Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza and Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Univision)
Photo by Dario Cantatore/Getty Images
The record remains undisputed to date. Venezuela’s back-to-back wins in Miss Universe, that is. In the modern history of this pageant, there were close calls to break the solo bragging rights. But what amuses me is that a Filipina always blocked the way for them to happen. Like last 2015 when Pia Wurtzbach prevented Ariadna Gutierrez of Colombia from following the victory of Paulina Vega. Or last 2018 when Catriona Gray obstructed Tamaryn Green of South Africa from directly connecting with the reign of Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters the year before.
Venezuelans Dayana Mendoza and Stefania Fernandez are like two peas in a pod who distinguished themselves from the rest of the litter, so to speak. The former nailed the title of Miss Universe 2008 in Nha Trang, Vietnam inspite of facing tough opposition from Taliana Vargas of Colombia. On the other hand, Estefania Fernandez may have needed to pass through the eye of a needle before squeaking past Ada Aimee dela Cruz of the Dominican Republic and Marigona Dragusha of Kosovo.
Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez and Osmel Sousa (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/WireImage)
At the end of the day, both Dayana and Stefania owned their achievements, and proved that they deserved the back-to-back. And this is most especially true during their respective reigns when they were able to sustain the continuous popularity of Miss Universe from Latin America to Asia and beyond.
Without a doubt, this ranks high as one of the best shining moments of Osmel Sousa (right photo with Stefania) and the entire country of Venezuela in international pageantry.
Three Venezuelan Queens in one frame: (L-R) MU2013 Gabriela Isler, MU2008 Dayana Mendoza and MU2009 Stefania Fernandez when they attended the Angel Sanchez fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 at The Pavilion at Lincoln Center on September 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
In alphabetical order, here is my fearless forecast for the Top 15 semifinalists of Miss Universe 2009. Coronation night will be this coming Sunday, August 23, 2009 from the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. ABS-CBN will air the live telecast (Monday morning, Manila time) with a replay on Studio 23 on Tuesday night.
Rachael Finch (Australia)
Jessica Umana (Costa Rica)
Angenie Simon (Curacao)
Iveta Lutovska (Czech Republic)
Ada Aimee de la Cruz (Dominican Republic)
Melat Yante (Ethiopia)
Ingibjorg Egilsdottir (Iceland)
Zivanna Siregar (Indonesia)
Karla Carrillo (Mexico)
Bianca Manalo (Philippines)
Sofia Rudyeva (Russia)
Tatum Keshwar (South Africa)
Estibaliz Pereira (Spain)
Kristen Dalton (USA)
Stefania Fernandez (Venezuela)
Good luck to all the girls!
And Miss Philippines, Bianca Manalo, may the force be with you!
Will one of these two ladies capture the crown this year?
By the way, my pick to win is either Dominican Republic or Russia.
images courtesy of the Miss Universe site and brought by ecurb of OPMB Worldwide Forums.