|Formation||June 28, 1952|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York|
|Paula Shugart (since 1997) |
|Affiliations||William Morris Endeavor|
|US$100 million (annually)|
Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant that is run by the United States-based Miss Universe Organization.This is the largest pageant in the world in terms of live TV coverage, airing yearly in more than 190 countries worldwide to an audience of over 500 million people. Along with Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth, Miss Universe is one of the Big Four international beauty pageants- the most coveted beauty titles among all the international pageant competitions.
The Miss Universe Organization and its brand, along with Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, are currently owned by the WME/IMG talent agency.The pageant's advocacy is "humanitarian issues and be a voice to affect positive change in the world."
The current Miss Universe is Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa, who was crowned on December 8, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
The title "Miss Universe" was first used by the International Pageant of Pulchritude in 1926. This contest was held annually until 1935, when the Great Depression and other events preceding World War II led to its demise.
The current Miss Universe pageant was founded in 1952 by Pacific Knitting Mills, a California-based clothing company and manufacturer of Catalina Swimwear. The company was the sponsor of the Miss America pageant until 1951, when the winner, Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose for publicity pictures wearing one of their swimsuits. In 1952, Pacific Knitting Mills organized the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, co-sponsoring them for decades to follow.
The first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach, California in 1952. It was won by Armi Kuusela from Finland, who gave up her title, though not officially, to get married, shortly before her year was completed.Until 1958, the Miss Universe title, like that of Miss America, was dated by the year following the contest, so at the time Ms. Kuusela's title was Miss Universe 1953. Since its founding by Pacific Mills, the pageant has been organized and conducted by the Miss Universe Organization. Eventually Pacific Mills and its subsidiaries were acquired by the Kayser-Roth Corporation, which was in turn acquired by Gulf and Western Industries.
The pageant was first televised in 1955. CBS began broadcasting the combined Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants in 1960, and as separate contests in 1965. More than 30 years later, Donald Trump bought the pageant in 1996 from ITT Corp.Trump struck a broadcasting arrangement with CBS until 2002. In 1998, Miss Universe, Inc. changed its name to the Miss Universe Organization, and moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to New York City. In late 2002, Trump entered into a joint venture with NBC, which in 2003 outbid the other markets for the TV rights. From 2003 to 2014, the pageant was broadcast in the United States on NBC.
In June 2015, NBC canceled all business relationships with Trump and the Miss Universe Organization in response to controversial statements about illegal immigrants who crossed the border from Mexico.As part of the legal settlement, in September 2015, Trump bought out NBC's 50% stake in the company, making him the company's sole owner. Three days later he sold the whole company to WME/IMG. Following the change of ownership, in October 2015, Fox and Azteca became the official broadcasters of the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants. The current president of the Miss Universe Organization is Paula Shugart, who has held this position since 1997.
During the CBS telecast era, John Charles Daly hosted the Miss Universe Pageant from 1955 to 1966, Bob Barker from 1967 to 1987, Alan Thicke in 1988, John Forsythe in 1989, Dick Clark from 1990 to 1993, Bob Goen from 1994 to 1996, and Jack Wagner in 1998 and 1999. During the NBC telecast era, Billy Bush hosted the Miss Universe Pageant from 2003 to 2005 and 2009, Andy Cohen in 2011 and 2012, and Thomas Roberts in 2013 and 2014. Daisy Fuentes, Nancy O'Dell, Mel B and Natalie Morales are currently the only females to have hosted the event multiple times (from 2002 to 2004, 2005 and 2006, 2008 and 2013, and from 2010 to 2011 and 2014, respectively).
Since its transfer to Fox in 2015, Miss Universe has been hosted annually by Steve Harvey.
For a country to participate in Miss Universe, a local company or a person should buy the local rights of the competition, through a franchise fee, which involves the rights of image, brand and everything related to the pageant. Often, the owner of this franchise, for contractual breaches or financial reasons, returns the franchise to the Miss Universe Organization, which resells it to a new stakeholder. The reselling of the franchise from one owner to the next is recurrently common in the history of the event. The number of candidates in the contest is inconstant because of the question of the franchisees. In addition, there are problems related to the calendar of the pageant.
Usually a country's candidate selection involves pageants in the nation's local subdivisions, whose winners compete in a national pageant, but there are some countries who opt for an internal selection. For example, from 2000 to 2004, Australian delegates were chosen by a modelling agency. Although such "castings" are generally discouraged by the Miss Universe Organization, Jennifer Hawkins was chosen to represent the country in Miss Universe in 2004 (where she would eventually win the crown). When Australia resumed its national pageant in the following year, Michelle Guy became Miss Universe Australia 2005.
Recent arrivals in the pageant for the 2010s decade include Gabon and Lithuania (2012), Azerbaijan (2013), Sierra Leone (2016), Cambodia, Laos and Nepal (2017), Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia (2018), Bangladesh and Equatorial Guinea (2019), and Uganda and Rwanda (2020). Nepal is the most recent newcomer to place in the semifinals in Miss Universe after making into the Top 10 in 2018, while Botswana remains the most recent first-time entry to ever win Miss Universe on its debut year (in Mpule Kwelagobe in 1999), and Angola is the most recent country to pose its first ever national win in Miss Universe (in Leila Lopes in 2011).
There have also been efforts to revive strong national pageants in Canada, Spain, India and Japan. The organization makes continual efforts to expand the pageant, but the participation of some countries has proven difficult due to cultural barriers to the swimsuit competition, while others such as Mozambique have balked at sending representatives due to the cost. The Miss Universe has historically proven popular in regions like the Americas, Africa and Asia, especially in countries like U.S.A., Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, South Africa, Philippines and Thailand, all of which have appeared in the semifinals multiple times in the last decade.
As of 2020, only three countries have been present at every Miss Universe since its inception in 1952: Canada, France and Germany (West Germany until 1990, as a result of reunification with the East). Since its inception, Miss Universe strictly prohibits age fabrication, and all contestants are not allowed to be pregnant throughout the entire competition (and for winners, up to their reign). This posts a problem, however, for several European countries, which allow 17-year-old contestants to compete in their pageants. Since Miss Universe's minimum age is 18, national titleholders often have to be replaced by their runners-up or another candidate. In recent years, virtually all Miss Universe candidates are required to be at least university degree holders or working professionals from their onset of stints in their national pageants.
Beginning in 2012, openly transgender women were allowed to compete, as long as they won their national pageants.Six years after this rule went into effect, Angela Ponce of Spain became the first openly transgender candidate to compete in the contest, in the 2018 edition. In 2019, Swe Zin Htet became the first openly lesbian woman to compete in Miss Universe. Spain's Patricia Yurena Rodríguez is currently the highest-placed LGBT member at Miss Universe, placing second to Venezuela's Gabriela Isler in 2013, but did not come out until years after the competition.
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Throughout the history of Miss Universe, the main contest has varied widely in terms of annual scheduling, but has been held over a two-week period in the -ber months of the year since 2017. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the pageant was a month long. This allowed time for rehearsals, appearances, and the preliminary competition, with the winner being crowned by the previous year's titleholder during the final competition.
According to the organizers, the Miss Universe contest is more than a beauty pageant. Women aspiring to become Miss Universe must be intelligent, well-mannered, and cultured. Often a candidate has lost because she did not have a good answer during the question and answer round, a round that has gained significant importance in recent decades. Delegates also participate in swimsuit and evening gown competitions.
Currently, the final placement of the finalists is determined by a ranked vote, where each judge ranks each of the final three/five candidates, with the contestant posting the lowest cumulative score (thus often, but not necessarily always, the contestant with the most number one votes) becoming the winner. If there is a tie, the higher semifinal scores become decisive. Since 2015, all scores are all tallied from the preliminaries up to the finale.
The winner is assigned a one-year contract with the Miss Universe Organization, going overseas to spread messages about the control of diseases, peace, and public awareness of AIDS. Aside from the job, the winner also receives a cash allowance for her entire reign, a New York Film Academy scholarship, a modelling portfolio, beauty products, clothes, shoes, as well as styling, healthcare, and fitness services by different sponsors of the pageant. She also gains exclusive access to events such as fashion shows and opening galas, as well as access to casting calls and modelling opportunities throughout New York City. From 1996 to 2015, the winner is given the use of a Trump Place apartment in New York City during her reign, which she shares with the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA titleholders.
If the winner, for any reason, cannot fulfill her duties as Miss Universe, the 1st runner-up takes over. This protocol has happened only once as of 2020, when Panama's Justine Pasek succeeded Russia's Oxana Fedorova as Miss Universe in 2002 after the latter's dethronement later that same year. Aside from the main winner and her runners-up, special awards are also given to the winners of the best National Costume, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Congeniality. The Miss Congeniality award is chosen by the delegates themselves. In recent years, Miss Photogenic has been chosen by popular internet vote (the winner used to be chosen by media personnel covering the event).
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The competition for the Miss Universe title has seen many changes, although there have been several constants throughout its history. All the contestants compete in a preliminary round of judging (nowadays called the "Preliminary Competition") where the field is narrowed to a select number of semifinalists. This number has fluctuated over the years. The first Miss Universe pageant had ten semifinalists. For the next two years, the number of semifinalists grew to 16. In 1955, the number dropped to a stable 15, which remained through 1970. In 1971, the number was reduced to 12. That number was further reduced to 10 in 1984. This lasted until 2003, when the contest reinstated the Top 15. This selection continued to be the norm until 2015, except in 2006 and 2011 to 2013. In 2006 and since 2018, there are 20 semifinalists, the highest number of contestants through to the semifinals (and with 2018 currently featuring the most competing contestants overall).
From 2011 to 2013, there were 16 semifinalists, 15 chosen by judges and one chosen through Internet votes. In the 2016 edition, there were 13 semifinalists - 12 chosen by judges panel from the quarantine to the preliminary night and one chosen by Twitter and Vodi app. In 2017, 16 semifinalists were selected from 4 different groups each hailing from a different region in the world - Africa & Asia-Pacific, Europe, The Americas - and a wild card group (all regions covered). The wild card spots have been in place since 2017, but 5 semifinalists are chosen per group since 2018.
In the early years, the contestants were judged in swimsuit and evening gown only. Since the 1990s, the contestants are now also judged based on their live interviews with their question and answer responses during the coronation night. The crowning moment usually involves the three (or five) remaining finalists. However, since 2015, the climax round for the live pageant is the question and answer portion of the Top 3 remaining contestants. The contestants also competed in a preliminary interview round in a one-on-one meeting with each individual judge, mostly closed-door sessions, as well as in the national costume show in the preliminaries. The live interview round for the semifinalists was dropped as a separate segment with bearing to determine the winner in 2004, and was integrated in the introduction of the semifinalists since 2016.
The 2018 edition marked the first time that the Miss Universe pageant included the live opening statements after the semifinalists have been announced, to be included in the overall tallies in determining the winner of the competition. The 2019 edition marked the first time ever in Miss Universe pageant's history that the remaining Top 3 contestants are required to deliver their live closing statements, to be included in the overall tallies, right before the announcement of the winner of the competition.
The crown of Miss Universe has changed nine times over the course of its 67-year history.
|Edition||Country||Titleholder||National Title||Venue of Competition||Number of Entrants|
|2019||Zozibini Tunzi||Miss South Africa||Atlanta, United States||90|
|2018||Catriona Gray||Binibining Pilipinas||Bangkok, Thailand||94|
|2017||Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters||Miss South Africa||Las Vegas, United States||92|
|2016||Iris Mittenaere||Miss France||Manila, Philippines||86|
|2015||Pia Wurtzbach||Binibining Pilipinas||Las Vegas, United States||80|
The Miss Universe Organization is the organization that currently owns and runs the Miss Universe, Miss USAand Miss Teen USA beauty contests. Based in New York, the organization is owned by WME/IMG. The current president is Paula Shugart. The organization sells television rights to the pageants in other countries.
The following is a list of all Miss Universe Organization titleholders over the years.
|Edition||Miss Universe||Country||Miss USA||State||Miss Teen USA||State|
|2019||Zozibini Tunzi||Cheslie Kryst||Kaliegh Garris|
|2018||Catriona Gray||Sarah Rose Summers||Hailey Colborn|
|2017||Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters||Kára McCullough||Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff|
|2016||Iris Mittenaere||Deshauna Barber||Karlie Hay|
|2015||Pia Wurtzbach||Olivia Jordan||Katherine Haik|
|2014||Paulina Vega||Nia Sanchez||K. Lee Graham|
|2013||Gabriela Isler||Erin Brady||Cassidy Wolf|
|2012||Olivia Culpo||Nana Meriwether||Logan West|
|2011||Leila Lopes||Alyssa Campanella||Danielle Doty|
|2010||Ximena Navarrete||Rima Fakih||Kamie Crawford|
|2009||Stefanía Fernández||Kristen Dalton||Stormi Henley|
|2008||Dayana Mendoza||Crystle Stewart||Stevi Perry|
|2007||Riyo Mori||Rachel Smith||Hilary Cruz|
|2006||Zuleyka Rivera||Tara Conner||Katie Blair|
|2005||Natalie Glebova||Chelsea Cooley||Allie LaForce|
|2004||Jennifer Hawkins||Shandi Finnessey||Shelley Hennig|
|2003||Amelia Vega||Susie Castillo||Tami Farrell|
|2002||Oxana Fedorova||Shauntay Hinton||Vanessa Semrow|
|2001||Denise Quiñones||Kandace Krueger||Marissa Whitley|
|2000||Lara Dutta||Lynnette Cole||Jillian Parry|
|1999||Mpule Kwelagobe||Kimberly Pressler||Ashley Coleman|
|1998||Wendy Fitzwilliam||Shawnae Jebbia||Vanessa Minnillo|
|1997||Brook Lee||Brandi Sherwood||Shelly Moore|
|1996||Alicia Machado||Ali Landry||Christie Lee Woods|
|1995||Chelsi Smith||Shanna Moakler||Keylee Sue Sanders|
|1994||Sushmita Sen||Lu Parker||Shauna Gambill|
|1993||Dayanara Torres||Kenya Moore||Charlotte Lopez|
|1992||Michelle McLean||Shannon Marketic||Jamie Solinger|
|1991||Lupita Jones||Kelli McCarty||Janelle Bishop|
|1990||Mona Grudt||Carole Gist||Bridgette Wilson|
|1989||Angela Visser||Gretchen Polhemus||Brandi Sherwood|
|1988||Porntip Nakhirunkanok||Courtney Gibbs||Mindy Duncan|
|1987||Cecilia Bolocco||Michelle Royer||Kristi Addis|
|1986||Bárbara Palacios||Christy Fichtner||Allison Brown|
|1985||Deborah Carthy-Deu||Laura Martinez-Herring||Kelly Hu|
|1984||Yvonne Ryding||Mai Shanley||Cherise Haugen|
|1983||Lorraine Downes||Julie Hayek||Ruth Zakarian|
|1982||Karen Baldwin||Terri Utley||↑ No Pageant Held|
(established in 1983)
|1981||Irene Sáez||Kim Seelbrede|
|1980||Shawn Weatherly||Jineane Ford|
|1979||Maritza Sayalero||Mary Therese Friel|
|1978||Margaret Gardiner||Judi Andersen|
|1977||Janelle Commissiong||Kimberly Tomes|
|1976||Rina Messinger||Barbara Peterson|
|1975||Anne Marie Pohtamo||Summer Bartholomew|
|1974||Amparo Muñoz||Karen Morrison|
|1973||Margarita Moran||Amanda Jones|
|1972||Kerry Anne Wells||Tanya Wilson|
|1971||Georgina Rizk||Michele McDonald|
|1970||Marisol Malaret||Deborah Shelton|
|1969||Gloria Diaz||Wendy Dascomb|
|1968||Martha Vasconcellos||Dorothy Anstett|
|1967||Sylvia Hitchcock||Cheryl Patton|
|1966||Margareta Arvidsson||Maria Remenyi|
|1965||Apasra Hongsakula||Sue Downey|
|1964||Corinna Tsopei||Bobbi Johnson|
|1963||Iêda Maria Vargas||Marite Ozers|
|1962||Norma Nolan||Macel Leilani Wilson|
|1961||Marlene Schmidt||Sharon Brown|
|1960||Linda Bement||Linda Bement|
|1959||Akiko Kojima||Terry Huntingdon|
|1958||Luz Marina Zuluaga||Arlene Howell|
|1957||Gladys Zender||Charlotte Sheffield|
|Mary Leona Gage|
|1956||Carol Morris||Carol Morris|
|1955||Hillevi Rombin||Carlene Johnson|
|1954||Miriam Stevenson||Miriam Stevenson|
|1953||Christiane Martel||Myrna Hansen|
|1952||Armi Kuusela||Jackie Loughery|
Electronic Arts was reportedly developing a video game based on the pageant, but development status is currently uncertain due to the closure of EA Black Box, the studio allegedly developing the game.
A beauty pageant or beauty contest is a competition that has traditionally focused on judging and ranking the physical attributes of the contestants, although most contests have evolved to also incorporate personality traits, intelligence, talent, and a contestant's ability to answer judges' questions on various subjects as judged criteria. The term refers largely to contests for women such as the Big Four international beauty pageants. Hundreds of thousands of beauty contests are held annually, but the Big Four are considered the most prestigious, widely covered and broadcast by media. The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Xinhua News Agency, and global news agencies such as Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France-Presse collectively refer to the four major pageants as "Big Four" namely: Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth.
Miss USA is an American beauty pageant that has been held annually since 1952 to select the entrant from United States in the Miss Universe pageant. The Miss Universe Organization operates both pageants, as well as Miss Teen USA.
Miss Venezuela is the national beauty pageant of Venezuela, traditionally held in September. It is preceded by two or three months of preliminary events, with the awarding of corporate prizes. The final televised competition generally lasts about four hours and is broadcast live across Latin America by Venevisión and produced by the networks parent company Cisneros Group, with edited versions to the United States and Mexico on the Univision and Telemundo networks. From 2013 to 2015, the national contest was split into two separate pageants: Miss Venezuela and Miss Venezuela Mundo. The pageant is also closely observed by other countries seeking to level competition due to its illustrious record of pageant victories. In 2016, the Venezuelan franchise for Miss Earth was awarded to Miss Earth Venezuela organized by National Directors Julio César Cruz and Alyz Henrich.
The Miss Texas USA competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state Texas in the Miss USA pageant, and the name of the title held by that winner. This pageant is part of the Miss Universe Organization, owned by William Morris Endeavor.
Miss Suomi is a national beauty pageant in Finland.
Miss Bolivia is a national beauty pageant in Bolivia.
Miss Universe Australia is a national Beauty pageant that has selected Australia's representative to the Miss Universe pageant.
Miss Universe China is a national beauty pageant that selects China's representative to the Miss Universe pageant since 2002.
Miss Universe Vietnam is a two-year frequent national beauty pageant in Vietnam to select the country's representative to the Miss Universe, one of the Big Four major international beauty pageants.
Since 2017, the editions have been being organized frequently at the very end of odd years as opposed to the organization of Miss Vietnam on even years due to the Ministry of Culture's direction. The winner of the pageant will be crowned as the next year's Miss Universe Vietnam while one of the two runners-up could be appointed as the following year's one if the pageant is not allowed to be held in time. Therefore, there have been two types of Miss Universe Vietnam, crowned Miss Universe Vietnam will represent Vietnam at Miss Universe on even years while appointed/granted Miss Universe Vietnam will represent the country on odd years.
Miss Polonia is a national Beauty pageant in Poland to select the official ambassador of Poland at the Miss World, Miss Grand International and Miss Intercontinental pageants. This pageant is the oldest beauty pageant in Poland.
Miss Earth Democratic Republic of the Congo(Miss Earth DR Congo) is the official title given to Democratic Republic of the Congo's delegate to the Miss Earth pageant. This pageant, unlike Miss World or Miss Universe focuses mainly on promoting environmental causes and winners are chosen equally on their physical attributes as well as their understanding and knowledge of the issues affecting the Earth.
Nuestra Belleza Mundo El Salvador was a national Beauty pageant in El Salvador. The winner represented El Salvador at Miss World. Between 2006 - 2015, the winner was given the title of Nuestra Belleza Universo and competed at Miss Universe.
Miss Earth USA is an annual beauty pageant which selects the United States representative to Miss Earth which is an annual international beauty pageant promoting environmental awareness.
This is a list of the Philippines' representatives and their placements at the Big Four international beauty pageants. The Philippines, widely considered a beauty pageant powerhouse, has won in all four pageants with a total of ninety-three placements and fifteen victories:
Marisela de Montecristo is a Salvadoran-American model, television presenter, actress, and beauty pageant titleholder who has been crowned Nuestra Belleza Latina 2013 and Miss El Salvador 2018.
Wendolly Esparza Delgadillo is a Mexican-American journalist, model and beauty pageant titleholder who won Nuestra Belleza México 2014 and represented Mexico at Miss Universe 2015 pageant where she placed in the top fifteen.
Miss Universe 2015, the 64th Miss Universe pageant, was held on 20 December 2015 at The AXIS in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Paulina Vega of Colombia crowned her successor Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines at the end of the event. After 42 years, this is the third time the Philippines won Miss Universe, after Margarita Moran in 1973. 80 contestants competed for the crown.
Miss USA 2016 was the 65th Miss USA pageant. It was held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 5, 2016. Terrence J and Julianne Hough all hosted for the first time, while Ashley Graham served as the backstage host. All fifty states and the District of Columbia competed. Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma crowned her successor, Deshauna Barber of the District of Columbia, at the end of the event. Barber represented the United States at the Miss Universe 2016 pageant, where she placed in the Top 9.
Miss Universe Puerto Rico is a national Beauty pageant in Puerto Rico.
The Phoenix Mikimoto Crown, also informally known as the Mikimoto Crown is a pageant crown worn by Miss Universe titleholders.