Last night in Las Vegas, Jimena Navarrete, a 22-year-old brunette from Mexico, was named Miss Universe frrom a field of 83, extending Latin America’s domination of the pageant to three consecutive years. (The previous two years were won by Miss Venezuela). She becomes the second Mexican to take the crown, following Lupita Jones in 1991.
From the start, the pageant was a close race among Mexico, Jamaica and the Philippines, whose contestants all rated strongly in the swimwear and evening wear sections. But Miss Philippines bombed during the question section, failing to detail her biggest mistake and what she did to fix it. She appeared to be very nervous, stumbling over her words and thoughts. All five of the Top 5 on-stage questions were difficult, yet the other four finalists answered their questions eloquently and calmly.
The pageant, in its 59th year, was hosted by rock musician Bret Michaels and TV news personality Natalie Morales at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Bret Michaels was a surprising choice to host the Miss Universe pageant, and was constantly nudged and prompted to speak by co-host Natalie Morales throughout the live event. Miss Universe is the biggest beauty pageant across the world which is seen by nearly 190 countries and territories.
Miss Navarrete won prizes which include an undisclosed salary, a luxury New York apartment with living expenses, a one-year scholarship to the New York Film Academy with housing after her reign, as well as jewelry, clothes and shoes.
Winner: Miss Mexico, Jimena Navarrete
1st Runner Up: Miss Jamaica, Yendi Phillipps
2nd Runner Up: Miss Australia, Jesinta Campbell
3rd Runner Up: Miss Ukraine, Anna Poslavska
4th Runner Up: Miss Philippines, Venus Raj
Miss Congeniality: Australia – Jesinta Campbell
Miss Photogenic & Favorite National Costume – Thailand – Fonthip Watcharatrakul (both awards chosen by online voting)