While waiting for the Miss Universe Pageant 2009 to start, let me share with you some trivia about the contest. These infos are obviously not for the fanatics or connoiseurs who know everything by heart. This is meant to amuse people who have not religiously followed the contest or who may only know very little about the same.
1. Did you know that Venezuela enjoyed uninterrupted semifinal placement from 1981 to 2009, except for two years – 1982 & 2005 – when their representatives failed to make the cut? This makes Miss Venezuela 1982 Ana Teresa Oropeza and Miss Venezuela 2005 Anna Karina Anez as the most disappointed national beauty queens in their powerhouse country’s sterling performance in the pageant.
Miss Venezuela 2005 Anna Karina Anez Delgado
Miss Venezuela 1982 Ana Teresa Oropeza
2. Did you know that two black contestants scored back-to-back victories in 1998 and 1999? Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad & Tobago gave her country’s 2nd Miss Universe crown in 1998, while Mpule Kwelagobe honored Botswana with its 1st Miss Universe title the following year.
Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam
Miss Universe 1999 Mpule Kwelagobe
3. Did you know that 1988 was the only year when Asian delegates dominated the pageant? Miss Thailand Porntip Nakhirunkanok was bestowed her country’s 2nd Miss Universe crown, with Chang Yoon-Jung of Korea who placed 1st Runner-Up, Mizuho Sakaguchi of Japan as 3rd Runner-Up and Pauline Yeung of Hongkong 4th Runner-Up. 2nd Runner-Up Amanda Olivares of Mexico was the only non-Asian in the Top 5.
Miss Universe 1988 Porntip Nakhirunkanok
4. Did you know that current Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela is the only winner green-lighted by the Miss Universe Organization to pose topless in a men’s magazine during her reign? Talk about the evolution of beauty contest standards!
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Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza in one of her tamer topless shots for Maxim Magazine
Did you know that in its entire pageant history, no winner of the Miss Congeniality Award has ever gone to win the Miss Universe title? This proves that being the friendliest and/or the most well-liked won’t bring you to the top in this competition! Cheers!
Miss China Ningning Zhang who won Miss Congeniality at the 2007 edition. She never made it to the semifinals, but another Asian - Riyo Mori of Japan - went all the way to win Miss Universe that year.