USA asserts Miss Universe dominance with 9th victory
MANILA, Philippines — The United States remains to be the most successful country in the Miss Universe pageant with eight winners before the most recent edition was held, one titleholder more from close second Venezuela. But with R’Bonney Gabriel’s recent win, the leader moves further away from its staunch rival in the parade of beauties.
Gabriel, whose father is a Filipino man born in Manila, scored the US’ ninth crown at the culmination of the 71st Miss Universe pageant, which is considered its 2022 edition, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Jan. 14 (Jan. 15 in Manila).
Now with the US having nine total winners, Venezuela has some catching up to do, and so do the other countries with multiple winners, including the Philippines.
The US’ dominance started in 1954 when Miriam Stevenson won in the third Miss Universe pageant held within its borders. Two years later, Carol Morris scored the second victory. In 1960 and 1967, Linda Bement and Sylvia Louise Hitchcock became the third and fourth Misses USA to capture the international title, respectively.
The US waited 13 more years before Shawn Weatherly brought the crown back to the US in 1980, and another 15 years when Chelsi Smith became the sixth Miss USA to be proclaimed as Miss Universe in 1995.
Two years after scoring an historic sixth win, the US captured its seventh crown through Brook Lee in 1997, but waited 15 more years before Olivia Culpo clinched the seventh victory in 2012.
Venezuela’s back-to-back win; Puerto Rico’s five queens
Venezuela started relatively late, with Maritza Sayalero winning its first Miss Universe crown only in 1979. She was followed by Irene Saez in 1981, Barbara Palacios in 1986, and Alicia Machado in 1996.
In 2008 and 2009, the Latin American country recorded the first and only back-to-back victories in the Miss Universe pageant courtesy of Dayana Mendoza and Stefania Fernandez, Venezuela’s fifth and sixth winners. The last Venezuelan contender to capture the title is Gabriela Isler who won in 2013.
Puerto Rico is the third most successful territory in the Miss Universe pageant with five winners—Marisol Malaret in 1970, Deborah Carthy-Deu in 1985, Dayanara Torres in 1993, Denise Quiñones in 2001, and Zuleyka Rivera in 2006.
Philippines, other countries
The Philippines has a total of four Miss Universe titleholders—Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, and Catriona Gray in 2018.
Sweden, South Africa, Mexico, and India each have three Miss Universe winners and are all tied for being the fifth most successful country in the global tilt. With the exception of the aforementioned European nation, these countries recorded their third victories in the international pageant’s three previous editions.
Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa won in 2019, Andrea Meza from Mexico won in 2020, and Harnaaz Sandhu from India won in 2021. EDV
Filipino-American R’Bonney Gabriel is Miss Universe 2022
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