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Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel crowns a Miss USA

by Izel Abanilla

Half-Filipina Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel crowned Miss USA First Runner Up Carolina Morgan Romano to replace her on Friday, January 27 (Saturday, January 28 Philippine time).

The special crowning ceremony coincided with Miss Alabama Teen USA and Miss Alabama USA 2023 preliminary competitions in Auburn Alabama. 

Miss USA’s pageantry protocol dictates that in the event Miss USA wins Miss Universe, the first runner-up will take over the Miss USA crown.

Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel crowns Miss USA-North Carolina Morgan Romano as Miss USA 2022 | Courtesy: Miss USA Instagram

On Instagram, Romano said she has a “heart full of gratitude.” 

She finished off by saying, “I’m all yours, USA.” 

The 25-year-old stunner equally boasts of an impressive background.

She is an application engineer at R.E. Mason in Charlotte, North Caroloina.

Romano attended University of South Carolina where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering back in 2020. 

“She has a passion for STEM education for children and spends her free time volunteering with Project Scientist, an after-school program providing a STEM curriculum to young girls,” Miss USA said in its Instagram account.

Barely a month into her win, Gabriel, who was the first Filipino-American to win Miss Universe was accused of rigging the results of the competition in her favor. 

At the height of the pageant, several critics took to Twitter saying the results were in fact rigged because JKN Global Group, which owns Miss Universe, also owned Miss USA. Some others say that she won because of home court advantage as the pageant was held in the US. 

This however was denied by the 28-year-old beauty queen and reiterated that she worked hard to get the crown. 

“You know, I have to be honest, it is very hurtful,” the 28-year-old told Fox News Digital. “It’s very disheartening because I have put my heart and soul into [it].

Meanwhile, Gabriel has also expressed excitement to return to the Philippines which she said is definitely on the map of the places she will visit. 

“I have been wanting to go back to the Philippines. I haven’t been back since before COVID so it has been three years,” she said in an interview. 

Now, we’ll be able to,” she added. 


Photo credit: Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel and Miss USA Morgan Romano via @morganromano1 Instagram

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