Mexican breaks 9-year curse claiming Miss Universe crown

Clearly Jimena Navarrete proves Mexicans have as much determination to rise above the odds as Jamaicans do. Thanks to Yendi who beat the odds of 2010 challenges

After 9 years in 1991, Miss Mexico, Jimena Navarrete, has been crowned Miss Universe 2010 without much fanfare. Clearly she proves that Mexicans have as much determination to rise above the odds as Jamaicans do. This year would have been a year of doom, except for Yendi Phillips being one of the few Jamaicans rising against the odds, placing the country at the apex of international fame.

After much deliberation and sampling under the watchful eyes of the judge it was time to list the 15 finalists.

Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete is crowned Miss Universe 2010 by Stefania Fernandez during the Miss Universe pageant, Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)


The 15 semifinalists took over stage and screen in the bathing suit competition, sashaying to the music of Elvis Presley and a troupe of Elvis impersonators from Cirque de Soleil’s ‘Viva Elvis’ extravaganza. Not missing a beat, Miss Mexico came in second, with 9.40, to Miss Jamaica, Yendi Phillipss, who scored a 9.42. Miss Ireland, Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Albania rounded out the remaining three top scorers in this classic competition.

The 10 Finalists:
– Miss Ireland (Rozanna Purcell)
– Miss Albania (Angela Martini)
– Miss Philippines (Venus Raj)
– Miss Jamaica (Yendi Phillipps)
– Miss Mexico (Jimena Navarrete)
– Miss Ukraine (Anna Poslavska)
– Miss Puerto Rico (Mariana Vicente)
– Miss South Africa (Nicole Flint)
– Miss Guatemala (Jessica Scheel)
– Miss Australia (Jesinta Campbell)

Evening Gowns
Accompanied by Grammy-winner John Legend, who added a touch of romance to the ambience, the contestants lit up the night in their evening gowns. Continuing in her winning ways, Miss Mexico shone brightest in a ruby-red gown which she explained had special significance in this year of Mexico’s bicentennial; she scored highest with an 8.913. Miss Ireland was another high scorer in this competition, in a stirring silver dress that had won over many observers in the preliminaries. Miss Puerto Rico’s soft lilac gown drew strong response from the crowd as did Miss Philippines, who also wore a silver gown with long, bowed train, and was rewarded with the loudest cheers of the night.

The 5 Finalists:
– Miss Mexico (Jimena Navarrete)
– Miss Australia (Jesinta Campbell)
– Miss Jamaica (Yendi Phillipps)
– Miss Ukraine (Anna Poslavska)
– Miss Phillipines (Venus Raj)

Finalists Miss Philippines Venus Raj, left, Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillips, Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete, Miss Ukraine Anna Poslavska and Miss Puerto Rico Mariana Paola Vicente compete in the the Miss Universe pageant, Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

The Judges’ Question
Miss Mexico, Jimena Navarrete, was first to test the waters of the final competition in the Miss Universe pageant. Evan Lysacek, Olympic gold medal winner, asked her thoughts regarding the unsupervised use of the internet to which she responded through an interpreter that the solution is found by inculcating family values in children and adolescents. Jesinta Campbel, Miss Australia, answered her question about whether governments should dictate the clothes people can wear by citing the experience of iranian designer Tala Raani, who’s government had censured her when young but who had emigrated to the U.S. and had designed the swimsuits worn by the Miss Universe contestants.

Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillips competes in the evening gown competition during the Miss Universe pageant, Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 in Las Vegas. Phillips was named runner-up. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Miss Jamaica, Yendi Phillipps, gave a simple yet firm response against the death penalty, and Miss Ukraine weighed in on the importance of scanners in airports for the security of travelers. Finally, Miss Philippines failed to directly reply to judge William Baldwin’s question to “mention an error you’ve committed and its consequences”, stating that at 22 years of age, she’d not yet committed and serious errors thanks to her loving family.

The Winner
As the responses all sunk in, Miss Mexico’s composure and high scores throughout the evening seemed to indicate the crown was hers to lose. As hosts Brett Michaels and Natalie Morales gathered the finalists to read out the names of the runner ups and winner, it increasingly became clear that Jimena Navarrete, Miss Mexico, was on her way to becoming the third Latina in a row and the first Miss Universe from Mexico since 1991. A supposed curse was broken and a young woman of poise, character and self-depreciating humor was crowned Miss Universe 2010.

So in one pageant, at least the two top beauties rose from difficulties to excellence. Congrats Jimena and Yendi.

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