awarded to Mexico's Andrea Meza during the grand coronation night, which took place in Florida on Monday.