Miss Universe stuns in red bikini
Miss Universe is officially back after being postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ahead of today's 69th annual pageant, the 74 contestants took part in preliminary contests, showcasing Ema Savahl Couture swimsuits.
Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil took to the stage in the designer's dazzling red bikini, flaunting her fit figure at the event in Florida, US, on Friday.
The 28-year-old, who was born in Australia to Indian migrants, paired the look with silver stiletto heels and accessorised with a sheer pale blue cape and hoop earrings.
She opted for her hair down in soft waves and a full-coverage makeup with false lashes, eyeliner and a glossy lip.
Maria re-shared fans' snaps of her red bikini to her Instagram story thanking her followers for their support.
She also told fans why she chose to apply for the pageant.
"Why did I compete? Because barriers are made to be broken, and ceilings were meant to be shattered. Preliminaries finished with heart and soul," she wrote.
Maria, who is a influencer and fashion blogger from Melbourne, was crowned this year's Miss Universe Australia last month.
Ahead of today's competition, she said the experience had so far been "bitter sweet".
"It is our last breakfast as Miss Universe contestants. I mean it is exciting to see a new chapter for everyone irrespective of the outcome," Maria said on Instagram.
"But also bitter because I am going to miss my roomie, I am going to miss being with the girls every day and this crazy schedule we have now got accustomed to.
"And I think there's all the feels that it is so fast-paced it's hard to stop sometimes, so I am just going to try to be really present in the day, grateful, confident and this is what we've all worked for."
She said it was a big night for all contestants and they could not wait to put on a great show for everyone.
The 69th Miss Universe competition was due to begin at 10am (AEST) on Monday.
Originally published as Miss Universe stuns in red bikini