This could be the year that beauty pageant experts, forecasters, bettors, oddmakers and predictors came solidly for naming the winner of the Miss Universe Pageant even before coronation night on January 25 (January 26 morning in Manila and other Asian key cities) at Florida International University in Doral, Florida, USA.
Some may have missed in their Top 5 placements, but 99% pointed to Miss Colombia Paulina Vega as the 63rd Miss Universe. She handily won and how!
She was the first to be called for the Top 15, followed by Italy, India, France, USA, Indonesia, Venezuela, Spain, Philippines, Argentina, Jamaica, Ukraine, Brazil, Netherlands, Australia.
After the Swimsuit Competition, first to be called for the Top 10 was Jamaica, followed by Colombia, Ukraine, Argentina, Philippines then Spain, Netherlands, Venezuela, Australia, USA.
Special Awards were then given out. Miss Congeniality was Nigeria; Miss Photogenic was Puerto Rico and Best in National Costume (voted by viewers via Twitter) was Indonesia.
USA was the first to be called for the Top 5 after the Evening Gown Competition, followed by Netherlands, Ukraine, Jamaica and Colombia.
After the Q & A, the judges declared Miss Colombia as the new Miss Universe succeeding Gabriela Isler of Venezuela, Miss USA Nia Sanchez as 1st Runner-Up, Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha as 2nd Runner-Up, Miss Netherlands Yasmin Verheijen as 3rd Runner-Up and Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell as 4th Runner-Up.
This is the first time in five years that Philippines did not enter Top 5.
In 2010, Venus Raj was 4th Runner-Up. Shamcey Supsup was 3rd Runner-Up in 2011. Janine Tugonon almost got the crown by placing 1st Runner-Up in 2012. And in 2013, Ariella Arida was 3rd Runner-Up.
Looking at the predictions, Miss Netherlands was considered the dark horse as she was never among the Top 15 or even Top 20 picks.
Global Beauties (https://www.facebook.com/globalbeauties) came out with their final leaderboard after the preliminary competition on January 22 and put Miss Colombia as the frontrunner with a perfect 5.00 from their own set of judges.
Miss Spain, who was leading before the preliminaries, ranked 2nd; Miss Ukraine jumped to 3rd place from #15; Miss Jamaica was 4th and Miss India squeezed to #5.
The rest of Global Beauties Top 10 were Mexico, Argentina, USA, Australia and Venezuela. Miss Netherlands was at #23 and Miss Philippines was at #24.
Missosology’s (https://www.facebook.com/missosology.info) Final Hotpicks placed Colombia as winner, followed by Philippines, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Ukraine making up the Top 5.
The rest of their Top 15 were USA, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, India, Czech Republic, Spain, Indonesia, Venezuela and Brazil.
Online betting company NicerOdds (http://www.nicerodds.co.uk/) was right on target in their 1-2 predictions: Miss Colombia at #1 and Miss USA at #2.
The rest of their Top 10 were Venezuela, India, Spain, Philippines, France, Costa Rica, Mexico and Russia. Placing 11th to 20th were delegates from Brazil, St. Lucia, Angola, Australia, Indonesia, Guyana, Ukraine, Haiti, Kosovo and Puerto Rico.
Colombia got its first Miss Universe crown in 1958 with Luz Marina Zuluaga. For three consecutive years (1992-1994), its delegate almost got the crown with 1st Runner-Up placements. A Miss Colombia was again 1st Runner-Up in the 2008 Miss Universe.
The Philippines has two Miss Universe titleholders – Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margarita Moran in 1973. The other 1st Runner-Up was Miriam Quiambao in 1999.
Interestingly, the Philippines never got 2nd Runner-Up placement but has four 3rd Runner-Ups (Rosario Silayan in 1980, Desiree Verdadero in 1984, Shamcey in 2011 and Ariella in 2013). Rose Marie Brosas was 4th Runner-Up in 1975 and Venus in 2010.
See related story in this blog: Philippines’ MJ Lastimosa in Top 6 bettors pick to win 63rd Miss Universe crown; Colombia, USA, Venezuela, India, Spain lead poll https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/philippines-mj-lastimosa-in-top-6-bettors-pick-to-win-63rd-miss-universe-crown-colombia-usa-venezuela-india-spain-lead-poll/
Photos from Official Miss Universe Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/MissUniverse