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Miss Universe is an annual international beauty contest that is run by the Miss Universe Organization. The contest was founded in 1952 by California clothing company Pacific Mills. The pageant became part of Kayser-Roth and then Gulf+Western Industries, before being acquired by Donald Trump in 1996. The pageant is broadcast on NBC, simulcast in Spanish on Telemundo and (starting 2013) webcast on Xbox Live. Alongside its rival Miss World and Miss Earth, this pageant is the most publicised and most awaited beauty contest in the world.
In 1998, Miss Universe changed its name from Miss Universe, Inc. to Miss Universe Organization and the headquarters moved from Los Angeles, California, to New York City that year. Donald Trump brought in a new team of professionals to the contest headed by its new CEO, Molly Miles, and president Maureen Reidy. The contest would use the slogan "Redefined for Today" for promotion of the pageants.
In 1998, the logo of Miss Universe – "the woman with stars" – was born, representing the beauty and responsibility of women around the Universe.
The current Miss Universe is Olivia Culpo from USA. She was crowned on December 19, 2012 in Las Vegas.
The first use of the title "Miss Universe" was as part of International Pageant of Pulchritude which began in 1926. These events, the first international contests, lasted until 1935 when the Great Depression and other events preceding World War II led to their demise. This pageant had no direct relationship with the modern event.
The winner of the later "Miss America 1951" pageant, Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose in a swimsuit from its major sponsor, Catalina Swimwear. As a result, the brand's manufacturer Pacific Mills withdrew from Miss America and set up the Miss USA and Miss Universe contests. The first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach, California in 1952. It was won by Armi Kuusela from Finland, who gave up her title though not officially to get married, shortly before her year was complete. Until 1958 the Miss Universe title (like Miss America) was post-dated, so at the time Ms. Kuusela's title was Miss Universe 1953.
The pageant was first televised in 1955. CBS began nationally broadcasting the combined Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1960 and, separately, from 1965. In 2003 NBC took over the television rights.
In the early years of the pageant the delegates who made the cut were announced after the preliminary competition. From 1965 to the present day the semi-finalists were not announced until the night of the main event. The semi-finalists once again competed in evening gown and swimsuit and a top five were announced. An interview portion was introduced in 1960 to decide the runners-up and winner.
From 1959 to 1964 there were slight format changes. From 1959 through 1963 there was no cut to reach the five finalists. The runners-up and winner were called from the assembled 15 semi-finalists.
In 1965 the pageant returned to the original format of a cut to five finalists, and remained so until 1989.
In 1969 a final question was posed to the last five contestants. The final question was an on-and-off feature of the pageant.
In 1990 it had taken root, and with every pageant since the final contestants have had to answer a final question.
In 1990 the pageant implemented major format changes in the competition itself. Instead of five finalists, the field was reduced from 10 semi-finalists to six. Each contestant then randomly selected a judge and answered the question posed by the judge. After that, the field was narrowed down further to a final three. In 1998, the number of finalists was reduced to five, although there still was a cut to a final three. This continued to 2001, where the final five format was re-instated.
In 2000 the interview portion of the semi-finals was quietly dropped and the contestants once again, as in the early days of the pageant, competed only in swimsuit and gowns.
In 2003 the Top 15 was again selected instead of the Top 10. Cuts were made to make the Top 10, and eventually the Top 5. The final question varied, each coming from the final delegates themselves and the current Miss Universe.
In 2006 twenty semi-finalists were announced, with these delegates competing in the swimsuit competition. The number of competing delegates was then cut to ten, with those delegates competing in the evening gown competition. After that round of competition, the final five were announced, with the finalists competing in the "final question" or interview round. At the end of competition the runners-up were announced and the winner crowned by the outgoing queen.
In 2007 the format changed slightly with the top 15 moving to the swimsuit competition; from there, 10 selected contestants moved on to the evening gown competition where half were eliminated. The final five were competing in the "final question". At the end of competition the runners-up were announced and the winner crowned by the outgoing queen.
In 2011, for the first time ever, one of the sixteen semifinalists was selected exclusively by fans via online voting.
The contest today
The Miss Universe Organization, a New York–based partnership between NBC and Donald Trump, has run the contest since June 20, 2002. The current president is Paula Shugart. The Organization sells television rights to the pageant in other countries, and also produces the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contests with the winner of Miss USA representing the USA in Miss Universe.
Each year, Miss Universe organizers receive bids from organizations who wish to select the Miss Universe contestant for a country. This allows competition between different pageants to hold a country's license, as happened for Miss Italy and Miss France for example, when the licenses for their respective traditional organizations were revoked (the usual Miss France competition returned in 2004).
Usually a country's candidate selection involves pageants in major cities, with the winners competing in a national pageant, but this does not always occur. For example, in 2000 Australia's national pageant was abolished as a relic of a bygone era, with Australian delegates instead chosen by a modeling agency. Such "castings" are generally discouraged by the Miss Universe Organization, which prefers national pageants that preserve an aura of respectability and competition. Despite being "cast", Miss Australia, Jennifer Hawkins, was chosen as Miss Universe 2004. Later that year, Australia resumed its national pageant and chose Michelle Guy as Miss Universe Australia 2005.
Some of the most successful national pageants in the last decade have been Venezuela, USA, Puerto Rico, France etc. which command consistently high interest and television ratings in their respective countries. Recent arrivals in the pageant include China (2002), Albania (2002), Vietnam (2004), Georgia (2004), Ethiopia (2004), Latvia (2005), Kazakhstan (2006), Tanzania (2007), Kosovo (2008), Gabon (2012) and Lithuania (2012); there have also been efforts to revive strong national pageants in South Africa, Canada, Spain, Japan; Latin America (especially Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil) among other regions. Prior powerhouses are Finland, Germany and Sweden. England is the most successful non-winning country with nine top-five positions.
The organization makes continual efforts to expand the pageant, but the participation of some countries such as Algeria has proven difficult due to cultural barriers to the swimsuit competition, while others such as Azerbaijan, Mozambique, Armenia and Nepal have balked at sending representatives due to the cost (in fact, of all the major international pageants, the franchise fee for Miss Universe is the most expensive). As of 2010, only four countries have been present at every Miss Universe since its inception in 1952: Canada, France, Germany, and the United States. Many European countries allow 17-year-old contestants to compete in their pageants, while Miss Universe's minimum age is 18, so national titleholders often have to be replaced by their runners-up. Miss Universe also prohibits transsexual applicants and age fabrication, but beginning in 2012, transgendered women will be allowed to compete.
The main Miss Universe Pageant. as of this writing, is held over a two-week period in May and July. In the 1970s through the 1990s, the pageant was a month long. This allowed time for rehearsals, appearances, and the preliminary competition, with the winner being crowned by the previous year's titleholder during the final competition.
According to the organizers, the Miss Universe contest is more than a beauty pageant: women aspiring to become Miss Universe must be intelligent, well-mannered, and cultured. Often a candidate has lost because she did not have a good answer during the question responses rounds; although this section of competition has held less importance during recent pageants than it did in the twentieth century. Delegates also participate in swimsuit and evening gown competitions.
Currently, the final placement of the finalists is determined by a ranked vote, where each judge ranks each of the final three/five candidates, with the contestant posting the lowest cumulative score (thus often, but not necessarily always, the contestant with the most number one votes) becoming the winner. If there is a tie, the higher semifinal scores become decisive.
The winner is assigned a one-year contract with the Miss Universe Organization, going overseas to spread messages about the control of diseases, peace, and public awareness of AIDS. Since Donald Trump took over the pageant, the winner has been given the use of a Trump Tower apartment in New York City for use during her reign. If the winner, for any reason, cannot fulfill her duties as Miss Universe, the 1st runner-up takes over.
Aside from the main winner and her runners-up, special awards are also given to the winners of the best National Costume, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Congeniality. The Miss Congeniality award is chosen by the delegates themselves. In recent years, Miss Photogenic has been chosen by popular internet vote (the winner used to be chosen by media personnel covering the event).
The competition for the Miss Universe title has seen many changes, although there have been several constants throughout its history. All the contestants compete in a preliminary round of judging (nowadays called the "Presentation Show") where the field is narrowed to a select number of semi-finalists. This number has fluctuated over the years. The very first Miss Universe pageant had ten semi-finalists. The next two years, the number of semi-finalists grew to 16. In 1955, the number dropped to a stable 15, which remained through 1970. In 1971, the number was reduced to 12. That number was further reduced to a mere 10 in 1984. This lasted until 2003, when the number of 15 was re-instated. In 2006, there were 20 semi-finalists, the highest number ever. In 2007, the Organization announced the Top 15 system would be back, which was also used in 2008 until 2010. In 2011, the system went through another change. Since then, are 16 semifinalists, 15 chosen by judges and one chosen by most popular by internet votes.
In the early years, the contestants were judged in swimsuit and evening gown only. In later years, the contestants also competed in a preliminary interview round in a one-on-one meeting with each individual judge.
The Miss Universe crown used from 2002–2007 was designed by Mikimoto, the official jewellery sponsor of the Miss Universe Organization, and depicted the phoenix rising, signifying status, power and beauty. The crown has 500 diamonds of almost 30 carats (6.0 g), 120 South Sea and Akoya pearls, ranging in size from 3 to 18 mm diameter and is valued at $250,000. The Crown was designed specifically for the pageant on Mikimoto Pearl Island in Japan with the Mikimoto crown and tiara being first used for Miss Universe 2002.
Since 2009, Diamond Nexus Labs has made the Miss Universe crown. The crown is set with 1,371 gemstones, weighing a total of 416.09 carats (83.22 g). It contains 544.31 grams of 14k and 18k white gold as well as platinum. The crown features synthetic rubies to represent Miss Universe's HIV/AIDS education and awareness platform. Diamond Nexus Labs is the first ever eco-friendly Official Jeweler of Miss Universe and was selected as part of NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" initiative.
2004 marked the first year for the Miss Universe pageant to use the Orenté musical score, the official Miss Universe soundtrack. The Orenté musical score is divided into eight sequences: the Orenté Introduction — the musical score played during the live telecast as the voice over begins the Miss Universe pageant, the Orenté Major — used for the cue after commercial and during the announcement of the newly crowned Miss Universe, the Orenté Elimination — used for the announcement of semi-finalists, the Orenté Fashion Presentation, the Orenté Interlude — used while showing the ten finalists, the Orenté Pregunta Final — used while the final five finalists answer the final question the Orenté Final Look — used for the final look of the five finalists, and the Orenté Announcement — used while announcing the positions of the final five delegates. In 2008, a new Orenté Fashion Presentation was played during the Fadil Berisha swimsuit photoshoot, the 2008 version was now the called the Orenté Curtain Call, which was used as Melanie B and Jerry Springer called out the delegates just before they made the first cut, making the Orenté musical score divided into nine sequences.
|Year||Country/Territory||Miss Universe||National title||Location|
|2012|| USA||Olivia Culpo||Miss USA||Las Vegas, United States|
|2011|| Angola||Leila Lopes||Miss Angola||São Paulo, Brazil|
|2010|| Mexico||Ximena Navarrete||Nuestra Belleza México||Las Vegas, United States|
|2009|| Venezuela||Stefanía Fernández||Miss Venezuela||Nassau, Bahamas|
|2008|| Venezuela||Dayana Mendoza||Miss Venezuela||Nha Trang, Vietnam|
|2007|| Japan||Riyo Mori||Miss Universe Japan||Mexico City, Mexico|
|2006|| Puerto Rico||Zuleyka Rivera||Miss Puerto Rico Universe||Los Angeles, United States|
|2005|| Canada||Natalie Glebova||Miss Universe Canada||Bangkok, Thailand|
|2004|| Australia||Jennifer Hawkins||Miss Universe Australia||Quito, Ecuador|
|2003|| Dominican Republic||Amelia Vega||Miss Dominican Republic||Panama City, Panama|
By number of wins
| USA||8||1954, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1980, 1995, 1997, 2012|
| Venezuela||6||1979, 1981, 1986, 1996, 2008, 2009|
| Puerto Rico||5||1970, 1985, 1993, 2001, 2006|
| Sweden||3||1955, 1966, 1984|
| Mexico||2||1991, 2010|
| Japan||1959, 2007|
| Canada||1982, 2005|
| Australia||1972, 2004|
| India||1994, 2000|
| Trinidad & Tobago||1977, 1998|
| Thailand||1965, 1988|
| Finland||1952, 1975|
| Philippines||1969, 1973|
| Brazil||1963, 1968|
| Dominican Republic||2003|
| Russia||2002 (not official; dethroned)|
| New Zealand||1983|
| South Africa||1978|
Top 15 countries by tally
Trivia and statistics
- Electronic voting was introduced to television viewers in 1978 when the pageant was held in Acapulco, Mexico: for the first time in a televised pageant, the audience got to see how the judges voted. This system was temporarily suspended from 2003 to 2006, where the traditional ballot system was implemented. The pageant reestablished a computer voting system in 2007.
- From 1990 to 2001, the judges' individual scores were visible to the viewing audience, creating three of the four highest scores ever seen on the pageant in each area of competition. The scoring system was similar to the Olympics. As each contestant competed, the judges entered a score ranging from 1.0 to a high of 9.99 into their computer terminals. The judges' names and scores were seen on screen, then the highest and lowest scores were eliminated and the rest were averaged.
- However, in 2002, individual judges' scores were hidden again, as it happened from 1978 to 1989, and only the average score is shown to the viewing audience nowadays. That year, the highest Semifinal Swimsuit score ever recorded was given to Miss Russia, Oxana Fedorova, a score of 9.88.
- There is a team of three people who install, maintain, and operate the voting system. They sit somewhere in the audience area with a view of the stage, usually just in front of the accountants. They are listed in credits as “Computer Score Operators”. The same system is used for Miss Teen USA and Miss USA.
- For the full list of venues, see List of Miss Universe venues.
- 7 winners have been crowned Miss Universe on their home turf:
- 1954: Miriam Stevenson (USA) was crowned in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1956: Carol Morris (USA) was crowned in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1960: Linda Bement (USA) was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 1967: Sylvia Hitchcock (USA) was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 1997: Brook Mahealani Lee (USA) was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 2001: Denise Quiñones (Puerto Rico) was crowned in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
- 2012: Olivia Culpo (USA) was crowned in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
- 11 winners have crowned their successors on their home turf:
- 1954: Miriam Stevenson (USA) crowned 1955: Hillevi Rombin (Sweden) in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1956: Carol Morris (USA) crowned 1957: Gladys Zender (Peru) in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1960: Linda Bement (USA) crowned 1961: Marlene Schmidt (Germany) in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1967: Sylvia Hitchcock (USA) crowned 1968: Martha Vasconcellos (Brazil) in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1973: Maria Margarita Moran (Philippines) crowned 1974: Amparo Muñoz (Spain) in Manila, Philippines.
- 1980: Shawn Weatherly (USA) crowned 1981: Irene Sáez (Venezuela) in New York City, New York, USA.
- 1995: Chelsi Smith (USA) crowned 1996: Alicia Machado (Venezuela) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
- 1997: Brook Mahealani Lee (USA) crowned 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad and Tobago) in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
- 1998: Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad and Tobago) crowned 1999: Mpule Kwelagobe (Botswana) in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago.
- 2001: Denise Quiñones (Puerto Rico) crowned 2002: Oxana Fedorova (Russia) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- 2002: Justine Pasek (Panama) crowned 2003: Amelia Vega (Dominican Republic) in Panama City, Panama
- In 1972, the Miss Universe Pageant was held outside the continental US for the first time, taking place in Dorado, Puerto Rico.
- Miss Universe was first held outside of U.S. territory when it held the pageant in Athens, Greece, for the Miss Universe 1973 pageant. It is also the only pageant wherein contestants were not allowed to wear the traditional swimsuit because it was held in Odeon of Herodes Atticus, where religious rites were performed in the ancient times. It was also held took place in Europe.
- In 1974, the first Asian country to host Miss Universe is the Philippines.
- In 1979, Australia was the first Miss Universe country to be held in the Southern Hemisphere and Oceania.
- In 1982, Peru became the host country to be held in South America.
- In 1995, the first African country to host Miss Universe is Namibia, all six inhabited continents hosted the pageant.
- In 2008, the Miss Universe Pageant was held in a contemporary communist state for the first time, taking place in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam.
- Outside the continental US, Mexico has hosted the most Miss Universe pageants, with four. The various locations were:
- Apart from the United States and Mexico, the other territory/states to host the pageant more than once were:
Winners of Miss Universe by country
- The United States has performed the best throughout the pageant's entire history, with eight winners, eight first runners-up, six second runners-up, one third runner-up, five fourth runners-up, six finalists, and eighteen semi-finalists. Miss USA has missed the semi-finals only four times: 1976 (Barbara Peterson, from Minnesota), 1999 (Kimberly Pressler, from New York), 2002 (Shauntay Hinton, from the District of Columbia), and 2010 (Rima Fakih, from Michigan). In 1957, Leona Gage, from Maryland, was disqualified from the semi-finals after it was revealed that she was married and a mother.
- After the USA, Venezuela is the next most successful nation in terms of overall placements in the semi-finals (38); it is followed in turn by Brazil (31), Colombia (30), Sweden (29), Germany (21), Israel, India & South Africa (20), England & Puerto Rico (19 each), Finland, Greece & Japan (18 each) Mexico, Norway, Philippines & Peru (17 each), Canada, France & Australia (16 each). Of these countries, only England has yet to win the contest (though now competes as part of Great Britain or United Kingdom)
- The United States has been the most successful nation to compete in Miss Universe in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Venezuela won two crowns in the 1980s becoming the most successful country that decade. Puerto Rico and Venezuela have been most successful in the 1990s and 2000s with three crowns each.
- Sweden has competed every single year of competition, except in 2005, 2007-2008.
- Brazil has participated since 1954 and was only absent in 1990 (Miss Brasil pageant was not contested by changing owner).
- Before becoming states in 1959, Alaska and Hawaii both sent delegates to the pageant during the 1950s. In fact, Miss Hawaii was 1st runner-up in 1952 and 2nd runner-up in 1958 (before winning Miss Universe as Miss USA in 1997), while Miss Alaska reached the semi-finals in 1957.
- After the USA, Venezuela ranked second in terms of consecutive placements in the semi-finals: 21 years, from 1983 to 2003, nearly beating the United States' 22-year streak between 1977–1998. Of those 21 years, 13 times in a row Venezuela made the top 6 or higher (1991–2003).
- Other than the USA and Venezuela, the countries that have made the semi-finals the most in a row are India (who in recent years has emerged as a pageant powerhouse) with 11 (1992–2002) consecutive placements; Germany with ten (1952 to 1961); and Finland with eight (1962–1969).
- Colombia had three first runner-up placements in a row (1992–1994). Also, between 1996 and 1998, Venezuela had three consecutive placements in the top two with Alicia Machado winning the crown in 1996 and the first runner-up the next two years being Venezuelan. Both streaks have been unparalleled in competition history.
- Finland has had the most consecutive runners-up. For five years, from 1965 to 1969, its delegates placed among the five finalists without interruption (1965: Virpi Miettinen, first runner-up, 1966: Satu Östring, first runner-up, 1967: Ritva Lehto, third runner-up, 1968: Leena Brusiin, second runner-up, and 1969: Harriet Eriksson, first runner-up).
- Both Puerto Rico and Venezuela have had at least one winner in each of the last four decades, the only two nations/territories to accomplish this feat.
- Recent emerging powerhouses in the pageant are Australia, Ukraine and Kosovo.
- In 2002, 2003 and 2011 four continents (the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa), all except Oceania and Antarctica, were represented in the five finalists:
- 2002: Russia (Europe), China (Asia), South Africa (Africa), Panama and Venezuela (the Americas).
- 2003: South Africa (Africa), Serbia and Montenegro (Europe), Japan (Asia), Dominican Republic and Venezuela (the Americas).
- 2011: Angola (Africa), Ukraine (Europe), Brasil (the Americas), Philippines and China (Asia).
- Only eight times have more than one Asian delegate reached the top 5 together (Becomes 6 times only If Israel is not counted as part of Asia).
- 1963: Philippines (3rd Runner Up), Korea (4th Runner Up)
- 1964: Israel (2nd Runner Up), Taiwan (4th runner Up)
- 1966: Thailand (2nd Runner Up), India (3rd Runner Up), Israel (4th Runner Up)
- 1969: Philippines (Winner), Israel (3rd Runner Up), Japan (4th Runner Up)
- 1973: Philippines (Winner), Israel (4th Runner Up)
- 1988: Thailand (Winner), Korea (1st Runner Up), Japan (3rd Runner Up), Hong Kong (4th Runner Up)
- 2007: Japan (Winner), Korea (3rd Runner Up)
- 2011: Philippines (3rd Runner Up), China (4th Runner Up)
- Only in 1999 have more than one African delegate penetrate the top 5, with Botswana's Mpule Kwelagobe and South Africa's Sonia Raciti placing.
- Miss Universe 1955, Hillevi Rombin of Sweden is the first winner to witness her victory being aired on television.
- Miss Universe 1957, Gladys Zender from Peru was the youngest Miss Universe in history. She was 17 when she won the title.
- Miss Universe 1997, Brook Lee from United States was the oldest Miss Universe in history. She was crowned at the age of 26.
- On three occasions, contestants that did not place in Miss World: Georgina Rizk, Angela Visser, and Mpule Kwelagobe, won Miss Universe.
- Eight Miss Universe delegates placed as runners-up or semi-finalists in that pageant and later won the Miss World title. They were: Susana Duijm—semi-finalist, Venezuela 1955; Corine Rottschäfer—semi-finalist, Holland 1958; Rosemarie Frankland—first runner-up, Wales 1961; Madeleine Hartog Bell—semi-finalist, Peru 1966; Eva Rueber-Staier—semi-finalist, Austria 1969; Helen Morgan—first runner-up, Wales 1974 (dethroned); Gina Swainson—first runner-up, Bermuda 1979 and Agbani Darego—semi-finalist, Nigeria 2001.
- At 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m), Miss Thailand 1965, Apasra Hongsakula was the shortest Miss Universe ever crowned.
- At 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m), Miss Dominican Republic 2003, Amelia Vega is the tallest Miss Universe ever crowned.
- In 1957, Miss USA Mary Leona Gage was disqualified for being married and a mother, though she had qualified for the semi-finals. She was replaced by Miss Argentina, Mónica Lamas.
- Irene Sáez, Miss Universe 1981, ran for President of Venezuela in 1998, after having been elected mayor of Chacao in 1992 and governor of Nueva Esparta in 1999.
- Miss Haiti, Evelyn Miot, became the first black woman to make it to the semi-finals in 1962.
- Miss Curaçao, Anne Marie Braafheid, became the first black woman to become first runner up in 1968.
- Trinidad & Tobago's Janelle Commissiong became the first woman of African descent to be crowned Miss Universe, in 1977 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The first black African to win Miss Universe was Mpule Kwelagobe, of Botswana, crowned in 1999 at Chaguaramas, Trinidad & Tobago.
- Only once have black women won Miss Universe in succession. Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad & Tobago won the title in 1998, followed by Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana in 1999.
- Andrea Stelzer was Miss South Africa in 1985, but pulled out of Miss Universe because of anti-apartheid demonstrations. She competed in 1989 as Miss Germany, and was a top 10 semi-finalist.0
- 1998Dania Prince unplaced in miss universe (Honduras) would later go on to win the Miss Earth 2003 title.
- Miss Lebanon 2001, Christina Sawaya, pulled out of the 2002 Miss Universe competition because of the participation of Miss Israel. She went on to win the rival Miss International competition in the same year.
- 2002's winner, Oxana Fedorova of Russia, became the first Miss Universe who officially did not finish her reign, making first runner-up Justine Pasek the first Panamanian to hold the title. Fedorova was crowned in Puerto Rico in mid-May, and was replaced by Pasek in late September. It is unclear whether Fedorova was fired for failure to perform her duties (the official version), or chose to resign because she had not expected the heavy workload.
- The strong rivalry between Puerto Rico and Venezuela is so well known in Latin American popular culture, that their struggle has been immortalized in several Spanish-language television commercials in the United States for such companies as MasterCard and Budweiser. In the latter, former Miss Universe winners Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico and Alicia Machado of Venezuela caused mayhem in a sports bar as they competed to win the admiration of the men present.
- A new trend of delegates representing countries in which they were not born has developed. Miss Universe 2002 Justine Pasek was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where her Panamanian mother was completing her University studies. Miss Israel 2005, Elena Ralph was also born in Ukraine and moved to Israel when she was 18 years old. The most famous country-swapper was probably Natascha Börger. After placing 12th in the 2000 Venezuelan pageant she moved to Germany where she easily won the crown of Miss Deutschland 2002. Other notable contestants who represented countries other than their birthplace include the Miss Universe Canada and Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova who is Russian by birth, Miss Universe Canada 2006 Alice Panikian who is Bulgarian by birth, Miss Germany Universe 2006 Natalie Ackermann who is Colombian by birth, and Venezuelan born Francys Sudnicka representing Poland. Such is also reflected in the growing number of delegates from different parts of the world being sent to a third country (almost always Latin American) for further training before going on to the host country and compete in the pageant proper.
- In 1999, Botswana sent Mpule Kwelagobe as its first ever delegate to the pageant and she won.
- Linda Clerk (1995) and Daniela Clerk (2005) have been the first delegates to ever compete in Miss Universe that happen to be sisters in the history of the pageant; both were Miss Nicaragua. This feat was followed by Viola Jeffery (1999) and Maria Jeffery (2007); both represented Belize.
- Flaviana Matata from Tanzania was the first Miss Universe delegate to participate with a shaved head in 2007. It was also the first time Tanzania was represented and placed.
- During Miss Universe 2012, there were a lot of very accomplished contestants. Most notable are Miss Venezuela, Irene Esser, who was among the executives of her family business (a chocolate factory), Miss Turkey, Cagil Ozge Ozkul, who graduated at the top of her class with a degree in economics, Miss India, Shilpa Singh, who is a noted software engineer, Miss Singapore, Lynn Tann, who is an executive for mergers & acquisitions at a large firm in Singapore.
- In an interesting and quite original break from tradition, Miss Universe 1998, Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad and Tobago, did her final walk in 1999 to her very own recording, a cover of Sade's Kiss of Life, something that wasn't allowed by the organization in the beginning.
- Leila Lopes of Angola, Miss Universe 2011 reigned the longest as Miss Universe, a period of 1 year and 99 days (more than 3 months) from the time she was crowned on September 12, 2011. Similarly, Natalie Glebova of Canada, Miss Universe 2005 reigned for one year and 53 days (almost two months) from the time she was crowned on May 31, 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand. Riyo Mori of Japan, Miss Universe 2007 reigned for almost the same length: one year and 45 days from the time she was crowned on May 28, 2007 in Mexico City, Mexico.
- In April 2006, a reunion of former titleholders took place in New York City to celebrate the launch of the book "Universal Beauty" by Cara Birnbaum. The reunion included Sylvia Hitchcock (1967, USA); Margaret Gardiner (1978, South Africa); Yvonne Ryding (1984, Sweden); Deborah Carthy Deu (1985, Puerto Rico); Bárbara Palacios (1986, Venezuela); Porntip Nakhirunkanok (1988, Thailand); Mona Grudt (1990, Norway); Lupita Jones (1991, Mexico); Michelle McLean (1992, Namibia); Brook Mahealani Lee (1997, USA); Wendy Fitzwilliam (1998, Trinidad & Tobago); Denise Quiñones (2001, Puerto Rico); Justine Pasek (2002, Panama); Amelia Vega (2003, Dominican Republic) and Natalie Glebova (2005, Canada).
- The largest interval between a nation winning Miss Universe is Japan; Akiko Kojima won the title in 1959 and, 48 years later, Riyo Mori became the second recipient from Japan.
- In 2009, Venezuela became the first country ever to win consecutive titles, when Dayana Mendoza, Miss Venezuela and Miss Universe 2008 crowned her compatriot, Stefanía Fernández as Miss Universe 2009.
- USA won in 1954 and 1956, then in 1995 and 1997; Venezuela won in 1979 and 1981. Curiously, between the Venezuelan triumphs of 1979 and 1981, the winner was from the USA, and between the two USA wins in 1995 and 1997, the winner was from Venezuela.
- The very first Miss Universe Armi Kuusela from Finland lives again in California, San Diego, with her ambassador husband, Albert Williams, after living around the world which all started in Miss Universe competition in California in 1952.
- Both times that Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago gives the crown to the successor, the winner has been an African woman: Michelle McLean from Namibia in 1992 and Leila Lopes from Angola in 2011 (México), South Africa in 1978, and Botswana in 1999 (Trinidad & Tobago).
- The Philippines has won the Miss Photogenic award seven times (five of them via internet voting, including a back-to-back and a three-peat), followed by the England with five and Puerto Rico, with five, four of them via internet voting during a six-year period, from 1999 to 2004 (did not win in 2000).
- Colombia has won the Best National Costume Award six times.
- Guam has won the Miss Congeniality award four times.
- The only Miss Universe to win three awards on pageant night was Denise Quiñones (Puerto Rico), who in 2001 also won Miss Photogenic via internet voting, Bluepoint Swimsuit Award, and Clairol Best Style Award. Alicia Machado (Venezuela) almost accomplished this feat when she got the Jantzen Best in Swimsuit Award and That Takes Finesse Award in 1996.
- Four Miss Universe winners were awarded Miss Photogenic: Margareta Arvidsson (Sweden, 1966), Margarita Moran (Philippines, 1973), Janelle Commissiong (Trinidad and Tobago, 1977) and Denise Quiñones (Puerto Rico, 2001).
- Three titleholders have also won Best National Costume: Porntip Nakhirunkanok (Thailand, 1988), Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad and Tobago, 1998) and, Amelia Vega (Dominican Republic, 2003).
- In 1962, Kim Carlton of England won both the Miss Photogenic and Best National Costume awards. This is the first time in Miss Universe history that a country accomplished this feat. Forty-eight years later, Fonthip Watcharatrakul of Thailand would win the same awards via internet voting.
- From 2004-2005 and 2008-2011, the winner of the Best National Costume alternated between Thailand and Panama. (2004, Jessica Rodriguez of Panama; 2005, Chananporn Rosjan of Thailand) (2008, Gavintra Photijak of Thailand; 2009, Diana Broce of Panama; 2010, Fonthip Watcharatrakul of Thailand; and 2011, Sheldry Saez of Panama).
- No Miss Universe winner was also voted as Miss Congeniality, but there was one instance that the Miss Congeniality winner came close to winning the title: 1955's Maribel Arrieta of El Salvador.
The Miss Universe Creed
From 1960 to 1990, the Miss Universe Creed was read at each pageant: "We, the young women of the universe, believe people everywhere are seeking peace, tolerance and mutual understanding. We pledge to spread this message in every way we can, wherever we go."
- ^ Washington Post: Trump and Rosie Argue Over Miss USA
- ^ Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez is Miss Universe 2009
- ^ Miss Universe crown eludes Africa 55 times
- ^ Miss Universe Pageant Defends Credibility Amid Criticism Show is Degrading, Unprofessional
- ^ Channel-i to telecast Miss Universe 2004 live!
- ^ Foreman, Jonathan (January 18, 1999). "Mistress of the Universe". New York Post. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/nypost/access/68469692.html?dids=68469692:68469692&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jan+18,+1999&author=Jonathan+Foreman&pub=New+York+Post&desc=MISTRESS+OF+THE+UNIVERSE+-+MAUREEN+REIDY,+ONCE+DONALD+TRUMP'S+ACCOUNTANT,+HAS+TRANSFORMED+THREE+KEY+BEAUTY+PAGEANTS+FROM+TACKY+CHEESE+INTO+SLICK,+CHIC+AFFAIRS&pqatl=google. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- ^ Suter, Bob (May 17, 2000). "Week on the web". Newsday. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/newsday/access/53847382.html?dids=53847382:53847382&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=May+17,+2000&author=Bob+Suter&pub=Newsday+(Combined+editions)&desc=WEEK+ON+THE+WEB&pqatl=google. Retrieved 24 February 2011. ""The official pageant site Miss Universe Redefined for Today.""
- ^ "Miss Venezuela Parades Online". PR Newswire. September 18, 2002. http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-2040071/Miss-Venezuela-Parades-Online-InSpace.html. Retrieved 23 October 2010. "The Miss Venezuela broadcast, which on average captures a whopping 74% of the Venezuelan television market share for Venevision, will also be available to users on demand."
- ^ Dillon, Nancy (10 April 2012). "Transgender contestants can compete in Miss Universe". Daily News (New York). http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-04-10/news/31320540_1_transgender-women-glaad-policy-change.
- ^ The Miss Universe Mikimoto Crown
- ^ Pageantopolis - Miss Universe
- ^ Miss Universe - Past Titleholders
- ^ a b "Unkissed Colombia girl is new Miss Universe". The Miami News. Associated Press. July 25, 1958. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=lKEyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=pOoFAAAAIBAJ&dq=miss-universe&pg=4392%2C3547667. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- ^ a b "Puerto Rico wins, faints". The Age (Melbourne). July 24, 2006. http://www.theage.com.au/news/people/crowning-leads-to-collapse/2006/07/24/1153593239796.html. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- ^ a b "Canada won the crown". El Universal. May 31, 2005. http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=es&tl=en&u=http://tiempolibre.eluniversal.com/2005/05/31/til_art_31370F.shtml. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- ^ "Miss Venezuela, Stefania Fernandez, Crowned Miss Universe". redorbit.com. PR Newswire. August 23, 2009. http://www.redorbit.com/news/entertainment/1741497/miss_venezuela_stefania_fernandez_crowned_miss_universer_2009_during_live/. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- ^ "RP bet fails to advance to Top 15 in Miss Universe 2007". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 29, 2007. http://services.inquirer.net/print/print.php?article_id=20070529-68455. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- ^ "Puerto Rican beauty wins Miss Universe crown". Associated Press. May 12, 2001. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=NewsLibrary&p_multi=APAB&d_place=APAB&p_theme=newslibrary2&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F8922090FCC9796&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 10 November 2010. "In second place was Miss Greece, 22-year-old Evelina Papantoniou and in third place was Miss USA, 24-year-old Kandace Krueger. Miss Venezuela, 18-year-old Eva Ekvall was third runner-up and Miss India, 22-year-old Celina Jaitley was named fourth runner-up. The five semifinalists who were earlier eliminated in the pageant were Miss Spain, Eva Siso Casals; Miss Nigeria, Agbani Darego..."
- ^ Pageant Almanac - Miss Universe - Ranking
- ^ "Sweden without Miss Universe contestant for the first time ever". prweb.com. April 14, 2005. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/4/prweb228632.htm. Retrieved 24 February 2011. "Miss Universe pageant helps put spotlight on Vietnam". Brisbane Times. July 14, 2008. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/articles/2008/07/14/1215887488293.html. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- ^ "Miss Brasil Oficial". missbrasiloficial.uol.com.br. http://missbrasiloficial.uol.com.br/?secao=institucional&id=historia. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- ^ "The quest for beauty booty ; Tears, jeers and catfights lurk behind the ultimate beauty pageant's pretty perfection". Toronto Star. May 30, 1999. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/access/427554101.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=May+30,+1999&author=&pub=Toronto+Star&desc=The+quest+for+beauty+booty+;+Tears,+jeers+and+catfights+lurk+behind+the+ultimate+beauty+pageant's+pretty+perfection&pqatl=google. Retrieved 24 February 2011.