Twenty-one-year Davina Bennett heated up the runway in a stunning yellow appliqué gown, with a matching floor-length cape, and plunging Vee-neckline, capturing the second runner-up spot at Miss Universe 2017, at the Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday, Nov. 26.
Loud screams from fans were heard, drowning out the boos against the tall Afro-haired beauty after she was announced the winner of the third spot at the pageant, making this the first time since 2010, Miss Jamaica has snagged a top three finish in the history of the Miss Universe Pageant.
Bennett, a second-year marketing student at the University of the West Indies Mona campus, emerged from a field of 92 contestants from across the world, first wore a pink mini sequin dress, beaming with confidence as she announced her name and country before thousands in the audience.
Her jaw-dropping costume, a dazzling colorful design with a bellowing feathered headpiece, matched with a two-piece blue sequined midriff and floor-length skirt, accentuated with a cut-off glove design, certainly put her in the running for the third place finish.
The gorgeous young lady, selected as Jamaica’s representative from the 66th staging of the pageant after securing the crown in her homeland in August this year, hails from the town of Clarendon. She is a staunch advocate for the deaf, and as such, established a foundation for the deaf in Jamaica.
Bennett told the Jamaica Gleaner in an interview in September, that she never thought she would one day represent her country on the world stage.
“I didn’t think I could do pageantry. I was always afraid of speaking. I was more of a walk on the runway and come off type of girl, but I decided that it was time for a change. I started the foundation before Miss Universe competition. I needed a platform to have a voice for these persons who need my support.
“That was my main motivation going in, and what can I say? I’m the winner today,” she said after the Miss Universe Jamaica competition.
Bennett who has modeled for Pulse Model agency at London Fashion Week, joins Kaci Fennell, who finished 5th at the Miss Universe pageant in 2014, putting her at the top of Jamaican contestants at the pageant.
Jamaica’s highest placement at the Miss Universe pageant came in 2010 when Yendi Phillips finished in 2nd place. Jamaica’s previous top 10 placements at Miss Universe included Sandra Foster (1989), Kimberly Mais (1991) Christine Straw (2004) and Nicole Haughton (1999).
The winner of Miss Universe 2017 is South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Her runner-up is Colombia’s Laura Gonzalez. Thailand’s Maria Poonlertlarp and Venezuela’s Keysi Sayago completed the top 5.
The top 10 included USA, Philippines, Canada, Spain and Brazil.