By Karli Barnett

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – This week, the eyes of the world are on the city of Hollywood as they host the Miss Universe 2021 contestants.

“Anytime we can showcase our city to an international group of delegates, like the Miss Universe contestants, we are so excited and proud to showcase our city in here in South Florida,” said Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy. “We are honored.”

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The 74 participants traveled to South Florida from all over the globe.

“I love the weather here, because it reminds me of home in Thailand,” said Amanda Obdam, Miss Thailand.

Amanda Obdam, Miss Thailand. (CBS4)

Between interviews and rehearsals, they had some time to explore downtown.

“It’s great to be able to just relax for a little while, experience some of the local restaurants here, and get to see a bit more Hollywood,” said Miss Ireland, Nadia Sayers.

“I get to know the girls a little bit better, which is one of the things I really wanted to do here at Miss Universe,” said Bernadette Belle Ong, Miss Singapore.

Bernadette Belle Ong, Miss Singapore. (CBS4)

The stage is nearly set at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, which is hosting the delegates and the event itself.

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“There is no bigger event than Miss Universe that puts the eyes of the entire world on South Florida and on the Guitar Hotel property, said Keith Sheldon, president of entertainment for Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming.

He said they’re happy to be hosting such an internationally known spectacle and hopes the excitement and energy will bring future events.

“Having them enjoy our restaurants, our pools, taking photographs and being great ambassadors, not only for themselves and their own countries and cultures, but also the Hard Rock brand has been a wonderful thing,” Sheldon said.

They hope as more begins to open back up is that events like this will keep putting Hollywood on the map.

Following their “Safe and Sound” COVID guidelines, Hollywood Hard Rock said they are enforcing masks and distancing on site. Anyone who attends the show has to have tested negative for COVID.

There will be a live audience, but there is limited capacity with rows spaced out.

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The Miss Universe pageant is May 16 at 8 p.m.

Karli Barnett