On Wednesday night, viewers from every corner of the world watched and cheered for their favorites in the 2012 Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas, Nevada. As every good pageant girl should know, this was literally a once in a lifetime chance for all 88 contestants, as you cannot participate in Miss Universe more than once. Twenty-year-old Olivia Culpo from Rhode Island took the crown and all its perks when she broke a 15-year dry spell for the United States which hasn’t had a winner since Brook Lee in 1997.

Coming in as first runner up was Janine Tugonon, Miss Philippines, who wore a beautiful, blue, one-shoulder gown. Second runner up, Miss Venezuela Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, wore a stunningly beaded green evening gown with illusion sleeves and fabulous purple high heels. Miss Austrailia, who was my personal pick to win, channeled the Sidney Opera House in white, flowing her national costume and echoed that number in her pure white evening gown. Renae Ayris took home third runner up right ahead of Miss Brazil Gabriele Markus who, in my opinion, had the best answer in her question from the judges and one of the best national costumes as fourth runner up.

Contestants participating in the Miss Universe pageant cannot be married or have children, and they must be older than 18 and younger than 27 on February 1st of the year they plan to compete. Miss Universe has no affiliation with Miss America, a pageant in which you can participate more than once.

Also, did you see those Sherri Hill minis at the very beginning? Because we totally have those.

Now every democracy-loving, American-flag-waving fiber of my being wants to believe that this is not “the year of the host countries” as some have been speculating. Some have pointed out that three of the four big, international pageants in 2012 have been won by their host country’s representatives. Others have gone as far as to say that Miss USA, for example, only won her title to boost television ratings. Miss World, held in August in Ordos, China, was won by Yu Wenxia of China. Ikumi Yoshimatsu of Japan was crowned Miss International in October in none other than Okinawa, Japan. Mere coincidence?

All I know is that every Miss Universe winner in the last 60 years or so has been from Earth. So I think we’re doing alright.


National Costumes:

Crowning Moment:



Now tell us what you think! Who was your favorite to win? Do you think the right woman was chosen? Is there a conspiracy of rating-hungry media lords trying to sabotage these prestigious pageants?