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Crown Convention Center, Nha Trang.
Participating Nations and Results.
Miss Universe 2008, the 57th Miss Universe pageant, was held at the Crown Convention Centermarker in the Diamond Bay Resort, Nha Trangmarker, Vietnammarker on July 14, 2008. Dayana Mendoza, Miss Venezuela, was crowned Miss Universe 2008 by outgoing titleholder Riyo Mori of Japanmarker.

Eighty contestants competed in the event which was broadcast and distributed globally via NBC in English and Telemundo in Spanish to TV outlets in more than 180 countries. The pageant was watched by a live audience of 7,500 and nearly a billion television viewers worldwide.

This is the first major USAmarker-based television production to take place in Vietnammarker since the end of the Vietnam War. This is also the first time that the Miss Universe pageant was broadcast in 1080i High-definition. And this pageant was held in a contemporary Communist state for the first time.

The final presentation show was on July 8, the dress rehearsal on July 13 and the live telecast on July 14. Most activities were held successively in Ho Chi Minh Citymarker (formerly Sai Gonmarker), Ha Noimarker, Da Nangmarker, Hoi Anmarker, Ha Longmarker and finally Nha Trangmarker.

Jerry Springer, tabloid talk show host and host of NBC's America's Got Talent, and Melanie Brown, a.k.a. "Scary Spice", member of the UKmarker pop group Spice Girls and host of TLC's The Singing Office, presented this year's competition. Lady Gaga, 22 year-old performer and songwriter, performed her single Just Dance.

Areas of Competition

Prior to the final telecast, all contestants competed in swimsuit and evening gown during the preliminary competition. They also participated in interviews with the judges.

During the final competition, the top fifteen contestants (based on their preliminary scores) competed in the swimsuit competition, and the top ten (based upon individual swimsuit scores) competed in evening gown. The final five contestants (based upon individual score from evening gown) participated in a final round of on-stage interviews, before the runners-up were announced and the new Miss Universe named.

This was the second year since 2002 that the judges' average scores were shown on television.



Final results Contestant
Miss Universe 2008
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
3rd runner-up
4th runner-up
Top 10
Top 15

Final competition scores

Country Swimsuit Evening Gown
Venezuela 9.327 (2) 9.697 (2)
Colombia 9.433 (1) 9.829 (1)
Dominican Republic 8.983 (6) 9.036 (4)
Russia 8.414 (7) 8.471 (5)
Mexico 9.071 (5) 9.429 (3)
Kosovo 8.120 (8) 8.264 (6)
Spain 9.150 (4) 8.200 (7)
USA 9.207 (3) 8.050 (8)
Italy 7.671 (10) 7.729 (9)
Australia 7.814 (9) 7.557 (10)
Czech Republic 7.386 (11)
Hungary 7.229 (12)
South Africa 7.133 (13)
Japan 7.100 (14)
Vietnam 7.050 (15)

     First runner-up
     Second runner-up
     Third runner-up
     Fourth runner-up
     Top 10
     Top 15
(#)  Rank in each round of competition

Order of announcements

Top 15

  • 1. Venezuela
  • 2. Kosovo
  • 3. Mexico
  • 4. Vietnam
  • 5. South Africa

  • 6. Australia
  • 7. Japan
  • 8. Dominican Republic
  • 9. Italy
  • 10. Colombia

  • 11. Russia
  • 12. Hungary
  • 13. Czech Republic
  • 14. USA
  • 15. Spain

Top 10

  • 1. Kosovo
  • 2. Australia
  • 3. Spain
  • 4. Mexico
  • 5. Colombia

  • 6. USA
  • 7. Dominican Republic
  • 8. Russia
  • 9. Italy
  • 10. Venezuela

Top 5
  • 1. Colombia
  • 2. Venezuela
  • 3. Dominican Republic
  • 4. Mexico
  • 5. Russia

Special awards


Background music


Historical Significance

  • Venezuela won the Miss Universe crown after a 12 year drought.
  • Countries who also made into the top 15 previous year were Venezuela, Mexico, USA, Czech Republic and Japan.
  • Japan placed for the third straight year. Venezuela placed for the second consecutive year.
  • Kosovo and Vietnam placed for the first time.
  • Colombia, Hungary and Russia last placed in 2006.
  • Dominican Republic and South Africa last placed in 2005.
  • Australia last placed in 2004.
  • Spain last placed in 2001.
  • Italy last placed in 1997.
  • El Salvador won Miss Congeniality for the second time.
  • Thailand won Best National Costume for the fourth time.
  • Venezuela won its fifth crown, now the second most successful country to compete in the pageant tied with Puerto Rico after USA.
  • Russia scored its highest placement since Oxana Federova won in 2002 (later dethroned).
  • This is the 45th (out of a total of 57) editions that the host delegate made the semifinals.
  • This is the first time since 2003 that the venue (Crown Convention Center) was specifically made for the pageant.
  • A European Mel B. co-hosted the pageant only for the second time this decade, the first being Naomi Campbell in 2001. Interestingly, both are Black British celebrities.
  • For the first time since 2001, Europeans outnumbered those from the Western Hemisphere in the semifinals.
  • This is the first time no Miss Photogenic award was given since the inception of the award.

National pageant notes



  • Barbados, Belize, Bulgaria, Guyana, Lebanon, St. Lucia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Zambia competed in 2007

Returning countries and territories

  • Guam last competed in 2000.
  • Netherlands and Vietnam last competed in 2005.
  • Cayman Islands, Ghana, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and UK last competed in 2006.

Pageant notes

Taliana Vargas, Miss Colombia 2007 and first runner-up

New crown

For Miss Universe 2008 a new crown was unveiled. The 18k white and yellow gold crown was designed by CAO Fine Jewelry specifically for the event. With over 1,000 precious stones, including 44 carats of diamonds, the crown has a value of $120,000 (USD). The design of the crown is highly symbolic. Vietnam is symbolized in the yellow gold, representative of the country's healthy economy, and in the crane, with represents the spirit and culture of Vietnam. Other colors stand for inspiration and feeling, while the depicted heart is meant to reflect faith, hope and unity. The curving patterns of the stones are a tribute to every country, reflecting growth. The crown will only be awarded as part of the contest this year, with the original Mikimoto design being awarded again next year.


Dayana Mendoza receives a prize package which includes cash, a one-year contract promoting Miss Universe, world travel, a rent-free, prestigious New York City apartment, a gift bag stuffed with free designer shoes, dresses and beauty products, a $100,000 USD stipend for a 2-year course at the New York Film Academymarker and free access to famous fashion houses and beauty parlors. Mendoza will spend her year-long reign traveling the world to lecture on humanitarian issues and promote education regarding HIV/AIDS, the official platform of the Miss Universe Organization.

Miss USA falls again

Miss USA, Crystle Stewart, slipped and fell down the stairs during the Evening Gown competition. This was the second year in a row that a Miss USA delegate fell during Evening Gown. This is also the first time in pageant history a contestant fell down during the Evening Gown competition in two consecutive pageants, from the same country, or from any country. Miss USA 2007, Rachel Smith, fell during Miss Universe 2007 in Mexicomarker, and received boos after she made the Top Five contestants. After Stewart fell, she encouraged the audience to applaud by clapping her hands. She was eliminated after the Evening Gown Competition, finishing in eighth place.

Contestant notes

Crystle Stewart, Miss USA 2008 and semifinalist
  • Miss Pays de Loire, Laura Tanguy, represented France. She was second runner up in the Miss France competition, but the winner, Valérie Bègue, was banned after suggestive photos of her appeared in the media shortly after she was crowned. The first runner-up, Miss New Caledonia Vahinerii Requillart, decided to not compete in Miss Universe because she wanted to continue studying.
  • The winner of Miss Russia 2007 Ksenia Sukhinova was supposed to represent Russiamarker, but due to her studies was replaced by her 2nd runner-up Vera Krasova. Later, Ksenia wins the Miss World 2008.
  • Claudia Moro, was appointed as representative of her country instead of winning the title. Patricia Yurena Rodriguez, who originally was crowned Miss Spain, was disqualified because she did not meet the minimum age requirement by the time asked by the Miss Universe Organization.
  • Daša Živković (Montenegro) placed 3rd Runner-up at the Miss Tourism Queen International 2008 pageant.
  • In February 2008, Miss Universe organization president Paula Shugart announced that a Miss Kosovo would compete in Miss Universe 2008 in Vietnam. Montenegromarker and Serbiamarker had already announced that they would boycott the pageant if Kosovo participated. As Vietnam and Kosovo do not have diplomatic relations, the Vietnam government considered disallowing such participation since it opposes Kosovo's independence. In the end, Kosovo, Serbia, and Montenegro competed without incident. Kosovo's Zana Krasniqi made it to the finals, finishing sixth place.
  • Ingrid Marie Rivera, Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2008 was 2nd Runner-up at Miss World 2005. She was previously Miss Global Queen 2003.
  • Shenise Wong, Miss Singapore Universe 2008, was previously competed in Miss Asia-Pacific 1999, Miss International 2002, and Miss World 2005.
  • Marianne Cruz, Miss Dominican Republic 2008 was the reigning Miss Continente Americano 2007.
  • Sacha Scott (Bahamas) is the daughter of Miss Bahamas 1982, Christina Thompson-Scott, who competed in Miss Universe 1983.
  • Dayana Mendoza, Miss Venezuela 2007 was a finalist at the Elite Model Look International 2001, in Nicemarker, Francemarker.
  • Samantha Tajik, Miss Universe Canada 2008 currently holds the International Model Of The Year 2007 title and was 2nd runner-up in Miss Global Beauty Queen 2007.
  • Barbara Tatara (Miss Polandmarker) previously competed at Miss Earth 2007 but did not place. The first half of that pageant was also held in Vietnam before heading to the Philippines for the finals.
  • Aruni Madusha Rajapakse (Miss Sri Lankamarker) placed as a semifinalist at Miss International 2007.
  • Rebecca Parchment (Miss Cayman Islandsmarker) previously competed at Miss World 2007 but did not place.
  • Tansey Coetzee (South Africa), Alizée Poulicek (Belgium), Laura Tanguy (France), Alfina Nassyrova (Kazakhstan), Athina James (Antigua & Barbuda), and Olivia Carey (Mauritius) competed in Miss World 2008. Tansey Coetzee (South Africa) was a Top 5 finalist, Alfina Nassyrova (Kazakhstanmarker) ended up as a Top 15 semifinalist, and , Alizée Poulicek (Belgiummarker), Laura Tanguy (Francemarker) and Olivia Carey (Mauritiusmarker) were unplaced.

International broadcasting

Like the american-based NBC and Telemundo, same networks broadcasted the Miss Universe 2008 pageant in their respective countries and territories:


  1. in.reuters, Venezuelan Mendoza wins '08 Miss Universe contest
  2. Press release
  3. [ Miss Universe Organization - CAO FINE JEWELRY WILL CREATE THIS YEAR'S COVETED MISS UNIVERSE CROWN: World Renowned Vietnamese Brand PNJ to Unveil Unique Crown for the 2008 Miss Universe Competition
  4. VnExpress - Vương miện Hoa hậu Hoàn vũ giá 120.000 USD
  5., Venezuelans celebrate fifth Miss Universe win
  6., Venezuelan beauty wins title Miss Universe 2008
  7., Miss Venezuela crowned Miss Universe 2008
  8. Miss Universe
  9. Kosovën në “Miss Universi 2008”
  10. Vietnam opposes Kosovo independence
  11. Marianne cruz es miss Conitnente Americano
  12. Maxima Moda - Noticias

External links

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