Monday, 29 September 2008


Miss Universe 2004
Jennifer Hawkins

Miss Universe 2004
Date: June 1, 2004
Presenters: Billy Bush and Daisy Fuentes
Venue: Centro de Convenciones CEMEXPO, Quito, Ecuador
Broadcaster: NBC
Entrants: 80
Debuts: Ethiopia, Georgia, Vietnam
Withdraws: Albania, Argentina, Namibia, New Zealand
Returns: Austria, Botswana, Chile, Denmark, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Paraguay, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos, Uruguay
Winner: Jennifer Hawkins
Represented: Australia
Congeniality: Laia Manetti
Photogenic: Alba Reyes
Puerto Rico
Miss Universe 2004, the fifty-third Miss Universe pageant was held in Centro de Convenciones CEMEXPO, Quito, Ecuador on June 1, 2004. It was won by Jennifer Hawkins of Australia.

Delegates arrived in Quito from May 12, 2004 and participated in three weeks of events, rehearsals and preliminary competitions prior to the final televised competition. Events took place in Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Riobamba.[1]

For the second consecutive year, Billy Bush and Daisy Fuentes hosted the final televised pageant, with entertainment from Gloria Estefan.[2]

At the conclusion of the final competition, Australian model Jennifer Hawkins was crowned Miss Universe 2004, by outgoing titleholder Amelia Vega of the Dominican Republic.[3] Hawkins was the first Australian titleholder since Kerry Anne Wells won in 1972. She was also the first blonde Miss Universe since Angela Visser in 1989.

Host city
Quito, Ecuador was announced as host city of the pageant on 19 August 2003. The city paid $5 million for the right to host the event, although it anticipated recouping this through visitors and promotion of the country during the televised competition.

In March Ecuador's foreign trade minister was forced to reject rumours that the pageant was at risk of being moved to China, and he urged Ecuadoreans to back the pageant.[5] As an added incentive for tourists, Ecuador American Airlines, official airline sponsor of the pageant, offered 5% off airfares to Quito for travel to the pageant, as well as 10% off for those who booked a month in advance. The attempted use of the pageant to promote Ecuador threatened to be derailed just prior to the telecast, when a corruption scandal led to growing demands for the removal of President Lucio Gutierrez in the politically unstable country.

Prior to the arrival of delegates in early May, officials in Quito attempted to renovate areas where they would be visiting, which involved temporarily removing beggars and homeless people from certain areas of the city. Similar action was taken in Bangkok, Thailand prior to Miss Universe 1992 and in Manila, Philippines prior to Miss Universe 1994. The event was protested by native Indian activists and environmentalists who accused the government of concealing the nations poverty whilst the pageant was being hosted.

The delegates, judges, media and tourists were heavily protected by a security detail involving over 5000 police officers. On 16 May, just hours before delegates were expected to participate in a parade in Cuenca, a pamphlet bomb was deactivated by police. Although it was protesting the economic policies of the Ecuadorean government, police suspected that the bomb, found just six blocks from the parade route, was timed specifically to coincide with the event.

The judging panel for the final competition included:

Anne Martin - Vice President of Global Cosmetics and Marketing of Proctor & Gamble Cosmetics
Petra Nemcova - Sports Illustrated supermodel
Monique Menniken - supermodel
Elsa Benitez - supermodel
Bo Derek - film actress and model
Katie Fitz - Today Show, "You Be The Judge" contest winner
Wendy Fitzwilliam - Miss Universe 1998
Bill Rancic - winner of the first season of The Apprentice
Jon Tutolo - president of Trump Model Management
Jefferson Pérez - 1996 Ecuadorian Olympic Gold Medalist
Emilio Estefan - music producer and entertainer
Kwame Jackson, runner-up on the second season of The Apprentice, was initially chosen as a judge, but he was disqualified because he inadvertently visited the hotel where the delegates were staying and interacted with some of the contestants.[
The title of Miss Universe was won by Jennifer Hawkins of Australia.
The runners-up were:
1st runner-up - Shandi Finnessey (USA)
2nd runner-up - Alba Reyes (Puerto Rico)
3rd runner-up - Yanina González (Paraguay)
4th runner-up - Danielle Jones (Trinidad and Tobago)
The Top 10 (in order of final placement after competing in evening gown and swimsuit): Catherine Daza Manchola (Colombia), Susana Rivadeneira (Ecuador), Christine Straw (Jamaica), Tanushree Dutta (India), Nancy Soto (Costa Rica)
The Top 15 (in order of final placement after competing in evening gown): Kathrine Sørland (Norway), Gabriela Barros (Chile), Bianca Sissing (Switzerland), Rosalva Luna (Mexico), Telma Sonhi (Angola)

Special awards
Miss Congenality - Laia Manetti (Italy)
Miss Photogenic - Alba Reyes (Puerto Rico)
Best National Costume - Jessica Rodriguez (Panama)

Historical significance
Although no countries placed for the first time, a number made the semi-finals for the first time in a number of years. Costa Rica last placed in 1954, the host country Ecuador last placed in in 1981. Other nations who placed after many years without success were: Norway and Chile (1990), Paraguay (1991), Australia (1993), Switzerland (1994) and Mexico and Jamaica (1999). Colombia last placed in 2000, Puerto Rico in 2001, India in 2002.
Countries that made the cut the previous year were USA, Trinidad & Tobago, and Angola.
Shandi Finnessey's first runner-up placement is the highest placement of the USA since Brooke Lee won the country's seventh Miss Universe crown.
Yanina Gonzalez's placement was also only the third time in the forty-two years the country had participated that their delegate made the cut.
Ana Karina Añez, failed to place, breaking Venezuela's twenty-one year streak of placements from 1983 to 2003. This had included consecutive top six placements since 1991.
Puerto Rico wins it's 5th Miss Photogenic award, 4th consecutive win since 2001.

Angola - Telma Sonhi
Antigua and Barbuda - Ann-Marie Brown
Aruba - Zizi Lee
Australia - Jennifer Hawkins
Austria - Daniela Strigl
Bahamas - Raquel Simone Horton
Barbados - Cindy Baston Maizz
Belgium - Lindsy Dehollander
Belize - Leilah Pandy
Bolivia - Gabriela Oviedo Sarrete
Botswana - Icho Keolotswe
Brazil - Fabiane Niclotti
Bulgaria - Ivelina Petrova
Canada - Venessa Fisher
Cayman Islands - Stacey-Ann Kelly
Chile - Gabriela Barros
China - Meng Zhang
Colombia - Catherine Daza
Costa Rica - Nancy Soto
Croatia - Marijana Rupcic
Curaçao - Angeline da Silva
Cyprus - Nayia Iacovidou
Czech Republic - Lucie Váchová
Denmark - Tina Christensen
Dominican Republic - Larissa Fiallo
Ecuador - Susana Rivadeneira
Egypt - Heba El-Sisy
El Salvador - Gabriela Mejía
Estonia - Sirle Kalma
Ethiopia - Ferehyiwot Abebe
Finland - Mira Salo
France - Lætitia Bléger
Georgia - Nino Murtazashvilli
Germany - Shermine Sharivar
Ghana - Minaye Donkor
Greece - Valia Kakouti
Guatemala - Marva Weatherborn
Guyana - Odessa Phillips
Hungary - Blanka Bakos
India - Tanushree Dutta
Ireland - Cathriona Duignam
Israel - Gal Gadot
Italy - Laia Manetti
Jamaica - Christine Renée Straw
Japan - Eri Machimoto
Kenya - Anita Maina
Korea - Yun-yong Choi
Lebanon - Marie-José Hnein
Malaysia - Andrea Fonseka
Mexico - Rosalva Luna
Netherlands - Linsday Grace Pronk
Nicaragua - Marifely Argüello
Nigeria - Anita Uwagbale
Norway - Kathrine Sørland
Panama - Jéssica Patricia Rodríguez Clark
Paraguay - Yanina González
Peru - Liesel Holler
Philippines - Maricar Balagtas
Poland - Paulina Panek
Puerto Rico - Alba Reyes
Russia - Ksenia Kustova
Serbia and Montenegro - Dragana Dujovic
Singapore - Sandy Chua
Slovakia - Zuzana Dvorska
Slovenia - Sabina Remar
South Africa - Joan Ramagoshi
Spain - María Jesús Ruiz Garzón
St. Vincent & the Grenadines - Laferne Fraser
Sweden - Katarina Wigander
Switzerland - Bianca Sissing
Chinese Taipei - Janie Yu-Chen Hsieh
Thailand - Morakot Aimee Kittisara
Trinidad and Tobago - Danielle Jones
Turkey - Fatos Segmen
Turks & Caicos - Shamara Ariza
Ukraine - Oleksandra Nikolayenko
Uruguay - Nicole Dupont Giglio
USA - Shandi Finnessey
- Ana Karina Áñez
Vietnam - Hoàng Ngọc

Contestant notes
Some delegates had previously competed in Miss World, including three women who were runners-up at that pageant:
Christine Straw (Jamaica) placed fifth runner-up at Miss World 1998 as well as making the top ten at Miss Universe.
Zizi Lee of Aruba, was first runner-up at Miss World 2001 and Oleksandra Nikolayenko (Ukraine) was a semi-finalist. Both were unplaced at Miss Universe
Kathrine Sørland (Norway) was third runner-up at Miss World 2002, as well as a semi-finalist at Miss Universe. Odessa Philipps (Guyana) also competed at Miss World 2002.
Bianca Sissing (Switzerland), top fifteen at Miss Universe, was also a semi-finalist at Miss World 2003. Another semi-finalist in that pageant was Marie Jose Hnein (Lebanon), who did not place at Miss Universe. Anne-Marie Browne (Antigua & Barbuda), Angeline da Silva (Curacao) and Lucie Vachova (Czech Republic) also competed at Miss World 2003 but were unplaced in both competitions.
Heba El-Sisy (Egypt) later competed at Miss World 2004, along with Stacy Anne Kelly (Cayman Islands), Anita Uwagbale (Nigeria), and Joan Ramagoshi (South Africa). Nigeria placed as semi-finalist in Miss World 2004.
Yanina Gonzalez (Paraguay), placed third runner-up at both Miss Universe and Miss Earth 2004. Marifely Arguello (Nicaragua) and Liesel Holler were unplaced at Miss Universe but made the semi-finals at Miss Earth 2004. Ferehyiwot Abebe (Ethiopia) and Silvia Gabriela Mejia (El Salvador) were unplaced at both pageants.
Oleksandra Nikolayenko (Ukraine) was invited her to judge the Miss Universe 2005 finals in Thailand and later became director of the Miss Ukraine Universe pageant.
Zita Galgociova was initially chosen to represent Slovakia,[15] but she was replaced with her first runner-up Zuzana Dvorska because she was under the minimum age limit.

National competitions
Georgia, Ethiopia,[16] and Vietnam competed for the first time.
Nations who returned from the pageant after years of absence were Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (last competed in 1991), Austria (1999), Denmark (2000), Botswana (2001), Turks and Caicos (2001), Paraguay (2001), Lebanon (2001), Kenya(2002),Uruguay (2002), Chile (2002), and Ghana (2002).
Countries that sent delegates to Miss Universe 2003, but did not send one to the 2004 pageant were: Albania, Argentina, Mauritius, Namibia, and New Zealand.

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