Miss Universe national costume show: Spectacular, outlandish, challenging

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Miss Universe contestants showcased their countries' heritage through elaborate outfits during the national costume show on Thursday.

The country's bet, Maxine Medina, drew loud cheers from the crowd as she walked the runway in a costume, which the host said was inspired by Vinta, a traditional boat from Mindanao with colorful sail.

Her dress was adorned with crystals, adding more sparkle and glam to her outfit. Her gold headdress with South Sea pearls — which reportedly cost more than P1 million — was inspired by coral reefs.

Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal wowed the audience with her futuristic silver jumpsuit. It had a replica of the iconic Petronas Towers on her shoulders.

Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun impressed the crowd with her elaborate costume. Instead of walking the runway, she performed like a puppet while carrying the "stage backdrop" on her back.

And as in any pageant, some candidates had issues with their costumes.

Miss USA Deshauna Barber was dressed as a superhero. She was supposed to transform with wings, but had technical difficulty. She instead posed with her silver shield.

Fan favorite Miss Venezuela Mariam Habach, who channeled ocean goddess Yemaya, was in an exaggerated blue and white balloon dress with a scepter on one hand, and a mask on the other. She had difficulty walking to a point she was assisted off stage.

Although the spectacular national costume segment had no bearing on the preliminary scores, it was a show featuring the candidates' culture — all of them exuding confidence and grace under pressure.