Miss Universe 2008

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Miss Universe 2008
Miss Universe 2008, Dayana Mendoza2
Date July 14, 2008
Presenters Jerry Springer, Mel B
Entertainment Lady Gaga
Venue Crown Convention Center, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Broadcaster NBC, Telemundo
Entrants 80
Placements 15
Debuts Kosovo
Withdraws Barbados, Belize, Bulgaria, Guyana, Lebanon, St. Lucia, US Virgin Islands, Zambia
Returns Cayman Islands, Ghana, Guam, Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, UK, Vietnam
Winner Dayana Mendoza
Congeniality Rebeca Moreno
 El Salvador
Best National Costume Gavintra Photijak
Crown Convention Center, Nha Trang. venue for Miss Universe 2008
Participating Nations and Results in 2008.

Miss Universe 2008, the 57th Miss Universe pageant, was held at the Crown Convention Center in the Diamond Bay Resort, Nha Trang, Vietnam on July 14, 2008.[1]

At the conclusion of the final competition, outgoing titleholder Riyo Mori of Japan crowned her successor, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, as Miss Universe 2008.[2]

Eighty contestants competed in the event[3] which was broadcast and distributed globally via NBC in English and Telemundo in Spanish to TV outlets in more than 180 countries. The pageant was watched by a live audience of 7,500 and nearly a billion television viewers worldwide.[4]

This is the first major USA-based television production to take place in Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War. This is also the first time that the Miss Universe pageant was broadcast in 1080i High-definition. This pageant was held in a contemporary Communist state for the first time as well.

The final presentation show was on July 8, the dress rehearsal on July 13, and the live telecast on July 14. Most activities were held successively in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Sai Gon), Ha Noi, Da Nang, Hoi An, Ha Long and finally Nha Trang.

Jerry Springer, tabloid talk show host and host of NBC's America's Got Talent, and Melanie Brown, a.k.a. "Scary Spice", member of the UK pop group Spice Girls and host of TLC's The Singing Office, presented this year's competition. Lady Gaga performed her hit single "Just Dance" for the first time in television and for an international audience too.



Final Results Contestant
Miss Universe 2008
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
3rd runner-up
4th runner-up
Top 10
Top 15

Final competition scores[edit]

Special awards[edit]

Award Contestant
Miss Congeniality
Best National Costume
Miss Funny Falls

Order of announcements[edit]


Telecast judges[edit]

Areas of competition[edit]

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 fifteen contestants (based on their preliminary scores) competed in the swimsuit competition, and the top ten (based upon individual swimsuit scores) competed in evening gown. The final five contestants (based upon individual score from evening gown) participated in a final round of on-stage interviews, before the runners-up were announced and the new Miss Universe named.

This was the second year since 2002 that the judges' average scores were shown on television.

Official Special Awards[edit]

The Miss Universe Organization awarded two special prizes for the activities of Miss Universe 2008: Miss Congeniality the traditional and the award for Best National Costume. The latter award was won by costume powerhouse nation: Thailand. This year there was no Miss Photogenic award, which in recent years was decided by a free vote on the Internet, and had been won continuously for Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

Unofficial Special Awards[edit]

The organization and Vietnamese sponsors awarded three other awards within the activities of Miss Universe 2008: the first given to the ten best national costume, the second the candidate who looked best Vietnamese traditional dress called ao dai, and the third the candidate that his approach was the best in a swimsuit during a show made for that purpose. Note that these awards are external to the Miss Universe Organization, but delivered in activities approved by it. Not recorded in the historical record of the event, as they are unique and exclusive prizes for this edition.

Best in Swimsuit[edit]

This special award was granted on July 2 to the candidate who looked better in a swimsuit during a show made for this purpose. The 80 candidates paraded in their swimsuits divided into different groups.

Final results Contestant

Charming Áo dài[edit]

This special award was granted on June 24, the candidate who looked best in ao dai, the Vietnamese National Costume. The 80 candidates paraded in ao dai's designed for 8 Vietnamese designers recognized the costumes concocted especially for this night.

Final results Contestant

Awards national costumes[edit]

On 22 June, 80 candidates showed attire representative of their nation, either a costume or a representative of fantasy creation. They paraded before a panel of judges headed by the Miss Universe 2007, Riyo Mori and directors of the company Uni Corp, and the sponsoring companies and organizations in Vietnam. The candidates filed into nine groups of nine candidates in alphabetical order by the name of your country (in English). The best national costume of each group was named as a semifinalist, adding the group costume of the host country, leaving the following as winners:

Final results Contestant

Background music[edit]

  • Mika, "Love Today" — background music used for the Opening and Presentation of National Costumes
  • Lady Gaga, "Just Dance" — performed live during the Swimsuit Competition
  • Robin Thicke, "Magic" — background music used during the Evening Gown Competition


Country/Territory Contestant Age Height Hometown
 Albania Matilda Mecini 19 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) Tirana
 Angola Lesliana Pereira[5] 20 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) M'banza-Kongo
 Antigua & Barbuda Athina James 18 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) St. John's
 Argentina Maria Silvana Belli 19 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in) Villa Krause
 Aruba Tracey Nicolaas[6] 20 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) Oranjestad
 Australia Laura Dundovic[7] 21 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in) Sydney
 Bahamas Sacha Scott[8] 19 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) Nassau
 Belgium Alizée Poulicek[9] 21 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in) Huy
 Bolivia Kate David[10] 19 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) San Ignacio de Velasco
 Brazil Natálya Anderle[11] 22 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Encantado
 Canada Samantha Tajik[12] 26 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Toronto
 Cayman Islands Rebecca Parchment[13] 26 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) West Bay
 China Ziya Wei[14] 25 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in) Chongqing
 Colombia Taliana Vargas[15] 20 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Santa Marta
 Costa Rica María Teresa Rodríguez[11] 21 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) Alajuela
 Croatia Snježana Lončarević[16] 24 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Zagreb
 Curaçao Jenyfeer Mercelina[17] 19 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) Willemstad
 Cyprus Dimitra Sergiou[18][19] 23 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) Limassol
 Czech Republic Eliška Bučková[20] 18 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Strážnice
 Denmark Marie-Sten Knudsen 18 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in) Copenhagen
 Dominican Republic Marianne Cruz Gonzalez 23 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Salcedo
 Ecuador Domenica Saporitti[21] 19 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Guayaquil
 Egypt Yara Naoum[22][23] 20 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in) Cairo
 El Salvador Rebeca Moreno[24] 22 1.61 m (5 ft 3 in) San Salvador
 Estonia Julia Kovaljova 22 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Tallinn
 Finland Satu Tuomisto[25] 21 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) Akaa
 France Laura Tanguy[26] 20 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in) Angers
 Georgia Gvantsa Daraselia 18 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in) Tbilisi
 Germany Madina Taher[27] 21 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) Elmshorn
 Ghana Yvette Nsiah[28] 21 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) Accra
 Greece Dionissia Koukiou[29] 22 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Athens
 Guam Siera Robertson[30] 18 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Yona
 Guatemala Jennifer Chiong[31] 25 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) Quetzaltenango
 Honduras Diana Gabriela Barrasa[32] 22 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) Tegucigalpa
 Hungary Jázmin Dammak[33] 24 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Budapest
 India Simran Kaur Mundi[34] 22 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) Mumbai
 Indonesia Putri Raemawasti[35] 21 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) Blitar
 Ireland Lynn Kelly[36] 20 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in) Dublin
 Israel Shunit Faragi[37] 21 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in) Kiryat Tiv'on
 Italy Claudia Ferraris[38] 19 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in) Bergamo
 Jamaica April Jackson[11] 19 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Ocho Ríos
 Japan Hiroko Mima[39] 21 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Tokushima
 Kazakhstan Alfina Nassyrova[40] 20 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Almaty
South Korea Korea Sun Lee[41] 25 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) Seoul
Kosovo Kosovo Zana Krasniqi[42][43] 19 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) Prishtina
 Malaysia Levy Li Sun Lim[44] 20 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) Terengganu
 Mauritius Olivia Carey[45] 19 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) Vacoas
 Mexico Elisa Nájera[46] 21 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) Celaya
 Montenegro Daša Živković[47] 19 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Nikšić
 Netherlands Charlotte Labee[48] 22 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Den Haag
 New Zealand Samantha Powell[49] 21 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Paraparaumu
 Nicaragua Thelma Rodríguez[50] 19 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Chinandega
 Nigeria Stephanie Oforka[51] 20 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Port Harcourt
 Norway Mariann Birkedal[52] 21 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Stavanger
 Panama Carolina Dementiev Justavino[53] 19 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in) Panama City
 Paraguay Giannina Rufinelli[54] 22 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in) Luque
 Peru Karol Castillo[55] 18 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) Trujillo
 Philippines Jennifer Barrientos[56] 22 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) San Mateo
 Poland Barbara Tatara[57] 24 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Łódź
 Puerto Rico Ingrid Rivera[58] 24 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Dorado
 Russia Vera Krasova[59] 20 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Moscow
 Serbia Bojana Borić 21 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Sremska Mitrovica
 Singapore Shenise Wong[60] 26 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Singapore
 Slovakia Sandra Manáková[61] 20 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Bratislava
 Slovenia Anamarija Avbelj[62] 20 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Lukovica
 South Africa Tansey Coetzee[63] 23 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in) Johannesburg
 Spain Claudia Moro[64] 22 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) Madrid
 Sri Lanka Aruni Rajapaksha 24 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) Kandy
  Switzerland Amanda Ammann[65] 21 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) Abtwil
 Tanzania Amanda Ole Sulul[66] 21 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Arusha
 Thailand Gavintra Photijak[53] 21 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Nongkhai
 Trinidad & Tobago Anya Ayoung-Chee[67] 26 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Maraval
 Turkey Sinem Sülün[68] 19 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Istanbul
 Turks & Caicos Angelica Lightbourne[69] 19 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in) Providenciales
 UK Lisa Lazarus[70] 20 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Swansea
 Ukraine Eleonora Masalab[71] 19 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Kharkiv
 Uruguay Paula Díaz[72] 19 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Ciudad de la Costa
 USA Crystle Stewart[73] 26 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) Texas
 Venezuela Dayana Mendoza[74] 22 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Caracas
 Vietnam Nguyen Thuy Lam[75] 20 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) Thái Bình

National pageant notes[edit]


  •  Kosovo In February 2008, Miss Universe organization president Paula Shugart announced that a Miss Kosovo would compete in Miss Universe 2008 in Vietnam.[76] Montenegro and Serbia had already announced that they would boycott the pageant if Kosovo participated. As Vietnam and Kosovo do not have diplomatic relations, the Vietnam government considered disallowing such participation since it opposes Kosovo's independence.[77] In the end, Kosovo, Serbia, and Montenegro competed without incident. Kosovo's Zana Krasniqi made it to the finals, finishing sixth place.


Returning countries and territories[edit]



  •  Egypt - Yara Naoum was appointed to represent Egypt. She was the 2nd runner-up in Miss Egypt 2007 national pageant.
  •  Spain - Claudia Moro was appointed as the representative of her country after Patricia Rodriguez, Miss Spain 2008, couldn't participate because she did not meet the minimum age requirement by the Miss Universe Organization.[81]


Contestants who competed at other beauty pageants:

New crown[edit]

For Miss Universe 2008 a new crown was unveiled. The 18k white and yellow gold crown was designed by CAO Fine Jewelry in association with Rosalina Lydster specifically for the event. With over 1,000 precious stones, including 44 carats (8.8 g) of diamonds, the crown has a value of $120,000 (USD). The design of the crown is highly symbolic. Vietnam is symbolized in the yellow gold, representative of the country's healthy economy, and in the crane, with represents the spirit and culture of Vietnam. Other colors stand for inspiration and feeling, while the depicted heart is meant to reflect faith, hope and unity. The curving patterns of the stones are a tribute to every country, reflecting growth. The crown will only be awarded as part of the contest this year, the original Mikimoto design was to be awarded again next year but Diamond Nexus Labs designed the crown instead.[85][86][87]

Miss USA falls again[edit]

Miss USA, Crystle Stewart, slipped and fell down the stairs during the Evening Gown competition. This was the second year in a row that a Miss USA delegate fell during Evening Gown. This is also the first time in pageant history a contestant fell down during the Evening Gown competition in two consecutive pageants, from the same country, or from any country. Miss USA 2007, Rachel Smith, fell during Miss Universe 2007 in Mexico, and received boos after she made the Top Five contestants. After Stewart fell, she encouraged the audience to applaud by clapping her hands.[88] She was eliminated after the Evening Gown Competition, finishing in eighth place.


Dayana Mendoza receives a prize package which includes cash, a one-year contract promoting Miss Universe, world travel, a rent-free, prestigious New York City apartment, a gift bag stuffed with free designer shoes, dresses and beauty products, a stipend for a 2-year course at the New York Film Academy. Mendoza was spent her year-long reign traveld the world to lecture on humanitarian issues and promote education regarding HIV/AIDS, the official platform of the Miss Universe Organization.[89][90][91]

International broadcasting[edit]

These are some of the networks outside the United States (telecasted on NBC and Telemundo) that showed the 2008 Miss Universe pageant live (or recorded earlier) in their respective countries and territories:

History of Contest[edit]


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  31. ^ Siglo XXI
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    N E T L I F E - phong cach song - song phong cach
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  77. ^ Vietnam opposes Kosovo independence
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  85. ^ Press release
  86. ^ Miss Universe Organization - CAO FINE JEWELRY WILL CREATE THIS YEAR'S COVETED MISS UNIVERSE CROWN: World Renowned Vietnamese Brand PNJ to Unveil Unique Crown for the 2008 Miss Universe Competition
  87. ^ VnExpress - Vương miện Hoa hậu Hoàn vũ giá 120.000 USD
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  90. ^ en.rian.ru, Venezuelan beauty wins title Miss Universe 2008
  91. ^ english.vietnamnet.vn, Miss Venezuela crowned Miss Universe 2008

External links[edit]