Miss Universe denies rigging claims after R’Bonney Gabriel’s win


On Saturday, Gabriel became the first Miss USA to win Miss Universe in 10 years. She beat out first runner-up Amanda Dudmel from Venezuela and second runner-up Andreína Martínez from the Dominican Republic in the contest in New Orleans.

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Social media followers complained during the broadcast that the competition was manipulated in Gabriel’s favor. They called it a “fraud” and used the hashtag #rigged in Twitter replies. Multiple competitors complained about alleged rigging, too.  

In an interview with E! online in October after similar rigging claims by competitors, Gabriel said, “I would never enter any pageant or any competition that I know I would win. I have a lot of integrity.”

R’Bonney is an eco-friendly fashion designer, model with a  bachelor’s degree in fashion design from University of North Texas. She is CEO of her own sustainable clothing line, R’Bonney Nola. All of her designs are currently sold out.

As the lead sewing instructor with Magpies & Peacocks, a Houston-based non-profit design house dedicated to eco-friendly and sustainable designs, Gabriel has been teaching women who have survived domestic violence and human trafficking since 2020. She also has served as Magpies & Peacocks’ lead campaign model. 

“R’Bonney is one of the most humble, authentic and nicest people you will ever meet,” said Ahshia Berry, vice president and director of communications at Magpies & Peacocks.

“We’ve watched her train beyond measure for Miss Texas, Miss USA and Miss Universe (in awe that she was crowned for all three) while working with us. She has stayed grounded the whole time. We are immensely proud of this bright, intelligent young woman and can’t wait to watch her amazing future ahead.”


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