Mexico's Jimena Navarrete Crowned Miss UniverseLifestyle | August 24, 2010, Tuesday // 08:21| views
Miss Mexico, Jimena Navarrete, is crowned Miss Universe at the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 23 August 2010. Eighty-three national titleholders competed in the contest. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Mexico's Jimena Navarrete was crowned Miss Universe on Monday in an upset victory that extended Latin America’s domination of the pageant to three consecutive years.
The 22-year-old from Guadalajara, resplendent in a flowing ruby-red evening gown, said she plans to study nutritional science but has been modeling since she was 15.
She is expected to spend her year as Miss Universe drawing attention to the plight of people with HIV/AIDS and breast cancer, according to pageant officials.
Navarrete becomes the second Mexican to take the crown, following Lupita Jones in 1991. Venezuela claimed the title in 2008 and 2009, but in a surprise the country failed to make it past the first cut, when the 83 contestants were reduced to 15.
Also eliminated at the outset was Miss USA Rima Fakih, a Muslim of Lebanese heritage who recently declared her opposition to a planned mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center.
From the start, the pageant was a close race among Mexico, Jamaica and the Philippines, whose contestants all rated strongly in the swimwear and evening wear sections. But Miss Philippines bombed during the question section, failing to detail her biggest mistake and what she did to fix it.
Miss Jamaica, a self-confessed adrenaline junkie who likes to jump off cliffs and swim with sharks, may have been too strong-willed for organizers. She boldly declared her opposition to the death penalty, saying only God has the right to take lives.
Miss Mexico, helped by an interpreter, had no problem answering an easy question about the perils of the Internet for the children.
Miss Australia, at 19 the youngest to make it to the final five, was also forthright during the question segment, saying governments have no right to regulate women’s religious clothing. But Miss Ukraine took a pro-authority stance by backing airport body scanners that see through clothes.
The pageant, in its 59th year, was hosted by rock musician Bret Michaels and TV news personality Natalie Morales at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
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