Mr. Gay World 2012 Andreas Derleth

It was almost third time lucky for South Africa, but Mr. New Zealand ultimately took the fourth Mr. Gay World title on Sunday night in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The 32-year-old hunky German-born Andreas Derleth, who lives in New Zealand, took the top spot out of 22 delegates from around the world at the glitzy Grand Finale ceremony at Gold Reef City Casino.

Derleth works in operations in the retail industry in the city of Auckland and stood out dramatically from his competitors thanks to his imposing almost two meter height.

He previously said that he entered the competition to “build bridges where contrasts exist.”

“It’s overwhelming,” Derleth told Mambaonline after his big win.

“I still have trouble realising it. I hope to do a good job and achieve something this year.”

He added that he honestly didn’t expect to win. “There were so many great candidates. I really hope that the friendships will last.”

South Africa came remarkably close to taking the title for the third time in a row with 24-year-old East London DA councillor Lance Weyer coming in as the first runner-up.

The country previously won the contest in 2010 and 2011.

Lance Weyer, Andreas Derleth and Remy Frejaville

In third place was 30-year-old Remy Frejaville, who represented France.

The event was hosted by well-known television and radio presenter Soli Philander and the much-loved drag personality Cathy Specific.

The show included performances by Ukrainian pop star Kamaliya and Baby M from Japan.

It was announced at Sunday’s event that the next Mr. Gay World competition, which aims to find a global gay ambassador for the LGBT community, will take place in Antwerp next year.

The contest will form part of the cultural programme of the worldOutgames that will be held simultaneously in the Belgian city.

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