Miss Universe 1994

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Miss Universe 1994
Date May 20, 1994
Presenters Bob Goen, Arthel Neville and Angela Visser
Entertainment Peabo Bryson, Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company
Venue Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, Philippines
Broadcaster CBS
Entrants 77
Placements 10
Debuts Russia, Slovak Republic, Zimbabwe
Withdraws Austria, Belize, Czech Republic, Ghana, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands,
Returns Cook Islands, Egypt, Taiwan
Winner Sushmita Sen
Congeniality Barbara Kahatjipara
Best National Costume Charlene Gonzales
Photogenic Minorka Mercado

Miss Universe 1994, the 43rd Miss Universe pageant, was held at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on May 20, 1994. It was Manila's second time to host the pageant, having hosted Miss Universe 1974 twenty years earlier.

Sushmita Sen from India was crowned by outgoing titleholder Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico, besting early favorites Carolina Gómez of Colombia and Minorka Mercado of Venezuela. Sen is the first Indian to be Miss Universe.[1]

The pageant was hosted by Bob Goen of Entertainment Tonight (Replacing Dick Clark who hosted it from 1990 to 1993) and co-hosted by Arthel Neville of E!: Entertainment Television. Miss Universe 1989, Angela Visser was in her fourth and final year as special commentator. Entertainment was provided by Peabo Bryson and the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company.

Host country[edit]

Manila was announced as host city for the pageant in October 1993.[2] It was the second time the pageant was held in the Philippines, after it was staged in Manila in 1974.[2] It was staged at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, at approximately 8:00 in the morning (Philippine local time), to allow CBS in the United States to televise the pageant live in prime time.


Countries and territories which sent delegates and results
PICC in Manila


Final Results Contestant
Miss Universe 1994
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
Top 6
Top 10

Semifinal scores[edit]

(*) highest evening gown score in Miss Universe history


Award Contestant
Best National Costume
Miss Congeniality
Miss Photogenic
Jantzen Best In Swimsuit
Minolta Photo Contest winner
Philippine Airlines Ambassador winner
Most Beautiful Hair
Miss Kodak Smile

Order of announcements[edit]


  • Carlos Arturo Zapata – Fashion designer
  • Florence LaRue – Actress and Grammy award-winning singer
  • Richard Dalton – Celebrity hairstylist
  • Beulah Quo - Emmy award-winning actress
  • Dr. Emilio T. Yap – Chinese-Filipino business magnate
  • Stephanie Beacham - English television, radio, film and theatre actress
  • Jonas McCord – American writer and director
  • Mona GrudtMiss Universe 1990 from Norway

The pageant[edit]

Areas of competition[edit]

The delegates arrived in the Philippines in mid-May and were involved in nearly four weeks of events and competitions. They also visited different locations and attractions throughout the Philippines.

Prior to the final telecast, all contestants competed in swimsuit and evening gown during the preliminary competition. They also participated in interviews with the judges.

During the final competition, the top 10 contestants (based on their preliminary scores) competed in the swimsuit, evening gown and interview. The top six contestants participated in a final round of on-stage interviews, and cut to the final top three before the runners-up were announced and the new Miss Universe named.

Opening number[edit]

Two former Miss Universe titleholders from the Philippines introduced the live international telecast, Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz and Miss Universe 1973 Margarita Moran. A musical number Mabuhay!, Welcome! was performed by all 77 delegates competing for the title along with the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company.

Parade of Nations[edit]

The traditional parade of nations with their national costumes, consisted of 6 groups:

  • The Islands
  • North and Central America
  • Europe and the British Isles
  • Mediterranean, The Middle East and Africa
  • South America
  • Asia and the Lands Down Under

On screen, the contestants were accompanied by their preliminary scores in swimsuit, evening gown and interview competitions.


When Charlene Gonzales (Philippines) won the Best National Costume award, the judges were criticized for favouring the host nation's delegate. Delia Jon Baptiste, who represented the British Virgin Islands, publicly declared that Gonzales won the award because of favouritism and that the other delegates disagreed with the choice.[4]

The country expected to make 10 million pesos ($357,000) profit out of the pageant, as well as the accompanying media exposure.[5] The 150 million pesos ($5.3 million) spent on hosting the pageant was funded from the private sectors, with sponsors such as Nestlé, Kodak and Hertz.[5] Some of the expected sponsorship money did not eventuate, leading the shortfall to be covered by the government.[6]

By mid May, when the contestants were already in the city, organizers confirmed that they were short of money and were unsure whether a profit would be made from the event.[7]

In the midst of power shortages around the time of the pageant, the Philippine government promised to ensure that the weekend of the pageant would be "blackout-free".[8]

The pageant came under attack from the Nationalist Movement of New Women, a branch of the National Democratic Front, which claimed that it was being used to promote sex tourism.[9] The cost of the event was also criticised by the Philippine Congress, despite it being endorsed by President Fidel Ramos.[9] A social function attended by the delegates held prior to the final broadcast was picketed by the women's group, who opposed the nature of the pageant and the lavish spending.[10]

The day prior to the pageant a small homemade bomb exploded outside the pageant venue where the contestants had earlier been rehearsing, although it caused little damage and there were no injuries.[11]

More than 3000 policemen were involved in protecting the delegates, as well as dozens of policewomen assigned as bodyguards.[12]

During May there was also a probe by the Commission on Human Rights as to whether a police round-up of street children was intended to improve Manila's international image during the pageant events.[13] This was also criticised by Miss Thailand, Areeya Sirisopha Chumsai, even though the same scenario happened in their own country during the Miss Universe 1992.[14]

Inna Zobova (Russia), was detained for 15 hours in a windowless room at an airport in Bangkok, Thailand en route to Manila because she did not have a transit visa.[15]

Miss Malaysia Liza Koh, made a public apology on behalf of her country about the arrest of 1200 Filipina maids in Kuala Lumpur.[16] This led to a warning from the Malaysian Foreign Minister not to make political remarks.[17]

Miss Mauritius Viveka Babajee, was a very controversial figure due to her involvement in the 1994 Metro Manila Film Fest Scandal. She was a presenter for the Best Actress award together with actress Gretchen Barretto, an award which was very much disputed. Sixteen years later, on June 25, 2010, Babajee committed suicide.[18]

Venna Melinda (Indonesia), who was not allowed to compete in the pageant because of her country's attitudes towards the swimsuit competition, traveled to Manila to watch the pageant as an observer.[19]


Preliminary scores[edit]

National competitions[edit]



  • Russia and Zimbabwe attended the Miss Universe pageant for the first time. Russia competed before as "USSR", "Soviet Union" and as "Commonwealth of Independent States".
  • Slovak Republic (short form Slovakia), attended Miss Universe for the first time, after separating from Czech Republic, the former Czechoslovakia. Czech Republic did not participate in Miss Universe 1994.

Returning states and territories[edit]

  • Cook Islands, Egypt and Taiwan (Republic of China), competed in Miss Universe 1994 after missing some pageants in the past.


Miss World[edit]

Miss International[edit]

International Broadcasters[edit]

These are some of the networks outside the United States (telecasted on CBS at the time) that showed the 1994 Miss Universe pageant live (or recorded earlier) in their respective countries and territories:


  1. ^ "Miss India crowned 1994 Miss Universe". Reuters. 1994-05-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Philippines to host Miss Universe pageant". Reuters. 1993-10-24. 
  3. ^ a b "Miss Venezuela awarded Miss Photogenic title". Agence France-Press. 1994-05-16. 
  4. ^ "Ms Universe pageant slammed for hometown verdict". Reuters. 1994-05-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Philippines expects to profit from Miss Universe". Agence France-Press. 1994-03-16. 
  6. ^ Gosh, Nirmal (1994-04-27). "Row in Manila over cost of Miss Universe pageant". Straits Times. 
  7. ^ "Miss Universe organisers short of cash - official". Reuters. 1994-05-17. 
  8. ^ "Manila says no blackouts for Miss Universe pageant". Agence France-Presse. 1994-04-05. 
  9. ^ a b "Communist insurgents say Miss Universe promotes sex tourism". Agence France-Press. 1994-04-29. 
  10. ^ "Feminists picket Miss Universe social function". Agence France-Press. 1994-05-01. 
  11. ^ "Miss Universe pageant site bombed". Agence France-Press. 1994-05-20. 
  12. ^ "Manila deploys 3,000 policemen for beauties". Reuters. 1994-04-26. 
  13. ^ "Police roundup of Manila street children under probe". Straits Times. 1994-05-02. 
  14. ^ "Miss Thailand : Don't hide street kids". Straits Times. 1994-05-12. 
  15. ^ "Miss Russia held by Thais on way to Miss Universe". Reuters. 1994-04-28. 
  16. ^ "Hi, I am sorry". Straits Times. 1994-04-28. 
  17. ^ "Miss Malaysia told not to make political remarks". Straits Times. 1994-04-29. 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ "Miss Indonesia to watch but not take part". Straits Times. 1994-05-19. 

External links[edit]