Logo of the Miss Universe pageant
|Headquarters||New York City, United States|
|Key people||Donald Trump|
Miss Universe is an annual international beauty contest that is run by the Miss Universe Organization. Along with the Miss Earth and Miss World contests, Miss Universe is one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals. The contest was founded in 1952 by the 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 in the United States on NBC-TV, simulcast in Spanish on Telemundo, and webcast on Xbox Live. In 1998, Miss Universe changed its name from Miss Universe, Inc., to the 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Recent titleholders
- 3 Records and Achievements
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
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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.
Today's Miss Universe pageant was founded after Yolande Betbeze, the winner of the 1951 Miss America pageant, refused to pose in a swimsuit from its major sponsor, Catalina Swimwear. 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 completed. Until 1958, the Miss Universe title, like that of Miss America, was dated by the year following the contest, so at the time Ms. Kuusela's title was Miss Universe 1953.
The pageant was first televised in 1955. CBS-TV began broadcasting the combined Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants in 1960, and as separate contests in 1965. In 2003, NBC-TV outbid the other networks for the TV rights.
During the early years of the pageant, the delegates who made the first cut were announced after the preliminary competition. From 1965 to the present day, the semifinalists were not announced until the night of the main event. The semifinalists once again competed in evening gown and swimsuit and five finalists were announced. An interview portion was introduced in 1960 to decide the runners-up and the 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 semifinalists.
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 changes in the competition itself. Instead of five finalists, the field was reduced from ten semifinalists 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 until 2001, when the final five format was reinstated.
In the year 2000, the interview portion of the semifinal was dropped, and the contestants competed only in swimsuits and evening gowns, as in the early years of the pageant.
In 2003, the number of semifinalists was increased to fifteen, with cuts made to ten, and then to five contestants. The final question varied, each coming from the final delegates themselves and the current Miss Universe.
In 2006, twenty semifinalists were selected for the swimsuit competition, ten of whom went on to the evening gown competition. The five who passed that stage competed in an interview round, after which the runners-up and winner were announced. The 2007 contest followed a similar format, with fifteen contestants competing in the swimsuit stage.
In 2011, for the first time, one of the sixteen semifinalists was selected exclusively by TV viewers via online voting.
In 2012, for the first time, Miss Universe allow their fans to post question for Top 5 finalists through microblogging site, Twitter by using hashtag #askmissuniverse.
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.
Local organizations that wish to select the Miss Universe contestant for their countries must submit bids to the Miss Universe Organization for that right. Occasionally, the traditional license holder for a particular country may lose its bid, as has happened in Italy and France.
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), Lithuania (2012) and Azerbaijan (2013); there have also been efforts to revive strong national pageants in South Africa, Canada, Spain, Philippines, 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 nonwinning 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 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)[quantify]. 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[need quotation to verify]. 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 semifinalists. This number has fluctuated over the years. The very first Miss Universe pageant had ten semifinalists. For the next two years, the number of semifinalists 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 just 10 in 1984. This lasted until 2003, when the number of 15 was reinstated. In 2006, there were 20 semifinalists, 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 (83.218 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. 
The musical scored has varied immensely throughout the years, lots of times depending on host country traditions, or the producing company. The 70's and early 80's were marked by the use of orchestra background music; while from the late 80's to the early 90's the pageant used a mix of current hits, as well as producing their own music for swimsuit shows and creating its own anthem for evening gown: "You are my Star", which was used until 1995.
The following years the music was incredibly varied, but most of it custom-made alternating with current hits. When NBC and Phil Gurin took over the production in 2003, they used music from British band Bond as background for their first competition; from 2004 to 2010, the production company created a musical score that would stay with the competition until 2011, when organizers switched to Dick Clark Productions.
By number of wins
|USA||8||1954, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1980, 1995, 1997, 2012|
|Venezuela||7||1979, 1981, 1986, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2013|
|Puerto Rico||5||1970, 1985, 1993, 2001, 2006|
|Sweden||3||1955, 1966, 1984|
|Trinidad & Tobago||1977, 1998|
Top 15 countries by tally
|Rank||Country||Miss Universe||1st Runner-up||2nd Runner-up||3rd Runner-up||4th Runner-up||Semifinalists||Total|
|13||Trinidad & Tobago||2||0||1||0||1||4||8|
Records and Achievements
The Miss Universe pageant continually celebrate diverse winners from different countries. From race to ethnicity, from height to age, or from religion to the number of languages spoken, all the winners generally reflect the global perspective of a beautiful woman of substance.
Wins on Home Turf
7 winners have been crowned Miss Universe on their home turf. In particular, 6 of the 8 American winners won the title in the US (where the contest was founded):
- 1954: Miriam Stevenson was crowned in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1956: Carol Morris was crowned in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1960: Linda Bement was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 1967: Sylvia Hitchcock was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 1997: Brook Lee was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 2001: Denise Quiñones was crowned in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
- 2012: Olivia Culpo was crowned in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Venezuela has the most winners (7) who won their titles outside their own country, followed by Puerto Rico (4) and Sweden (3).
- 1979: Maritza Sayalero was crowned in Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
- 1981: Irene Sáez was crowned in New York City, New York, USA.
- 1986: Bárbara Palacios was crowned in Panama City, Panama.
- 1996: Alicia Machado was crowned in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
- 2008: Dayana Mendoza was crowned in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
- 2009: Stefania Fernandez was crowned in Nassau, Bahamas.
- 2013: Gabriela Isler was crowned in Moscow, Russia.
- 1970: Marisol Malaret was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 1985: Deborah Carthy-Deu was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 1993: Dayanara Torres was crowned in Mexico City, Mexico.
- 2006: Zuleyka Rivera was crowned in Los Angeles, California, USA.
- 1955: Hillevi Rombin was crowned in Long Beach, California, USA.
- 1966: Margareta Arvidsson was crowned in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
- 1984: Yvonne Ryding was crowned in Miami, Florida, USA.
Public Fan Vote Records
In 2011, the public fan vote was introduced. Compared to previous years where the Miss Universe Organization and a set of preliminary judges were the only ones able to choose delegates, the public fan vote allowed the general public to vote for their favorite candidates. The candidate with the most number of votes joins the fifteen semifinalists vying for the title on the finals night.
- 2011: Laura Gonçalves was the first-ever fan vote winner and eventually finished in the Top 10.
- 2013: Ariella Arida was the fan vote winner in 2013 and eventually placed third runner-up.
- Brook Lee ( USA) became the oldest winner at the age of 26 years, 128 days when she was crowned on May 16, 1997.
- Armi Kuusela ( Finland) became the first and the youngest winner at the age of 17 years, 303 days when she was crowned on June 28, 1952.
- Tallest Miss Universe Titlist:
- Amelia Vega at 6'1" when she was crowned on June 3, 2003.
- Shortest Miss Universe Titlist:
- Longest Gap:
- Shortest Gap:
- Venezuela holds the shortest gap between wins at one year (or Stefanía Fernández ( Venezuela) was crowned on August 23, 2009.
The last time Venezuela won was when Dayana Mendoza ( Venezuela) was crowned a year prior on July 14, 2008. This made Venezuela the first country to win the Miss Universe title back to back. This crowning moment made the Guinness World Record in Miss Universe pageant's history. 
1 year, 40 days) when
- Venezuela holds the shortest gap between wins at one year (or Stefanía Fernández ( Venezuela) was crowned on August 23, 2009.
- Longest Completed Reign:
- Leila Lopes reigned for 1 year, 3 months, 7 days (or 1 year, 98 days). She was crowned on September 12, 2011 and crowned her successor on December 19, 2012.
- Shortest Completed Reign:
- Zuleyka Rivera reigned for 10 months, 5 days (or 309 days). She was crowned on July 23, 2006 and crowned her successor on May 28, 2007.
- Shortest Reign due to Dethronement:
- Oxana Fedorova reigned for 3 months, 26 days (or 119 days). She was crowned on May 28, 2002 and was dethroned on September 24, 2002.
- Shortest Reign of a Runner-Up:
- Justine Pasek reigned for 8 months, 10 days (or 252 days). She assumed the title on September 24, 2002 and she crowned her successor on June 3, 2003.
- Shortest Reign due to Resignation:
- Amparo Muñoz reigned for 6 months. She was crowned on July 21, 1974 but resigned after six months due to irreconcilable differences with the pageant. Muñoz was never replaced due to her 1st Runner-Up, Helen Morgan of Wales, winning Miss World 1974 (only to be dethroned four days later). As a result Miss Universe 1975, Anne Marie Pohtamo of Finland, was crowned by Miss Universe 1972, Kerry Anne Wells of Australia.
- International Pageant of Pulchritude
- Miss Tourism International
- Miss USA
- Miss World
- Miss International
- Miss Earth
- Miss International Queen
- Miss Grand International
- 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. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- Suter, Bob (May 17, 2000). "Week on the web". Newsday. Retrieved 24 February 2011. "The official pageant site Miss Universe Redefined for Today."
- Riza Ornos (September 30, 2013). "Philippines, Brazil And Venezuela: Three Countries To Win The Big Four International Beauty Pageants". au.ibtimes.com. International Business Times. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
- FUNFARE by Ricky Lo (June 28, 2006). "A misty-eyed look at Armi Kuusela, the 1st Miss Universe". philstar.com. The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
- Jim Rutenberg (June 22, 2002). "Three Beauty Pageants Leaving CBS for NBC". nytimes.com (The New York Times). Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- "Miss Venezuela Parades Online". PR Newswire. September 18, 2002. 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).
- Felicia R. Lee (October 10, 2007). "Three Crowns Sharing One Apartment". nytimes.com (The New York Times). Retrieved October 9, 2013.
- "Mikimoto History Timeline". mikimotoamerica.com.
- "Connection to MISS UNIVERSE®". diamondnexus.com.
- "Diamond Nexus Labs Announced as The Official Jewelry of The Miss Universe Organization". redorbit.com (redOrbit). February 3, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- Pageantopolis - Miss Universe
- Miss Universe - Past Titleholders
- "Miss USA crowned Miss Universe in 8th American win". reuters.com. REUTERS. December 19, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
- "Unkissed Colombia girl is new Miss Universe". The Miami News. Associated Press. July 25, 1958. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "Puerto Rico wins, faints". The Age (Melbourne). July 24, 2006. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Canada won the crown". El Universal. May 31, 2005. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Miss Venezuela, Stefania Fernandez, Crowned Miss Universe". redorbit.com. PR Newswire. August 23, 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "RP bet fails to advance to Top 15 in Miss Universe 2007". business.inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 29, 2007. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
- "Puerto Rican beauty wins Miss Universe crown". Associated Press. May 12, 2001. 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..."
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