Miss Universe

Miss Universe organisers have defended R’Bonney Gabriel of USA’s win.
Image via Facebook: Miss Universe

‘Absurd’: Miss Universe org claps back at ‘rigged’ claims

‘Not everyone can win’: Miss Universe organisers have responded to claims the competition was rigged in favour of Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel.

Miss Universe

Miss Universe organisers have defended R’Bonney Gabriel of USA’s win.
Image via Facebook: Miss Universe

After being inundated with accusations that the competition was rigged in favour of winner R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss Universe organisers have finally responded.

And the organisation – owned by Thailand-based media company JKN Global Group – has claimed it’s nothing more than fake news.

R’Bonney was crowned in a glittering ceremony in New Orleans over the weekend. However, her win has been clouded by controversy.

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Following widespread commentary that Miss Universe was rigged in crowning the Filipin-American winner, the organisation responded in a statement: “The false rigging allegations are absurd and distract from the incredible milestones our organization and the delegates experienced this weekend.”

It continued: “Instead of focusing on unfounded statements, we will continue to shine a light on global women’s empowerment, inclusiveness, diversity, and transformational leadership.”

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Miss Universe CEO Anne Jakapong also issued a statement on her personal Instagram account. Turning off follower comments, she posted: “The rules and judges were fair and equitable. Each Miss Universe contestant was measured on her own merits in the competition.”

The transgender businesswoman added: “Not everyone can win the competition, but everyone gets an equal chance of winning.


Following R’Bonney Gabriel’s win, Miss Universe pageant users debated whether the international pageant was rigged.

According to some, R’Bonney’s “lack of reaction” was telling of this…


Others claim that R’Bonney hinted at a win in a preliminary Instagram post…

Some tweeps claimed that R’Bonney’s response was “weaker” than her opponents in the Top 3 question and answer round. R’bonney was also the only Miss Universe contestant who went over the allocated time in her answer.


Tweeps then revealed how the pageant’s new owners – JKN Global Group, are also owners of the Miss USA pageant.

Others claim it was a “coincidence” that the host country won the competition…

If that wasn’t bad enough, R’Bonney has also been linked to a scandal in which her Miss USA pageant win was rigged.

In October 2022,  an ex-Miss USA contest – Miss Montana –  claimed that organisers had favoured R’Bonney to win the title.

ALSO READ: Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel: Did organisers rig her Miss USA win too?

R’Bonney – of Filipino descent but who hails from Houston, Texas – was crowned Miss USA last year. 

Miss Montana told MailOnline that R’Bonney was a “predetermined” winner. She said: “I do feel like we were all used as puppets to just put on this show of Miss USA, just to put on the show of a pageant.

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“I feel like, and a lot of other contestants feel like, they had already predetermined the winner. We were just there as puppets to put on this show for them to make it seem like there was a pageant… That’s how we feel. That’s our own opinion.”

When asked why she believed R’Bonney Gabriel was “favoured” to win, she responded: “‘The only thing I know was that there was clear and convincing favoritism toward her in the competition and leading up to the competition. She received more resources than we did. That is the root of the issue”.