10 out of 15 countries which made it into the semifinals, were not in the semifinals last year: Barbados (1974), Croatia (1999), Kazakhstan (2000), Ukraine (2001), Iceland, Russia, South Africa and Spain (2005), and Brazil and India (2006). Mexico placed in the finals for the fifth consecutive year. Puerto Rico placed for the fourth consecutive year. Angola and Venezuela reached the finals for the third consecutive year.
The Miss World Beach Beauty took place on November 29 at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Durban, South Africa. The 27 semifinalists for the event were selected by a panel of judges and the names were revealed on November 27.
The winner was announced during the live telecast on December 13.
Trinidad & Tobago – Gabrielle Walcott: For working with the Just Because Foundation dedicated to creating hospitable conditions for children with cancer. Gabrielle helped raise about $100,000 in charity for the creation of a new ward for these children.
Hungary – Szilvia Freire: For working with the NEM ADOM FEL Foundation, dedicated to the awareness that handicapped and disabled people are of value to our society, and to make these individuals feel accepted.
Kenya – Ruth Kinuthia: For working with a school in the slums of Nairobi mainly for students who have been orphaned by HIV AIDS, helping raise funds for the sustenance of the school, as well as being a role model for students.
Mexico – Anagabriela Espinoza: For assisting the Casa Hogar of Jilotepec, "Ayuda y Solidaridad con las Niñas de la Calle", which means help and solidarity with the girls from the streets. Anagaby created a dynamic event called "Pass the Crown" where she would ask the girls about their best quality, and then put a tiara on their heads because of it.
Nepal: The organiser of Miss Nepal pageant said it was postponing the contest scheduled for August 23, 2008 to unknown date, after the Maoist women’s wing, which has trained its sights on Miss Nepal, announced a Kathmandu Valley shutdown on the day to prevent the event.
Panama: Kathya Saldaña had problems with the regional organization and didn't obtain a South African visa in time.
Romania: Withdrew due to lack of funding and sponsorship.
Slovenia: Withdrew due to lack of funding and sponsorship.
Suriname: Mireille Nederbiel was not allowed to compete in Miss World by the decision of pageant organizers.
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