Contestants in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant took off their glamorous long gowns to wear black commemorative shirts and paid tribute to the victims of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, Review-Journal reported. The pageant’s final night will be held at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on November 26.

The venue for the coronation night will be in this luxurious hotel very close to where the mass shooting occurred in October. The ladies graced a welcome event held at the iconic hotel staircase facing the Las Vegas strip. This is the first welcome event conducted since they arrived in the city.

They each wore a black shirt with a printed layout that read “#VegasStrong.” Current titleholder, Iris Mittenaere, from France and Miss Universe Organization President, Paula Shugart, were also present wearing the same shirt that the ladies sported.

Mittenaere said they “wanted to show unity” and added that “it’s important to show” their hearts "are with Las Vegas." She was wearing the Diamond Nexus crown.

Last-minute changes

The show has been held in Las Vegas four times since 2010. Just like in the 2015 edition, the ladies stood on the same exact staircase for a welcome event but wore glamorous evening gowns during that year.

According to Las Vegas Review-Journal, the ladies of this year’s edition would have worn Vegas Strong pins instead of shirts.

These will be paired with their usual ensemble. However, organizers decided to let them wear the black t-shirts for a “more apparent visual message.”

“Ten years ago, I was here with Miss Universe Riyo Mori and Miss USA Rachel Smith for the opening of Planet Hollywood and here we are a decade later, it just gets better and better,” Shugart said.

On the night of October 1, a gunman named Stephen Paddock fired shots from his hotel room at Mandalay Bay to the attendees of a country music festival. The incident left 58 people dead and more than 500 people injured. In 2010, Miss Universe was held within the premises of Mandalay Bay.

Series of competition

Before the final bout on the coronation night, the ladies will participate in various rounds of preliminary competition that will determine their placement in the semi-finals.

Some of these include the swimsuit, evening gown, and national costume shows.

Mittenaere will crown her successor during the final event to be aired on FOX on Thanksgiving weekend on November 26. It is expected to be watched by millions of international audiences from various parts of the globe.