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Facts about Miss Universe

Here are 10 interesting facts and colorful trivia about the Miss Universe beauty pageant for the past 65 years of its existence:
  1. Armi Kuusela from Finland, the first-ever Miss Universe in 1952, gave up her title, though not officially, to get married, shortly before her year was completed.
  2. USA has so far won the maximum number of Miss Universe titles (8), followed by Venezuela (7), Puerto Rico (5) and the Philippines (4).
  3. Continent-wise, beauties from Africa have won Miss Universe title 6 times, Asia has won 12 titles, Europe has won 12 titles (excluding dethronement), North America has won 21 titles (including replacement of dethroned winner), Oceania has won 3 titles, and South America has won 14 titles. North American beauties (including Central American countries) lead the tally of Miss Universe wins.
  4. Miss Universe 2002, Oxana Fedorova of Russia, became the first ever (and till date only) titleholder to be dethroned. She was stripped of her title due to ‘failing to function’ in her responsibilities as Miss Universe. Her responsibilities were assumed by the first runner-up Justine Pasek of Panama after her official dethronement on 23rd September 2002, four months after being crowned. Rumours were that she was secretly married and was pregnant, and was dethroned because of that.
  5. Leila Lopes from Angola enjoyed the longest reign period of 464 days (12th September 2011 – 18th December 2012).
  6. Excluding the dethronements,  the shortest completed reign as Miss Universe is that of Iris Mittenaere from France for 300 days (30th January 2017 to 25th November 2017).
  7. Seven times so far the winners have been crowned when the pageant was held in their home countries. These winners are – Miriam Stevenson Miss Universe 1954 (USA), Carol Morris Miss Universe 1956 (USA), Linda Bement Miss Universe 1960 (USA), Sylvia Hitchcock – Miss Universe 1967 (USA), Brook Lee – Miss Universe 1997 (USA), Olivia Culpo Miss Universe 2012 (USA) and Denise Quiñones Miss Universe 2001 (Puerto Rico).
  8. The oldest winner in the pageant’s history is USA’s Brooke Lee who won Miss Universe 1997 when she was 26 years and 128 days old.
  9. The youngest Miss Universe winner has been the French Christiane Martel Miss Universe 1953 (17 years and 181 days old).
  10. Venezuela has the only back to back win. A back to back win in Miss Universe has seemed to be an impossibility until 2009 when Stefania Fernandez received the Miss Universe crown from compatriot Dayana Mendoza. Both are from the beauty pageant powerhouse Venezuela.
  11. Miss Universe had the maximum number of delegates in 2018 (94), while the least number of delegates to participate in Miss Universe was witnessed in 1953 (26).
  12. India won its two Miss Universe crowns simultaneous with its Miss World win. India already won two Miss Universe crowns in 1994 and 2000. But both of this wins are simultaneous with the country bringing home as well the Miss World crown. In 1994, Sushmita Sen won the Miss Universe title in Manila, Philippines. But earlier that year, her runner-up in Miss India, Ashwarya Rai already won the Miss World crown. Similar thing happened in 2000 when Lara Dutta won the Miss Universe crown. Priyanka Chopra also won the Miss World crown for India, which is a back to back win as the country already won in 1999.
  13. In the year 1999, Miss Guam Universe Trisha Elaine Heflin was barred from participating in the Miss Universe 1999 for being pregnant. The Miss Universe 1999, Mpule Kwelagobe however won the title that year as she gave a fitting reply to the controversial question, whether a Miss Universe who became pregnant be allowed to continue her reign. The young lady from Botswana to the question replied that a Miss Universe should be allowed to continue her reign as being pregnant was a sign of femininity, which Miss Universe stands for.
  14. As of this writing, no Miss Congeniality has ever gone to win the Miss Universe title.
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