Bertrand Noël/SIPA courtesy Endemol and TF1
Iris Mittenaere, Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, has been crowned Miss France 2016.
Mittenaere, 22, is a dental student in her fifth year of studies. 20minutes earlier revealed that she scored the most highly in a general knowledge quiz (17·5 out of 20, above the average of 13·5).
She succeeds Camille Cerf, who took home the title last year, and who was present to crown her successor.
Miss Martinique, Morgane Edvige, and Miss Tahiti, Vaimitu Teiefitu, were runner-up and second runner-up respectively.
The competition was held at the Zénith in Lille, hosted for the 21st time by Jean-Pierre Foucault. Sylvie Tellier, a former Miss France, remains the organizer of the event, which is aired live on France’s TF1 network each year, typically netting 8·5 million viewers and a 40·5 per cent share of the audience. Thirty-one contestants, who had each won regional pageants, competed for the title this year.
The top 12 were: Miss Martinique, Morgane Edvige; Miss Provence, Julia Courtes; Miss Tahiti, Vaimitu Teiefitu; Miss Côte d’Azur, Leanna Ferrero; Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Iris Mittenaere; Miss Réunion, Azuima Issa; Miss Bretagne, Léa Bizeul; Miss Aquitaine, Gennifer Demey; Miss Alsace, Laura Muller; Miss Languedoc, Lena Stachurski; Miss Centre–Val de Loire, Margaux Bourdin; and Miss Rhône-Alpes, Nora Bengrine.
These were then narrowed down to a top five of Miss Martinique, Miss Provence, Miss Tahiti, Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, and Miss Réunion. The viewing public accounted for 50 per cent of the vote, the judges the other 50 per cent.
Miss Martinique, Miss Provence and Miss Tahiti tended to top internet users’ polls in France.
Jean Paul Gaultier chaired the Miss France jury and was joined by actress Laetitia Milot, The Voice: la plus belle voix winner Kendji Girac, Miss France 2009 Chloé Mortaud, singer Patrick Fiori, singer–songwriter Anggun, and rugby union player Frédéric Michalak.
Gaultier himself emerged on stage during the early part of the telecast wearing a crown of his own creation and a sash, a notable change in raising the judging panel’s profile.
A regional costume section complemented themed parades referencing the ‘dreams’ of former Miss France winners, including ones based around pirates, cheerleaders, superheroines, toys, Christmas, confectionery, and eveningwear.