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Runway queens: The top 10 standouts in evening gowns at the 70th Miss Universe prelims

By Paul Rubio Published Dec 11, 2021 1:33 pm

The Miss Universe 2021 Preliminary Competition has just concluded in Eilat, Israel, and as expected, it showed us more of what these ladies are made of, and who looks like they’d shine brighter than the rest come finals on Monday, Dec. 13. The preliminaries, as we hoped they would, have given us a variety of evening gowns to admire. Out of the 80 ladies coming for the crown, we have picked our 10 favorites in the evening gown competition. Here they are:

BELGIUM
Kedist Deltour

She looked absolutely smashing in this sleek white-and-silver number. It looked divine against her beautiful caramel skin and the high slit accentuated her toned legs. The tasteful vertical pattern of the silver beading made her look taller than she is.

BRAZIL
Teresa Santos

One of the most interesting gowns of the bunch and she wore it really well. The gold of the fabric gives this gown an air of opulence and the broken mirror details adorning it from hem to hem give it a little bit of a fun glam-rock edge. 

Miss Dominican Republic, Debbie Aflalo, presents herself on stage during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021. Menahem KAHANA / AFP

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Debbie Aflalo

This lively yellow gown shone like the sun on stage and the clever sunray treatment running across the skirt and bodice was very tastefully done: it managed to toe the line between cheerful and gaudy.

ARGENTINA
Julieta García

One of the best looks of the night. The intricacy of the beadwork + the sheer drama of the attached cape = an unforgettable fashion moment. A fabulous way for Argentina to enter the crown contenders' circle. 

Miss Philippines, Beatrice Gomez, presents herself on stage during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021. Menahem KAHANA / AFP

PHILIPPINES 
Beatrice Luigi Gomez

This one-shouldered dress is not as flashy as Miss Universe gowns usually tend to be but the deep red of the fabric and the chic styling choices suited Bea's vibe to a T. The hint of midriff and the cascade of beads that drops from her shoulder suggest both her innate sportiness and also, a playful elegance that looks amazing on her.

Miss Mexico, Debora Hallal, presents herself on stage during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021. Menahem KAHANA / AFP

MEXICO
Débora Hallal

She looked like a literal Greek goddess in this white-and-gold affair. It is elegant, sparkly, and very eye-catching: everything a good pageant gown should be. She may have had a spot of trouble maneuvering the stage when she first walked out in this, but she managed to redeem herself moments later. 

Miss Puerto Rico, Michelle Colon, presents herself on stage during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021. Menahem KAHANA / AFP

PUERTO RICO
Michelle Colón

There's an element of sweetness in this sparkly lilac dress that when combined with the dramatic off-the-shoulder sleeves makes it irresistible; and laying all these elements against the backdrop of her gorgeous mocha skin is just perfect.

Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, presents herself on stage during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021. Menahem KAHANA / AFP

SOUTH AFRICA
Lalela Mswane

Arguably the most sophisticated look of the evening, this immaculate white gown fit her like a glove. The understated graphical pattern running down the center of the dress from bodice to hem adds just the right amount of detail to keep it from being plain. She looked like royalty!

Miss Vietnam, Nguyễn Huỳnh Kim Duyên, presents herself on stage during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021. Menahem KAHANA / AFP

VIETNAM
Nguyễn Huỳnh Kim Duyên

While we’ve seen a dozen gowns like this over the last several years, it cannot be denied that she hit it out of the park in this partly sheer beaded dress. It hugs all her curves perfectly and together with her gorgeously sleek long hair, it fits a queen who means business.

Miss Honduras, Rose Melendez, presents herself on stage during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021. Menahem KAHANA / AFP

HONDURAS
Rose Meléndez

This sparkly gold gown would be perfect on her gorgeous skin on its own, but paired with the gold headwrap she chose to rock, it’s nothing short of magical. It’s refreshing to see these queens embracing headwraps (Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi passed the crown to Andrea Meza last May wearing a gorgeous headscarf), and it’s a trend we don’t mind at all seeing get even more traction.