Ella Portelli was crowned Miss Universe Malta 2023 on Friday night and will represent the country at the 72nd edition of Miss Universe.
The 25-year-old interior designer from St Julian’s beat Julia Cluett from Floriana and Ntombi Malinga from San Gwann to the prize.
The competition involved 25 contestants representing different localities. The final 16 modelled in swimwear and evening gowns and were whittled down to the final 6. They then answered questions on stage and judges selected the final three. Following a further round of questions, Portelli was crowned the champion.
Portelli, who also works in the gaming industry, was a popular winner: fellow contestants voted for her to win the event’s Miss Congeniality title, too.
She was crowned by Maxine Formosa Gruppetta, who won the Miss Universe Malta title in 2022 and was the first Maltese contestant to ever win a title at the global Miss Universe pageant. Formosa Gruppetta won the Miss Congeniality title during the New Orleans event.
This year’s Miss Universe competition will be held in El Salvador and will see 95 countries taking part.
Miss Universe Malta, organised by Alan J. Darmanin, was aired live on TVM and was also streamed on the Miss Universe YouTube channel. Malta was the first country to have the national selection show aired on the official international channel.