Miss Universe Contest Starts in Philippines, Host Steve Harvey Pledges to Announce Right Winner This Time

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Eighty-six candidates are vying for the crown, currently held by Pia Wurtzbach from the Philippines.

The Miss Universe contest has started in the Philippines, a country deeply fascinated with beauty contests but also under an international spotlight because of the president's bloody crackdown on illegal drugs and a police scandal.

American comedian and pageant host Steve Harvey opened the show Monday with a pledge to announce the right winner after he named the wrong one a year ago when the contest was held in Las Vegas, causing an uproar.

Eighty-six candidates are vying for the crown, currently held by Pia Wurtzbach from the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte was invited but has not shown up after holding a midnight news conference where he fumed over the involvement of anti-drug policemen in the kidnapping and killing of a South Korean man.

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