Miss Mexico Wins "Universe" Pageant

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Monday, Aug 23, 2010  |  Updated 8:22 PM PDT
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AP

Miss Mexico is now Miss Universe.

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Miss Mexico has been crowned Miss Universe.

After competing in a swimsuit and evening gown round as well as navigating a question about the effect of unsupervised Internet use on today's youth, Jimena Navarrete, 22, bested 82 rivals to win the Donald Trump-owned Miss Universe beauty contest.

In the end, it came down to Navarrete and 24-year-old Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps.

Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell, 19 won second runner-up, while 23-year-old Miss Ukraine Anna Poslavska was named second runner-up.

After dodging a question about her biggest mistake, 22-year-old Miss Philippines Venus Raj, was named fourth runner-up.

Contestants from Ireland, Albania, South Africa, Guatemala and Puerto Rico were ousted after making the top 10.

Miss USA Rima Fakih, a 24-year-old Lebanese immigrant from Dearborn, Mich., did not make past the first round Monday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Believed to be the first Muslim crowned Miss USA, Fakih made headlines hours before the "Universe" pageant by saying she disagreed with the decision to put a proposed Islamic community center "so close to the World Trade Center."

"We should be more concerned with the tragedy than religion,” she said.

Navarrette, of Mexico, will receive a package of prizes including an undisclosed salary, a luxury New York apartment with living expenses, a one-year scholarship to the New York Film Academy with housing after her reign, plus jewelry, clothes and shoes fit for a beauty champion.

She replaces Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez, who gave Venezuela a second consecutive win by taking the title at age 18 last year. The South American country has won six titles since the pageant started in 1952.

Online voters chose Miss Thailand as Miss Photogenic Universe, while the contestants themselves select Miss Australia as Miss Congeniality Universe. Each award comes with a $1,000 cash prize.

Miss Thailand also took the prize for best national costume.

The headline-grabbing pageant hosted by rocker Bret Michaels and NBC correspondent Natalie Morales was being aired live on NBC and Telemundo and distributed in some 190 countries and territories.

The contest, co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC, was judged by celebrities including 2010 Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek and actress Jane Seymour.
 

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