Dayana Mendoza, Miss Venezuela was crowned the new Miss Universe 2008 on July 13, 2008, Sunday night (USA time), although it was actually taking place on Monday in Nha Trang, Vietnam, where the competition was held.
Mendoza is a green-eyed beauty from Caracas, Venezuela. She is 22 years has long brown hair and stands 5’10” tall. Mendoza chose to take a stand against violence as her platform, which took on a personal meaning for the newly crowned Miss Universe, as she had been the victim of a kidnapping which occurred just under two years ago.
Miss Venezuela sported a bright yellow evening gown for the Evening Gown Competition, along with a bright smile that obviously caught the attention of the judges. She presented herself as confident, poised and of course beautiful.
Dayana Mendoza is no stranger to being poised or looking beautiful. She is a model and has been on contract with Elite Modeling Agency since 2001. She has worked in the fashion industry in the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, England, Germany, Mexico, and Peru.
The 2008 Miss Universe Pageant once again brought a little unexpected excitement as once again Miss USA, Crystal Stewart, took a tumble as she began to take her walk out on the stage for the Evening Gown competition. This was the second year in a row that Miss USA took a fall in the Evening Gown competition. Stewart got up off the floor with a huge smile, threw her hands in the air, clapped and just laughed. I guess that is all you can do when you know you just took yourself right out of competition. Might as well make light of the situation and show that you have a sense of humor, right? Last year, Rachel Smith representing Miss USA also took a spill.
The first runner up for Miss Universe 2008 was Taliana Vargas, Miss Columbia. Miss Columbia scored high on the Evening Gown Competition but it wasn’t quite enough to capture the title of Miss Universe. She is 5’9″, has brown hair and eyes and is 20 years old. Taliana is a Journalism student at the Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Virginia.
Earning the coveted award of Miss Congeniality was Miss El Salvador. This award is voted on by the contestants. Miss Thailand won the award for the Best National Costume representing their country.
The pageant was hosted by Jerry Springer, (talk show host) who sported a nice looking black tuxedo for the occasion and Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls.
The newly crowned Miss Universe will be awarded a nice prize package totaling several thousand dollars. The tiara she was crowned with is estimated to be worth $120,000. Other prizes are an all expense paid New York apartment, worldwide travel, cash, designer shoes, designer wardrobe, a stipend of $100,000 for a 2 year course at the New York Film Academy, cosmetics and of course a one year contract as the Miss Universe representative.
Wikipedia (Dayana Mendoza)
Wikipedia (Taliana Vargas)