Miss Angola is the new Miss Universe

Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, the new Miss Universe, crowned by the outgoing Miss Universe, Ximena Navarette of Mexico in a pageant that lasted three hours. It was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This year also, Miss Universe Beauty Pageant celebrates its 60th year of existence.

The final 3..From left: Miss Ukraine, Miss Brazil and Miss Angola

Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, was crowned Miss Universe 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday night, September 12 (Tuesday morning, September 13, in Philippine time), making her the first Miss Universe winner from Angola, a country in Africa, the pageant was held at Credicard Hall in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil. Last year's Miss Universe winner was from Mexico, Ximena Navarrete. This year, Miss Universe pageant is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

This is also the first time that the pageant made the semi-finalist cut into 16 adding Miss Portugal who  garnered the most number of votes in the online poll of the Miss Universe official site. Mean while, it was Miss Philippines who garnered the most number of votes, followed by Miss Venezuela, in the online poll conducted by Telemundo, a Latin America website.

Miss Philippines, Shamcey Supsup, one of the strongest candidates for this year's Miss U, placed third runner up disappointing some Pinoys who believed she should have been the eventual winner as she exuded charm, poise and grace on stage. She was full of confidence when she answered the final question and the only candidate among the top five finalists who spoke solid English and did not use an interpreter. She could have win the crown but then of course the final decision relied on the panel of judges which include Philippine pride, Lea Salonga-Chien.

Early on, Miss Supsup, who hails from the same city as Manny Pacquiao-- General Santos City in Mindanao, Philippines, was reportedly pressured and nervous by the stunning achievement of her predecessor, Venus Raj, last year who placed fourth runner up. Luckily, Shamcey was able to outrank Raj in the final standing as she emerged the third placer, and uhmmm, she did not buckle when she gave her answer.

She was given a question that has something to do with faith and religion "Would you change your religion if you will going to marry a man with a different faith?", her answer reflected the true values and culture of the Filipinos when she said " If I had to change my religious beliefs, I would not marry the person that I love because the first person that I love is God who created me and I have my faith and my principles and this is what makes me who I am. And if that person loves me, he should love my God too".

Miss Philippines, Shamcey Supsup, wearing a gorgeous sequinned gown during the coronation night of the 2011 Miss Universe pageant where she placed third runner up. She is one of the strongest and most popular candidates for this year's Miss U. Shamcey won the online poll conducted by Telemundo, a Latin America website garnering more than 2 million votes, she even defeated candidates from Latin American region, Miss Venezuela, Miss Mexico and Miss Colombia. However, it was Miss Portugal who won the official online poll of the Miss Universe Organization.
Wearing a Filipiana National Costume
Glam shot of Leila Lopes of Angola, this year's Miss Universe winner

Miss Angolas' crucial final question was thrown by Lea Salonga. a question which many people refer as "very easy that even an elementary pupil can answer smartly: "If you could change one of your personal characteristics what would it be and why". She answered "Thank God, I’m very well satisfied with the way God created me and I would not change a thing. I consider myself a woman with inner beauty. I have my principles. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I plan to follow this through the rest of my life."

A little history:

Leila Lopes became the second black African woman to win the crown, the first was Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana who edged out Mirriam Quiambao of the Philippines in 1999. Lopes however is the fourth woman from African continent who became Miss Universe, aside from her and Kwelagobe, Margret Gardiner of South Africa won the title in 1978 and Michelle McLane of Namibia in 1992, but these two women are of white stock so they are not counted as "black Africans".

Major Awards

Miss Congeniality   -  Nikolina Loncar of Montenegro
Miss Photogenic     - Ronnia Fornstedt of Sweden
National Costume   - Sheldry Saez of Panama

Complete list of winners

2011 Miss Universe - Leila Lopes of Angola
First Runner Up       - Olesia Stefanko of Ukraine
Second Runner Up  - Priscila Machado of Brazil
Third Runner Up     - Shamcey Supsup of the Philippines
Fourth Runner Up   - Zin Lin Luo Luo of China


Just like any contests, Miss Universe is no stranger to controversies, this year however the issue leaped a different twist. Prior to the preliminary show, Miss Colombia was reportedly went too far with publicity when she appeared in many guesting without undies revealing something that left little of imagination. This vulgarity offended many people and she was heavily criticized. The organizers eventually reminded the contestants to always appear decent and "never forget to wear your undies" when making public appearances. Miss Colombia however did not make it to the top ten.

Originally, there were 91 candidates but representatives from Norway and Zambia decided to withdraw  for unknown reasons.

Miss Angola's answer was not really that amazing as the question thrown to her was not a mind-bogging, pondering stuff but simply like a "common sense question" and she did not even finish answering the question. Anyway, sour-graping is not a healthy attitude hehehe!So let's just be happy for Miss Angola and all the women who made it to the top five.

Despite Filipinos' frustrations, still, everybody is happy with Shamcey's achievement. It's not easy to place on the highest ranking of Miss Universe with all the beautiful women competing, creating publicity just to get notice. One thing for sure, Filipinos, no matter what happen, never forgot to unite and provide support to every "kababayan" who is competing, may it be sports or beauty contest, this strong Filipino tradition is once again reflected in this year's Miss Universe result when Miss Philippines garnered the highest number of votes  in the online poll conducted by almost all websites covering the event. Okay, so we should be happy!

Congratulations to Miss Shamcey Supsup for her great achievement! You made every Filipino very proud!

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