Miss Universe Australia Caris Tiivel
Miss Universe Australia Caris Tiivel

Miss Universe Australian entrants reveals battle

THE 65th Miss Universe pageant is about to get underway in the Philippines, with 13 women to battle it out for the crown.

US Family Feud host Steve Harvey, who made headlines last year when he accidentally announced the wrong winner, has been given a second chance and will host the coverage again.

"Plus-size" model Ashley Graham is the backstage correspondent and Boyz II Men and Flo Rida will perform during the ceremony.

The pageant will start with 13 semi-finalists, who will be narrowed down and eliminated as they compete in the swimsuit, evening gown, question and answer and final look categories.

Miss Universe Australia Caris Tiivel, 23, from Perth, says no matter what happens, the pageant has been the best experience of her life.

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY! 😄🇦🇺💗 #MissUniverseAustralia #MissUniverse

A video posted by Caris Tiivel (@caris_tiivel) on

She will wear Australian couture label J'adore during the evening gown section.

"Well today is the big day!" she wrote on Instagram. "No matter what happens I have had the best experience of my life & to be able to represent Australia in Miss Universe is an absolute honour. I plan on just being myself up on stage and having lots of fun."

But in her "Up Close", Miss Universe profile video, Tiivel reveals she previously struggled with the modelling industry.

"When I was 16 years old I started my modelling career. Modelling can be a very critical industry. There was quite a lot of pressure to fit a certain image and to be a certain size and it's something that affected me.

"I felt like I was never going to be good enough for anyone, and I think that really shattered my confidence both mentally and physically," she said.

"So I wanted to be part of an experience that is more about you as a person, and I've started boxing. It's quite a tough and challenging sport, but really lifted my spirits and I finally learned to accept and love myself for who I am and hopefully I can inspire others to be happy and healthy and enjoy life."

During last week's preliminary round, Tiivel revealed our national costume, which is a homage to the Great Barrier Reef.

The beaded jumpsuit represents the coral and the skirt overlay is the ocean waves. Tiivel has previously said she hopes her outfit will send a message to politicians about coral bleaching.