Big Four international beauty pageants

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The Big Four consists of the four major international beauty pageants for women – Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth.[1][2][3][4][5] The group was first described by the China Daily newspaper in 2004 as "the world's four major beauty contests",[6][7] and the Chosun Ilbo newspaper in 2010 described them as "the world's top four beauty pageants".[8]

The Big Four pageants[edit]

The Wall Street Journal,[1] BBC News,[9] and global news agencies such as Reuters,[10] Agence France-Presse,[11][12] collectively refer to the four major pageants as "Big Four" namely:

Most victorious countries[edit]

The first country to win all four major international pageant titles was Brazil, when it won Miss Earth 2004.[32] Brazil has won two Miss Universe crowns, two Miss Earth crowns, one Miss World crown, and one Miss International crown.[33]

In winning Miss Earth 2005, Venezuela became the second country to win titles for each of the Big Four pageants. It has produced seven Miss Universe titles, seven Miss International titles, six Miss World titles, and two Miss Earth titles.[34] By winning Miss Earth 2013, Venezuela became the first country to win all four pageants multiple times.[35]

After winning Miss World 2013, the Philippines was the third country to win all titles of the Big Four pageants.[36] The Philippines currently has six Miss International crowns, four Miss Earth crowns, three Miss Universe crowns, and one Miss World crown.[37] By winning Miss World 2013, Miss International 2013, Miss Earth 2014, Miss Earth 2015, and Miss Universe 2015, the Philippines became the fastest country to win all four major titles by achieving the feat in a span of only three calendar years.[18] The country continued its streak after winning Miss International 2016 and Miss Earth 2017 which currently holds the distinction of longest streak of wins in all four major beauty pageants.[38][39][40][41]

The following countries have won all the titles of the Big Four pageants:

Country Miss World[33][42] Miss Universe[33][43] Miss International[33][44] Miss Earth[33][45] Wins
 Venezuela 1955, 1981, 1984, 1991, 1995, 2011[46] 1979, 1981, 1986, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2013 1985, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2015 2005, 2013 22
 Philippines 2013 1969, 1973, 2015 1964, 1970, 1979, 2005, 2013, 2016[46] 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017 14
 Brazil 1971 1963, 1968 1968 2004, 2009 6

Longest streak of wins[edit]

The Philippines currently holds the longest streak of winning at least one title in a year in the Big Four pageant titles with wins in five consecutive years from 2013 to 2017 (Miss World 2013 and Miss International 2013, Miss Earth 2014, Miss Universe 2015 and Miss Earth 2015, Miss International 2016, Miss Earth 2017).[18][38][41] This is followed by Venezuela’s wins in four consecutive years from 2008 to 2011 (Miss Universe 2008,[47][48] Miss Universe 2009,[49][50] Miss International 2010,[51][52] Miss World 2011).[53][54]

Multiple wins in the same year[edit]

France became the first nation in the world to win at least 2 of the Big 4 beauty pageant titles in the same year, winning in 1953 (Miss Universe and World),[55][56][57] followed by Brazil in 1968 (Miss Universe and Miss International),[58] Australia in 1972 ( Miss Universe and Miss World),[59] Venezuela in 1981 (Miss Universe and Miss World) as well as in 2013 (Miss Universe and Miss Earth), India in 1994 and 2000 (Miss Universe and Miss World), Ecuador in 2011 (Miss International and Miss Earth); and the Philippines in 2013 (Miss World and Miss International) and 2015 (Miss Universe and Miss Earth).

Back-to-back wins[edit]

In Miss World, three back-to-back victories have been recorded.[60] In its first two editions, Sweden recorded back-to-back with Kiki Hakansson and May-Louise Flodin in Miss World 1951 and Miss World 1952, respectively.[60] United Kingdom contestants Ann Sidney and Lesley Langley duplicated this feat in Miss World 1964 and Miss World 1965, respectively, in London.[60] The most recent back-to-back Miss World victories came from India, with Yukta Mookhey in Miss World 1999 and Priyanka Chopra in Miss World 2000 edition.[60][61]

In Miss Universe, Venezuela became the first country to win back-to-back in Miss Universe 2008 and Miss Universe 2009.[62][63][64] Stefanía Fernandez won the Miss Universe 2009 title in which Venezuela earned a Guinness World Records to have the first Miss Universe winner succeeded by her compatriot, Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza.[65]

In Miss Earth, the victory of Angelia Ong in Miss Earth 2015 in Austria, succeeding Jamie Herrell, Miss Earth 2014 made the Philippines the first country to win back-to-back in the Miss Earth pageant.[61][66][67]

Dethronements and resignations[edit]

The Miss World pageant has experienced 3 cases of dethronement or resignation instances:

  • In 1973, Marjorie Wallace from the United States, who was crowned Miss World and once stated that “as Miss World I can get laid with any man I pick”, was dethroned of her title for dating a string of celebrities including George Best.[68] Photographs of her also emerged with the married singer Tom Jones in Las Vegas and kissing him in Barbados, which prompted Miss World organizers to dethrone her just 104 days after she was crowned.[69][70]
  • After being crowned Miss Wales and then Miss United Kingdom, Helen Morgan, competed and won Miss World 1974.[71][72] However she was discovered to be an unwed mother of an 18-month-old boy.[73][72] While there had been a rule in Miss World since 1958 that married women are not allowed to enter the pageant, there was nothing in 1974 to prevent women with children from taking part in the beauty contest.[69] As negative publicity emerged, the Miss World organizers offered Morgan to resign but she would be allowed to keep half the guaranteed earnings she would have made during her year long reign, but she refused the deal.[69] Then she was cited in a divorce papers by a married former Cardiff nightclub manager for having an affair; this prompted Morgan to accept the deal of the Miss World organizers and became the first Miss World to resign four days after she was crowned.[72][69] She was replaced by first runner-up of South Africa, Anneline Kriel.[74][75]
  • Gabriela Brum of Germany had the shortest reign in Miss World history when she resigned her title just 18 hours after being crowned Miss World 1980.[68][76] She indicated that her boyfriend disapproved of the contest, but it later revealed that she had posed for naked photographs; she later relocated to the United States and modelled nude for Playboy.[68] Second place Kimberley Santos of Guam replaced Brum by default.[77][78]

In Miss Universe, Oxana Fedorova of Russia was crowned Miss Universe 2002 and was dethroned 4 months later as she was unable to fulfill her obligations.[79][80] She was the first to be dethroned in the history of Miss Universe.[81] She was replaced by first runner-up Justine Pasek of Panama.[82][83] In its early years, there were only 2 instances where the reigning Miss Universe opted to resign from her position: Armi Kuusela, Miss Universe 1952 from Finland, who held the distinction of being the first Miss Universe winner gave up her crown in less than a year to marry Filipino businessman Virgilio Hilario while Amparo Munoz, Miss Universe 1974 of Spain refused to travel to Japan and instead resigned after six months of her reign.[84][85][86] However, since the pageant had no concrete rule on resignation at that time, they were allowed to keep their titles.[87]

In Miss Earth, the 2002 winner, Dzejla Glavovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was dethroned of her crown six months into her reign, after she failed to show up at several environmental events.[88][89] According to Carousel Productions, organizer of the Miss Earth contest, Glavovic was dethroned because of "her inability to fulfill the duties and responsibilities as the Miss Earth titleholder, in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth in the Miss Earth contract that she signed."[90][91] She was succeeded by first runner-up Winfred Omwakwe of Kenya as Miss Earth 2002.[92]

In Miss International, Ikumi Yoshimatsu, Miss International 2012 was the first titleholder of the pageant from Japan to be dethroned shortly before the end of her reign.[93][94][95] She was ordered by The International Culture Association (Miss International organizer) to skip the succession ceremony and “play sick and shut up” out of fear of scandal.[96] The Miss International organizer cited the reason for her dethronement was due to her involvement in a contract dispute with a talent agency in which she claimed that she was pressured to sign by Burning Productions, a film production company which is rumored to be linked with the Japanese underworld, but she refused and went ahead by starting her own company.[97] Yoshimatsu then filed criminal charges against one of Japan’s most powerful talent agency executives, Genichi Taniguchi of Burning Productions, for allegedly stalking, intimidating, and harassing her.[98] Instead of crowning her successor (who would be Bea Rose Santiago of the Philippines), Miss International 2008 Alejandra Andreu of Spain, who was also part of the panel of judges formally took over the duty of crowning.

Big Four pageant winners by year[edit]

Year Miss World[42] Miss Universe[43] Miss International[44] Miss Earth[45]
2018 08 December 2018 17 December 2018 09 November 2018 03 November 2018
2017 Manushi Chhillar
 India
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
 South Africa
Kevin Lilliana
 Indonesia
Karen Ibasco
 Philippines
2016 Stephanie Del Valle
 Puerto Rico
Iris Mittenaere
 France
Kylie Verzosa
 Philippines
Katherine Espín
 Ecuador
2015 Mireia Lalaguna
 Spain
Pia Wurtzbach
 Philippines
Edymar Martínez
 Venezuela
Angelia Ong
 Philippines
2014 Rolene Strauss
 South Africa
Paulina Vega
 Colombia
Valerie Hernandez
 Puerto Rico
Jamie Herrell
 Philippines
2013 Megan Young
 Philippines
Gabriela Isler
 Venezuela
Bea Santiago
 Philippines
Alyz Henrich
 Venezuela
2012 Yu Wenxia
 China
Olivia Culpo
 United States
Ikumi Yoshimatsu
(dethroned, no replacement)[99]
 Japan
Tereza Fajksová
 Czech Republic
2011 Ivian Sarcos
 Venezuela
Leila Lopes
 Angola
Fernanda Cornejo
 Ecuador
Olga Álava
 Ecuador
2010 Alexandria Mills
 United States
Ximena Navarrete
 Mexico
Elizabeth Mosquera
 Venezuela
Nicole Faria
 India
2009 Kaiane Aldorino
 Gibraltar
Stefania Fernandez
 Venezuela
Anagabriela Espinoza
 Mexico
Larissa Ramos
 Brazil
2008 Ksenia Sukhinova
 Russia
Dayana Mendoza
 Venezuela
Alejandra Andreu
 Spain
Karla Henry
 Philippines
2007 Zhang Zilin
 China
Riyo Mori
 Japan
Priscila Perales
 Mexico
Jessica Trisko
 Canada
2006 Taťána Kuchařová
 Czech Republic
Zuleyka Rivera
 Puerto Rico
Daniela di Giacomo
 Venezuela
Hil Hernández
 Chile
2005 Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir
 Iceland
Natalie Glebova
 Canada
Lara Quigaman
 Philippines
Alexandra Braun
 Venezuela
2004 María Julia Mantilla
 Peru
Jennifer Hawkins
 Australia
Jeymmy Vargas
 Colombia
Priscilla Meirelles
 Brazil
2003 Rosanna Davison
 Ireland
Amelia Vega
 Dominican Republic
Goizeder Azúa
 Venezuela
Dania Prince
 Honduras
2002 Azra Akın
 Turkey
Oxana Fedorova
(dethroned)
 Russia
Christina Sawaya
 Lebanon
Dzejla Glavovic
(dethroned)
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Justine Pasek
 Panama
Winfred Omwakwe
 Kenya
2001 Agbani Darego
 Nigeria
Denise Quiñones
 Puerto Rico
Małgorzata Rożniecka
 Poland
Catharina Svensson
 Denmark
2000 Priyanka Chopra
 India
Lara Dutta
 India
Vivian Urdaneta
 Venezuela
No Pageant Held
(Founded 2001)
1999 Yukta Mookhey
 India
Mpule Kwelagobe
 Botswana
Paulina Gálvez
 Colombia
1998 Linor Abargil
 Israel
Wendy Fitzwilliam
 Trinidad and Tobago
Lía Victoria Borrero
 Panama
1997 Diana Hayden
 India
Brook Lee
 United States
Consuelo Adler
 Venezuela
1996 Irene Skliva
 Greece
Alicia Machado
 Venezuela
Fernanda Alves
 Portugal
1995 Jacqueline Aguilera
 Venezuela
Chelsi Smith
 United States
Anne Lena Hansen
 Norway
1994 Aishwarya Rai
 India
Sushmita Sen
 India
Christina Lekka
 Greece
1993 Lisa Hanna
 Jamaica
Dayanara Torres
 Puerto Rico
Agnieszka Pachałko
 Poland
1992 Julia Kourotchkina
 Russia
Michelle McLean
 Namibia
Kirsten Davidson
 Australia
1991 Ninibeth Leal
 Venezuela
Lupita Jones
 Mexico
Agnieszka Kotlarska
 Poland
1990 Gina Tolleson
 United States
Mona Grudt
 Norway
Silvia de Esteban
 Spain
1989 Aneta Kręglicka
 Poland
Angela Visser
 Netherlands
Iris Klein
 Germany
1988 Linda Pétursdóttir
 Iceland
Porntip Nakhirunkanok
 Thailand
Catherine Alexandra Gude
 Norway
1987 Ulla Weigerstorfer
 Austria
Cecilia Bolocco
 Chile
Laurie Tamara Simpson
 Puerto Rico
1986 Giselle Laronde
 Trinidad and Tobago
Bárbara Palacios Teyde
 Venezuela
Helen Fairbrother
 England
1985 Hólmfríður Karlsdóttir
 Iceland
Deborah Carthy Deu
 Puerto Rico
Nina Sicilia
 Venezuela
1984 Astrid Carolina Herrera
 Venezuela
Yvonne Ryding
 Sweden
Ilma Urrutia
 Guatemala
1983 Sarah-Jane Hutt
 United Kingdom
Lorraine Downes
 New Zealand
Gidget Sandoval
 Costa Rica
1982 Mariasela Álvarez
 Dominican Republic
Karen Baldwin
 Canada
Christie Ellen Claridge
 United States
1981 Pilín León
 Venezuela
Irene Sáez
 Venezuela
Jenny Annette Derek
 Australia
1980 Gabriella Brum
(resigned)
 Germany
Shawn Weatherly
 United States
Lorna Chávez
 Costa Rica
Kimberley Santos
 Guam
1979 Gina Swainson
 Bermuda
Maritza Sayalero
 Venezuela
Melanie Marquez
 Philippines
1978 Silvana Suárez
 Argentina
Margaret Gardiner
 South Africa
Katherine Patricia Ruth
 United States
1977 Mary Stävin
 Sweden
Janelle Commissiong
 Trinidad and Tobago
Pilar Medina
 Spain
1976 Cindy Breakspeare
 Jamaica
Rina Messinger
 Israel
Sophie Perin
 France
1975 Wilnelia Merced
 Puerto Rico
Anne Marie Pohtamo
 Finland
Lidija Manić
 Yugoslavia
1974 Helen Morgan
(resigned)
 United Kingdom
Amparo Muñoz Quesada
(resigned, no replacement)
 Spain
Karen Brucene Smith
 United States
Anneline Kriel
 South Africa
1973 Marjorie Wallace
(dethroned, no replacement)
 United States
Margarita Moran
 Philippines
Anneli Björkling
 Finland
1972 Belinda Green
 Australia
Kerry Anne Wells
 Australia
Linda Hooks
 United Kingdom
1971 Lúcia Petterle
 Brazil
Georgina Rizk
 Lebanon
Jane Cheryl Hansen
 New Zealand
1970 Jennifer Hosten
 Grenada
Marisol Malaret
 Puerto Rico
Aurora Pijuan
 Philippines
1969 Eva Rueber-Staier
 Austria
Gloria Diaz
 Philippines
Valerie Susan Holmes
 United Kingdom
1968 Penelope Plummer
 Australia
Martha Vasconcellos
 Brazil
Maria da Glória Carvalho
 Brazil
1967 Madeline Hartog-Bel
 Peru
Sylvia Hitchcock
 United States
Mirta Teresita Massa
 Argentina
1966 Reita Faria
 India
Margareta Arvidsson
 Sweden
Cancelled
1965 Lesley Langley
 United Kingdom
Apasra Hongsakula
 Thailand
Ingrid Finger
 Germany
1964 Ann Sidney
 United Kingdom
Corinna Tsopei
 Greece
Gemma Cruz
 Philippines
1963 Carole Crawford
 Jamaica
Ieda Maria Vargas
 Brazil
Guðrún Bjarnadóttir
 Iceland
1962 Catharina Lodders
 Netherlands
Norma Beatriz Nolan
 Argentina
Tania Verstak
 Australia
1961 Rosemarie Frankland
 United Kingdom
Marlene Schmidt
 Germany
Stam van Baer
 Netherlands
1960 Norma Cappagli
 Argentina
Linda Bement
 United States
Stella Márquez
 Colombia
1959 Corine Rottschäfer
 Netherlands
Akiko Kojima
 Japan
No Pageant Held
(Founded 1960)
1958 Penelope Coelen
 South Africa
Luz Marina Zuluaga
 Colombia
1957 Marita Lindahl
 Finland
Gladys Zender
 Peru
1956 Petra Schürmann
 Germany
Carol Morris
 United States
1955 Susana Duijm
 Venezuela
Hillevi Rombin
 Sweden
1954 Antigone Costanda
 Egypt
Miriam Stevenson
 United States
1953 Denise Perrier
 France
Christiane Martel
 France
1952 May Louise Flodin
 Sweden
Armi Kuusela
 Finland
1951 Kiki Håkansson
 Sweden
No Pageant Held
(Founded 1952)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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