Despite not taking home the coveted 2023 Miss Universe crown, Jamaica's Dr Jordanne Lauren Levy says she is grateful for the experience at the 72nd Miss Universe pageant, which culminated Saturday with the grand coronation.
Levy made it to the Top 20 and also participated in the swimsuit competition.
Held at the Jose' Adolfo Pineda Arena in San Salvador, El Salvador, the pageant saw 84 delegates competing for the title.
"I'm so grateful for my experience in El Salvador, it was a dream come true for me. It's really a childhood dream of mine â€” I wrote it down in my childhood diary. I was able to be on stage and see the dazzling lights and embrace it all.
"El Salvador was the perfect place to host the Miss Universe pageant, much like Jamaica, it has natural beauty and warm people, and I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of the 72nd Miss Universe pageant," Levy disclosed in an interview shortly after the finals ended on Saturday night.
At the end of the pageant, Nicaragua's Sheynnis Palacois was named the new titleholder (the first for Nicaragua), while Thailand's Anntonia Porsild and Australia's Morayah Wilson finished in second and third places respectively.
Rounding out the Top 5 were Puerto Rico's Karla Guilfu and Colombia's Camila Avella.
The top ten included the delegates from El Salvador, Peru, Philippines, Spain, and Venezuela.
Levy said she formed lifelong friendships with some of the contestants.
"I'm just so grateful for these sisterhoods we have formed. I got really close with Italy, Malta, Indonesia, and Ireland. We're all gonna visit each other's countries. These are memories that I will keep for life because we have formed great friendships and I had a bellyful with all of them when we visited the home of El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele Ortez. It was an awesome experience to connect with these girls on a level that I didn't think I would've been able to form without this competition. My roommate was Melissa from The Bahamas, and we definitely were able to connect," Levy disclosed.
Jamaica's was the only Caribbean representative to have made it into the Top 20 this year.
Levy's family and some of her friends were in attendance at the coronation in El Salvador. She said their presence meant a lot to her.
"I wouldn't be the person who I am today if it weren't for my parents and my grandparents, the friends and family that poured into me. I'm extremely grateful to the Miss Universe Jamaica Organisation. I can truly say that I'm a more confident version of myself, because of the training and the sacrifices and the amount of time that they spent pouring into me, training me to be the best ambassador that I could be, for my country. Seeing everybody in the audience, seeing the Jamaican flag, filled me with pride. My heart was beating and overflowing with love and pride, being able to tell that story to my future daughter," Levy shared.
Since taking on the Miss Universe Jamaica franchise in 2013, Uzuri International has scored success at the Miss Universe finals with three Top 10 placements and two Top 20 semi-finalists.