39 comments on “Riyo Mori and her conquest of the Miss Universe 2007 crown in Mexico

  1. for the Q&A, brazil and venezuela did not drive it home, USA was ok , Riyo’s was direct, relatable, grounded and genuine, and she was able to calm the crowd #Queen.

  2. But there is no doubt about the AUTHENTICITY of MU 2007, when she said she’d open a dance school and teach children to be patient, happy and positive she did exactly that. #respect

  3. Trump allowed the crowning of Riyo to further his business interests in Japan. That is all there is to it regardless of whether she is deserving or not. We all know her winning is unconventional like her gown and Trump could have pushed for his preferred cookie cutter beauty queen if he wanted to like in 2012.

    • @ Aron Which hopefully paid off because Robato said majority of Japs do not know Mori Riyo.

      • well japan is not pageant crazy to begin with, in an interview, some years ago, Riyo herself said that she can walk the streets , she’s practically incognito, funny enough its the pinoy fans who recognize her.

  4. Pardon the shade, but the height of Miss U as being first and foremost a beauty pageant was during the Trump era so Riyo Mori’s winning is sticking out like a sore thumb. Truth to tell, she hardly sticks out in a crowd even during her reign as evidenced by the video above. And she wasn’t even really a standout in the Q&A nor the swimsuit competition IMHO. I have to give her props though for being one of the frontrunners in the evening gown competition, but that is hardly enough to propel her to the top. Also, she cannot really hold a candle to the clearly gorgeous and classy Kurara Chibana who should have won over the rather vampy appeal of Zuleyka Rivera.

    • Riyo’s win was indeed a surprise given the fact that both Brazil and Venezuela were almost template perfect for Miss Universe titlists on that era.

      Looking back on that finals, it’s hard to ignore the presence of Nina Garcia and her possible influence on the eventual winner. As a regular judge of Project Runway, Nina tends to favor the edgy, fashion-forward look over the fabulous but safe fashion statements.

      Looking at Brazil, Venezuela, USA and Korea during their final “visual-assessment,” they all presented that “uber-gorgeous-damsel-in-distress aura” in an arena full of highly partisan if not vicious audience. In contrast, Riyo tamed the crowd with her inner New Yorker bravado, bordering in utter arrogance while fabulously showcasing the pattern of her otherwise unflattering and unconventional gown.

    • well beauty is subjective, Siera Bearchell (Ms.Canada 2016) describes seeing Riyo in person as “stunning, you cannot not look at her” For me, Of the 2000 MUs the only girls i find prettier than her are : oxana, amelia, natalie and ximena. Of the 2007 top 5 only Honey Lee.

  5. If I were a judge back then, I would have had it like this:

    Miss Universe: Brazil
    1st RU: Venezuela
    2nd RU: Japan
    3rd RU: Korea
    4th RU: USA

    Not to take away too much from Riyo’s efforts, but I’m one of those people who think that Zuleyka winning over Kurara the year before had a huge factor in Riyo’s win.

  6. I don’t wanna be sound a diva commenting about Riyo Mori’s victory in MU 2007. I thought a Latina girl should win if not due to the unclassy behavior of the Latino crowd. Riyo was facially the weakest among the finalist and her answer wasn’t that good. However, I do wonder that her vibrant performance in the evening captured the judges, and the QnA round wasn’t really factored in.

    Teresa Licaros was more beautiful and intelligent than Riyo. The thing is, not much had been written about her during the competition. Perhaps, she was not a standout or had a hard time mingling with her co-candidates and the press. Her video interview was also boring because she was too composed. I did not also find it witty when she said that, if she wouldn’t end up in the legal profession, she would rather be a bus conductor because she thought she would collect and handle more money on a daily basis (something to that effect). If Teresa were only trained well, she would make it in the cut. I like her modest Filipina beauty. She only lacked the oomph factor.

    Tito Norms, would you feature the girls who should have made it in Binibining Pilipinas and could better represent us on the international beauty pageant stages but failed due to some reasons or another? I had Joey Mead, Bianca Araneta, Claudine Trillo (a summa cum laude graduate from a university in New York), Anna Palabyab (UST doctor), etc. in my mind.

    That’s all.

    • My jazz…Teresa Licaros mo beautiful?! She doesn’t look like a beauty pageant material. Bb. was experimenting then. Teresa is beautiful in her own right but not for pageants.

      Pero sa totoo lang Zuleyka looks a lot fatter and different on her turn over. Sana man lang minentain nya ang figure nya.

      • I agree.. si Licaros walang Lib_g factor, hindi uubra sa hampasan ng balakang ng mga latina.. tha’s all!

    • Brazil and Venezuela looked mature, maybe it’s the stage lights, everyone is significantly prettier during the fadil shoot ( especially Nicaragua and Thailand) for me, of the top 5, only honey lee is prettier than Riyo.

    • please, may nakita ako old pic, magkakasama mga asians sa isang pic ang layo ng ganda ni riyo kay licaros.

    • for the Q&A, brazil and venezuela did not drive it home, USA was ok , Riyo’s was direct, relatable, grounded and genuine, and she was able to calm the crowd #Queen.

  7. Curious lang. Pwedeng malaman paano naging bitch si Rio Mori? Meron po ba testaments about this? Any concrete examples that would her such po?

  8. RE: MISS U 2020

    Lupita Jones explained in a video yesterday that the MUO gave the national directors three options: (1) submit first runner-up last year; (2) do a virtual contest and choose it in a low-key digital contest; or (3) hold the contest later in the year but before November 1st (or something like that). She explained that the first two options do NOT interest her, that she continues to plan a contest only that she now has it for October

    What’s your take on this Tito Norman

      • Ang sponsors naman ay more of wider exposure i.e., TV and online. So even a showlike competition would suffice. The judges will be physically present naman.

        COVID 19 really changed our norms.

  9. Riyo Mori had the right attitude (including being nasty/rude to intimidate others) competing for the 2007 Miss Universe crown. She was excellently trained and well guided by Ines Ligron before and throughout the competition in order to get the title for Japan. Riyo was as well as perfectly packaged. These include among others her unique evening gown, [Latinized] hairstyle & make up, strong stage projection, and not to forget, the orchestrated social media engagements (stories/gossips to weaken others) done by Ines herself.

    Was Riyo the most beautiful? NO. Was she the sexiest? NO. Was she the best in Q&A? NO. ALL she had was the RIGHT ATTITUDE in winning the crown.

    Facial wise, TERE LICAROS is a LOT prettier with the right hair style and make up. Body wise, Tere and Riyo has more or less the same structure – on the lean side. But Riyo knows how to project a very SEXY image on stage. OF COURSE, Tere is FAR, FAR MORE INTELLIGENT than Riyo being a summa cum laude graduate (& is now a lawyer).

    The PROBLEM with TERE is SHE DID NOT USE HER INTELLIGENCE in the pageantry. Second, she DID NOT HAVE the RIGHT ATTITUDE towards competing. Third, she was poorly packaged (that very boring Christmas wrapper evening gown) and badly styled (boring hairstyle). HAWAK PA KASI SILANG LAHAT sa LEEG ni SMA. And the A&Q MEMBERS were still practicing with their craft on pageantry & allied matters.

    And SO RIYO WON. He, he, he… ANO tingin mo FLOR?

    • Teresa Licaros thought that she joined the 90’s (plus the year 2000) edition where the likes of Sushmita, Brook, Wendy, Mpule, and Lara joined and got the crown by nailing the Q&A round…

      i remember people hyping her ability to answer all questions… it’s like how we think Pia or Catriona or Shamcey and Janine could answer all questions in the world… then came the release of their MU videos wherein they need to answer some questions… NO PERSONALITY at all… then Prelims… i was like… Thailand and Japan just kicked her out of the competition.

    • @ Pierro Rocco I would have LOVED to work for Ines Ligron. ‘Yan ang BOSING. 🙂

      I have had difficult-if-sometimes-unreasonable employers. BUT, I consider them mentors. From them, I learned things and gained insights I would not have gotten any other way.

      As shown in your comment, the future will be given to those who make it (now).

      Can anything really be said about that time frame as far as packaging/marketing is concerned? Was there anyone who was in a position to loosen Mdme. SMA’s “grip”? And as you said, A&Q was still on a learning curve. It will be the same for The Camp. KF, seems, is on a CoV19-like (learning) curve – still not at the plateau, even.

      Were you able to locate that major broadsheet Sunday magazine’s edition on Teresa’s MU stint?

    • “Riyo Mori had the right attitude (including being nasty/rude to intimidate others) “

      2007 Miss Universe was one of those editions where the Final-(same question)-Q&A was replaced with final-individual-walk-visual-assessment.

      Without a doubt, the moment Riyo strutted her last with “I-don’t-give-a-damn” attitude with a well controlled bubbly aura, though wearing that very unconventional, unflattering gown, amidst a rowdy if not hostile crowd, the 2007 Miss Universe crown was rightfully hers for the taking.

    • true… getting a lot of BOOing from those rude Mexican crowd (even saying that they were booing US government instead… there’s a right venue for that)… kuddos to Rachel… that’s too much GRACE under too much PRESSURE.

  10. The Final Round was like…
    Brazil already thinking that she’s the one… although she kinda looks older than the others.
    Korea having a bad translation of her answer.
    USA getting a lot of BOOing from the Mexican crowd… she should have won or even placed higher for that… that’s too much GRACE under too much PRESSURE.
    Japan still being very bubbly despite a BAD CROWD.
    And a very humble-looking Miss Venezuela… who deserves a higher placement if not for that gown.

  11. “Riyo wore the most non-pageant competition evening gown….” accdng to Norman, which is a true statement. Coupled with her wearing a “tuxedo” the next year during her final walk, to crown her successor. A non-conformist 🙂

  12. So Japan had somewhat of a streak back then, with a runner up finish the previous year, then, Riyo winning the next. They also had a 4th runner up finish back then (don’t remember when but saw the crowning from one of Norman’s video vignette).

  13. Bitchiness of Zuleyka overflowing here!!! Can’t imagine her as a roommate

  14. I have to say. That was a rather rusty Final 5 Question Round. 😦

    ‘Di bale. Dave Navarro is LOVE. 🙂

    Also LOVED the animal-print SKIMPY bikinis in the Swimwear Round. 🙂

    Which brings to mind…..

    Mr. Tinio, I don’t believe we have ever seen you in any kind of animal print. Or leather. Puwede?

    • Sometimes i would see some IG posts, from pinoys even, who have met riyo in person (MU2016, MU2019) describing her as approachable and warm. So i really don’t know, zuleyka maybe, on the fence with Riyo.

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