Miss Universe 2007
Miss Universe 2007
Date: 28 May 2007
Presenters: Vanessa Minnillo and Mario Lopez
Venue: Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
Broadcaster: NBC, Telemundo, Televisa
Debuts: Montenegro, Serbia, Tanzania
Withdraws: Cayman Islands, Chile, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Namibia, Northern Marianas, Sri Lanka, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom
Returns: Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Honduras, Italy
Winner: Riyo Mori
Congeniality: Ning Ning Zhang
Photogenic: Anna Theresa Licaros Philippines
Miss Universe 2007, the 56th Miss Universe pageant, was won by Riyo Mori of Japan. It took place on 28 May 2007 at the National Auditorium in Mexico City, Mexico. 77 delegates competed for the title, previously held by Puerto Rico's Zuleyka Rivera.
The pageant was held almost two months prior to when it was held in 2006, although the event had generally been staged between late May and early June since 2001. Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera reigned for little more than ten months, one of the shortest in the history of the title. Contestants began to arrive in Mexico on 30 April 2007 and were to be involved in a number of appearances and events prior to the final competition.
This is the fourth time Mexico has been the host country and the second time Mexico City the host city of the Miss Universe pageant. Mexico first hosted the pageant in Acapulco in 1978. Miss Universe 1989 was then staged in Cancún and Miss Universe 1993 was held in Mexico City.
The pageant was co-hosted by Mario Lopez and Vanessa Minnillo, both first-time hosts of the Miss Universe pageant. Minnillo, an Entertainment Tonight correspondent and former Miss Teen USA 1998, previously hosted the Miss Teen USA 2004 pageant. Lopez hosted the Miss Teen USA 1998 pageant (won by Minnillo) and also co-hosted Miss Teen USA 2003.
As Zuleyka Rivera was crowning Riyo Mori with the official Mikimoto crown, it slipped from her grasp and nearly fell to the floor. Mori was able to catch the crown, which is made of diamonds and pearls and is valued at over $250,000
Areas of competition
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 competed in evening gown. The final five contestants 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.
It was also the first time since 2002 that the final question posed on the ladies came from the judges. The previous pageants had final questions coming from the current Miss Universe and the delegates participating in the final five themselves.
Rachel Smith, Miss USA, was booed during and loudly jeered during her final interview. As she answered her question, there were loud shouts of "Mexico! Mexico!", which continued until she answered in Spanish. This followed a similar incident during Miss Universe 1993, when that year's Miss USA, Kenya Moore, was also booed. This may have been due to Miss USA making the top five despite slipping and falling during the evening gown competition, whilst home crowd favourite Mexico did not. It has also been attributed to political issues between the two countries, such as the illegal immigration policy as well as the War On Terror.
Smith had also been booed during the National Costume competition, an open-air event held prior to the final competition where admission was free to the public.
Results.Miss Universe 2007: Riyo Mori (Japan)
The runners-up were:
1st runner-up: Natália Guimarães (Brazil)
2nd runner-up: Ly Jonaitis (Venezuela)
3rd runner-up: Honey Lee (Korea)
4th runner-up: Rachel Smith (USA)
The following contestants placed in the top ten and competed in both swimsuit and evening gown (in order of placement): Flaviana Matata (Tanzania), Micaela Reis (Angola), Rosa Maria Ojeda (Mexico), Puja Gupta (India), Xiomara Blandino (Nicaragua)
The following contestants placed in the top fifteen and competed in the swimsuit competition (in order of placement): Tjaša Kokalj (Slovenia), Lucie Hadasová (Czech Republic), Žaklina Šojić (Denmark), Farung Yuthithum (Thailand), Lyudmila Bikmullina (Ukraine)
Miss Congeniality: Ning Ning Zhang (China)
Miss Photogenic: Anna Theresa Licaros (Philippines)
For the first time since the award's inception, no Best National Costume Award was given.
Final competition scores
Country Swimsuit Evening Gown
Japan 9.599 8.943
Brazil 9.560 9.599
Venezuela 8.971 9.510
Korea 9.458 9.183
USA 8.995 8.754
Tanzania 9.223 8.488
Angola 9.150 8.363
Mexico 8.527 7.850
India 8.548 7.825
Nicaragua 8.171 7.674
Czech Republic 8.113
Top Fifteen, Eliminated after competing in the swimsuit competition.
In a strong showing not witnessed since Miss Universe 1988, Asian delegates fared well at this year's edition, with four Asian delegates (Japan, Korea, India, and Thailand) making it to the Top 15. The two special awards were also won by delegates of Asian nations (Philippines and China). Of the 125 semi-finalists named in the past ten years, only 14 were from Asia
Japan won the pageant for the second time since Akiko Kojima won Japan's first Miss Universe title in 1959.
Puerto Rico was first 1st runner-up in 2005 and won in 2006. Japan followed the same trend for 2006-2007.
Thailand, Denmark, Ukraine, India, Brazil and Japan made the cut for the second consecutive year. This was the first time since the 1960s that Denmark and Thailand recorded two consecutive placements.
Mexico placed for the 4th consecutive year.
USA placed for the 5th consecutive year.
Slovenia and Tanzania placed for the first time. This was the first year that Tanzania participated in the pageant. Slovenia debuted in 2001.
Angola and Nicaragua reached their highest placement in Miss Universe history, 7th and 10th place respectively breaking their previous records.
Countries that made the semi-finals after a long period without placement were Nicaragua, which last placed in 1977, and Korea which last placed in 1988.
Czech Republic placed for only the 3rd time, it placed in the top 10 in 1993 when it debuted in the pageant and in 2003.
Philippines won the Miss Photogenic award for the seventh time (it has won this award three years in a row since 2005).
China won the Miss Congeniality award for the first time.
The following celebrities judged the final competition. Martel was added as a judge the day prior to the final competition.
James Kyson Lee - actor on Heroes
Lindsay Clubine - Deal or No Deal briefcase model
Tony Romo - Dallas Cowboys quarterback
Dave Navarro - rock star
Michelle Kwan - World and Olympic figure skating champion
Mauricio Islas - Mexican actor
Marc Bouwer - fashion designer
Nina Garcia - Project Runway judge and Elle magazine fashion director
Dayanara Torres - Miss Universe 1993
Christiane Martel - Miss Universe 1953
National Costume presentation: "Say It Right" by Nelly Furtado
Swimsuit Competition: "Wanna Play", "Cariño Mio" and "Money Money" by R.B.D.
Evening Gown Competition: "Give It Up To Me" by Sean Paul (featuring Keyshia Cole)
Albania - Sadina Alla
Angola - Micaela Reis
Antigua and Barbuda - Stephanie Winter
Argentina - Daniela Stucan
Aruba - Carolina Raven
Australia - Kimberley Busteed
Bahamas - Trinere Lynes
Barbados - Jewel Garner
Belgium - Annelien Coorevits
Belize - Maria Jeffery
Bolivia - Jessica Jordan Burton
Brazil - Natália Guimarães
Bulgaria - Gergana Kochanova
Canada - Inga Skaya
China - Ning Ning Zhang
Colombia - Eileen Roca
Costa Rica - Veronica Gonzalez
Croatia - Jelena Maros
Curaçao - Naemi Monte
Cyprus - Polyvia Achilleos
Czech Republic - Lucie Hadasová
Denmark - Žaklina Šojić
Dominican Republic - Massiel Taveras
Ecuador - Lugina Cabezas
Egypt - Ehsan Hatem
El Salvador - Lisette Rodriguez
Estonia - Viktoria Azovskaja
Finland - Noora Hautakangas
France - Rachel Legrain-Trapani
Georgia - Ana Giorgelashvili
Germany - Angelina Glass
Greece - Doukissa Nomikou
Guatemala - Alida Boer
Guyana - Meleesea Payne
Honduras - Wendy Salgado
Hungary - Ildiko Bona
India - Puja Gupta
Indonesia - Agni Pratistha
Israel - Sharon Kenett
Italy - Valentina Massi
Jamaica - Zahra Redwood
Japan - Riyo Mori
Kazakhstan - Gauhar Rakhmetalieva
Korea - Honey Lee
Lebanon - Nadine Njeim
Malaysia - Adelaine Chin
Mauritius - Sandra Faro
Mexico - Rosa Maria Ojeda
Montenegro - Snežana Bušković
New Zealand - Laural Barrett
Nicaragua - Xiomara Blandino
Nigeria - Ebinabo Potts-Johnson
Norway - Kirby Ann Basken
Panama - Sorangel Matos Arce
Paraguay - María José Maldonado
Peru - Jimena Elías Roca
Philippines - Anna Theresa Licaros
Poland - Dorota Gawron
Puerto Rico - Uma Blasini
Russia - Tatiana Kotova
Serbia - Teodora Marčić
Singapore - Jessica Tan
Slovakia - Lucia Senášiová
Slovenia - Tjaša Kokalj
South Africa - Megan Coleman
Spain - Natalia Zabala Arroyo
Saint Lucia - Yoanna Henry
Switzerland - Christa Rigozzi
Tanzania - Flaviana Matata
Thailand - Farung Yuthithum
Turks & Caicos - Saneita Been
Ukraine - Lyudmila Bikmullina
Uruguay - Giannina Silva
United States - Rachel Smith
U.S. Virgin Islands - Renata Christian
Venezuela - Ly Jonaitis
Zambia - Rosemary Chileshe
Cayman Islands, Chile, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Namibia, Northern Marianas, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey and United Kingdom competed in 2006 but not at Miss Universe 2007
Trinidad and Tobago did not send a delegate for the first time in fifteen years, due to a lack of financial support. Kenisha Thom, who represented Trinidad and Tobago in 2006 appealed to the government and businesses to support the pageant, to no avail.
Aruni Rajapakse was expected to represent Sri Lanka in the pageant and was listed as a delegate on the Miss Universe website. On 5 May, her name was removed from the website, and it appears she will not compete in the pageant. Sri Lanka will compete in Miss Universe next year. Miss Rajapakse went on to compete in Miss International 2007 representing Sri Lanka and placing in the top 15.
Tanzania attended the Miss Universe pageant for the first time.
Following Montenegrin independence in 2006, Serbia and Montenegro competed separately in Miss Universe for the first time.
Returning states and territories
Honduras, which last competed in 2002.
Barbados, Belize, Curaçao, and Italy which last competed in 2005.
For the first time in the history of Femina Miss India Contest, the official winner will represent India in Miss World 2007 contest, while the 1st runner-up will compete at Miss Universe.
As of 2006, the winner of Miss Israel competes in Miss World while the first runner-up goes to Miss Universe.
Megan Coleman, Miss South Africa 2006A number of contestants have taken part in other international competitions:
Miss Guatemala (Alida Boer) competed in Miss Teen International 2000 where she placed first runner-up. Miss Peru (Jimena Elias) competed in the same pageant in 2006, and also placed first runner-up.
Miss Belize (Maria Jeffery) is the sister of Miss Universe 1999 delegate, Viola Jeffery. Critics had suggested that Miss Belize would make the top 15 at Miss Universe 2007, but she missed the final cut. Maria went on to win the Miss Costa Maya International 2007 Pageant (held in Belize) three months later.
Miss Bolivia (Jessica Jordan Burton) took part in Miss Earth 2006 in Manila. She was not a semi-finalist but placed in the top fifteen in the swimsuit prelimary competition. She won Miss Reina Internacional Del Cafe 2008/Miss International Queen Of Coffee 2008. The pageant was in Colombia.
Miss Argentina (Daniela Stuncan Flimioni) competed in Miss World 2000 where she did not place in the finals, and at Miss Earth 2001, where she placed third runner-up.
Miss Zambia (Rosemary Mulenga Chileshe) competed in Miss World 2004 where she did not place in the finals.
Miss Norway (Kirby Ann Tan Basken) competed in Miss Intercontinental 2006, representing the Philippines, where she was a semifinalist. and she won the title of Mutya ng Pilipinas 2006
Miss Poland (Dorota Gawron) won the Miss Baltic Sea & Scandinavia title in September 2006. The second runner-up was Miss Denmark, Zaklina Sojic. First runner-up Sif Aradóttir represented Iceland at Miss Universe 2006.
Miss Costa Rica (Veronica Maria Gonzalez Quesada) won the Reina Mundial del Banano title in 2006.
Miss Brazil (Natália Guimarães) won the Top Model of the World 2007 title and competed in Miss Intercontinental 2006, where she was a semifinalist.
Miss Angola (Micaela Reis), Miss Spain (Natalia Zabala Arroyo), Miss Russia (Tatyana Kotova), Miss South Africa (Megan Coleman), Miss Egypt, (Ehsan Hatem Al-Kirdany), Miss France (Rachel Legrain-Trapani) and Miss Lebanon (Nadine Njeim), will compete at Miss World 2007
Miss Nicaragua (Xiomara Blandino) and Miss Puerto Rico (Uma Blasini) competed in July at Miss Tourism Queen International 2007, both unplaced.
Miss Angola (Micaela Reis) participated in the Miss World 2007 and won 1st runner-up.
Miss Uruguay (Giannina Silva) was crowned Miss América Latina 2007 just days after Miss Universe 2007 ended. She was, however, later dethroned for undisclosed reasons.
Miss Dominican Republic (Massiel Taveras) would go on and win Miss Reina Hispanoamericana 2007/Miss Hispano American 2007 in Bolivia. This pageant used to be called Reina Sudamericana, but it was opened to countries outside of South America, and became Reina Hispanoamericana in 2007.
Miss Aruba (Carolina Raven) competed and win at Miss Teen International in 1999
Other contestant notes
Miss China Ning-Ning Zhang is Miss Liaoning (China) Universe 2007,the winner of Miss Universe China 2007 Zi-Ya Wei will compete in Miss Universe 2008 pageant.
Miss Jamaica (Zahra Redwood) is the first Rastafarian to represent Jamaica at Miss Universe.
Mauritius was represented by first runner-up Sandra Faro because Melody Selvon, the actual winner of the competition, was only 16 years old. Rules state that all Miss Universe contestants must be over the age of 18.
Miss Lebanon Nadine Njeim has the same name as Miss Lebanon 2004 (who competed at Miss Universe 2005). The two are unrelated.
National Costume controversy
In April 2007, controversy erupted over the proposed national costume of Rosa María Ojeda, Miss Mexico. The skirt of the costume depicted scenes from the Cristero War, a Roman Catholic rebellion in the 1920s in which thousands of people were killed, including hangings. The outfit included a bullet-studded belt and crucifix necklace.[ The design was chosen from over thirty others and had been intended to show Mexico's culture and history, but it elicited controversy amid claims it was in poor taste and inappropriate. Pageant owners said that the costume would be redesigned to include image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.