At last! After a long long wait and after a series of almost but not quite heartbreaking victories, ( the three consecutive 1st runner up placements in 1992, 93 & 94 come to mind) Colombia finally gets its 2nd Miss Universe crown!
If Luz Marina Zuluaga got tax exempt for life and was gifted a mansion by the Colombian government for the honor of becoming the first from her country to win the Miss Universe crown, what honor & reward await Paulina?
The victory of Miss Colombia Paulina Vega is unquestionable and indeed very deserving with most of the pageant-related websites & blogspots including this blog predicting her win.
During the Q&A portion of the competition, Vega impressed the judges when asked what she thinks women can learn from men. "I believe there's still men that do believe in equality," she said through a translator. "I believe that's what women should learn from men."
The 22 year old Vega, from Barranquilla, Colombia who speaks Spanish, English, French and German and studies business administration was crowned Miss Universe 2014 at the Florida International University Arena in Miami, USA, beating out contestants from 87 other countries.
TOP 15 ANNOUNCEMENT
Right after the (pre- taped) Parade of National Costumes, the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant was underway with the Top 15 Announcement 1. COLOMBIA – Paulina Vega, 2. ITALY – Valentina Bonariva, 3. INDIA – Noyonita Lodh, 4. FRANCE – Camille Cerf 5. USA – Nia Sanchez 6. INDONESIA – Elvira Devinamira 7. VENEZUELA – Migbelis Castellanos 8. SPAIN – Desire Cordero Ferrer 9. PHILIPPINES – Mary Jean Lastimosa 10. ARGENTINA – Valentina Ferrer 11. JAMAICA – Kaci Fennell 12. UKRAINE – Diana Harkusha 13. BRAZIL – Melissa Gurgel 14. NETHERLANDS – Yasmin Verhejen 15. AUSTRALIA – Tegan Martin
Among the shockers that night was the exclusion of the girls from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guyana, Lithuania & Russia from the Top 15.
After the Top 15 had been revealed by the pageant hosts, the Yamamay Swimsuit Competition followed
India & France
USA & Indonesia
Venezuela & Spain
Philippines & Argentina
Jamaica & Ukraine
Brazil & Netherlands
Right after the swimsuit competition, the next cut was made. Advancing were 1. JAMAICA – Kaci Fennell 2. COLOMBIA – Paulina Vega 3. UKRAINE – Diana Harkusha 4. ARGENTINA – Valentina Ferrer 5. PHILIPPINES – Mary Jean Lastimosa!!! 6. SPAIN – Desire Cordero Ferrer 7. NETHERLANDS – Yasmin Verhejen 8. VENEZUELA – Migbelis Castellanos 9. AUSTRALIA – Tegan Martin 10. USA – Nia Sanchez
EVENING GOWN COMPETITION
|Miss Congeniality is Miss Nigeria|
|Miss Photogenic is Miss Puerto Rico|
|Best National Costume went to Miss Indonesia|
First to be called was USA followed by Netherlands then Ukraine & Jamaica. The final spot went to Colombia.
Left behind were heavy faves Philippines, Venezuela & Spain
ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS
After the Q & A, the announcement of winners was made. The final rankings for the runners up are 1st RU Miss USA Nia Sanchez, 2nd RU Miss Ukraine, Diana Harkusha, 3rd RU Miss Netherlands, Yasmin Verheijen & 4th RU Miss Jamaica, Kaci Fennell.
A curious thing happened right after the coronation rites. Miss Jamaica was hoisted on air by her fellow candidates perhaps as a sign of protest by the girls for what many including Your Blogger felt was the very low placement of Miss Jamaica.
Although our very own Miss Philippines was one of the heavy favorites, her journey towards the crown stopped after the evening gown competition. People have been quick to put the blame on the choice of gown but truth be told, Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza had been designing the gowns of the last four Miss Philippines before MJ and yet they placed in the Top Five.
If MJ had been working hard for the crown and so did the 87 other girls. Simply put, there were five other girls who outperformed her. On the other hand, making the Top Ten is nothing to sneeze at for it means that MJ outshone 77 other girls.
Instead of starting a blame game, we should instead start asking ourselves why and perhaps, insist from hereon that a Filipino designer will be commissioned to design and dress up our representatives. It’s not about the creativity or the artistic license. It’s all about national pride and patriotism.