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Viva Mexico
Ximena Navarrete is the new Miss Universe 2011

Eighty-three incredible women from around the globe descended upon the glittering city of Las Vegas for a chance to win the title, crown, and instant worldwide celebrity of Miss Universe. The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino played host to a worldwide audience captivated by the intrigue and beauty that is synonymous with Miss Universe. Hosted by Natalie Morales of the Today Show and rock band Poison front man and Celebrity Apprentice winner Bret Michaels, the show kicked into universal warp speed with the national costume presentation and opening production number choreographed to the Kelly Rowland dance mix hit, “Commander.”

Ximena Navarrete, Miss Mexico 2010, in full display dressed in her national costume.

National Treasure: Ximena Navarrete, Miss Mexico 2010, in full display dressed in her national costume.

 

Keeping the energy alive, the Top 15 Miss Universe finalists vying for the crown were announced: Miss Puerto Rico Mariana Paola Vicente, Miss Ukraine Anna Poslavska, Miss Mexico Ximena Navarrete, Miss Belgium Cilou Annys, Miss Ireland Rozanna Purcell, Miss South Africa Nicole Flint, Miss France Malika Menard, Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell, Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps, Miss Russia Irina Antonenko, Miss Albania Angela Martini, Miss Colombia Natalia Navarro, Miss Guatemala Jessica Scheel, Miss Czech Republic Jitka Valkova, and Miss Philippines Venus Raj.

Following the introduction of Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez (see Pageantry Winter 2009 and Fall 2010 with accompanying Pageantry PodCast), and preeminent celebrity judges, in the words of Miss Universe co-owner Mr. Donald Trump, the delegates were about to “scorch the Las Vegas strip” in the hottest swimsuit competition in the universe. And scorch it they did!

 

Top 15 in Swimsuit

Sink or Swim: (Above L-R) Rozanna Purcell, Miss Ireland 2010; Angela Martini, Miss Albania 2010; Venus Raj, Miss Philippines 2010; Yendi Phillipps, Miss Jamaica 2010; Ximena Navarrete, Miss Mexico 2010; Anna Poslavska, Miss Ukraine 2010; Mariana Paola Vicente, Miss Puerto Rico 2010; Nicole Flint, Miss South Africa 2010; Jessica Scheel, Miss Guatemala 2010, and Jesinta Campbell, Miss Australia 2010, earn Top 10 finishes in the swimsuit competition. (Below) Ximena Navarrete, Miss Mexico 2010 stunning onlookers in swimsuit.

 

Ximena Navarrete in Swimsuit and Hosts Bret Michaels and Natalie MoralesHosts

Hosts With the Most: Co-Hosts Bret Michaels and Natalie Morales enjoy entertaining the audience during the Miss Universe Pageant telecast.

 

Acknowledging the glitz and excitement of Las Vegas, the Miss Universe swimsuit competition jumped into true Vegas modus operandi as the universal delegates began the swimsuit competition accompanied by the Las Vegas strip cast of Viva Elvis. In a competition that would winnow the field of contestants to 10, a mere 1.997 points separated those who would continue on their journey in the quest of the Miss Universe title. Earning the right to compete within the Top 10 were Miss Ireland, 5’9” age 19; Miss Albania 5’10” age 24; Miss Philippines 5’9” age 22, Miss Jamaica 5’10” age 24; Miss Mexico 5’9” age 22, Miss Ukraine 5’9” age 23; Miss Puerto Rico 5’8” age 21; Miss South Africa 5’6” age 22; Miss Guatemala 5’7” age 20, and Miss Australia 5’9” age 19.

1.997 points—a small but crucial variance that had left five contestants as Miss Universe spectators. As the Top 10 delegates prepared for the next competition, the worldwide audience was given the opportunity to become more familiar with the contestants through an up-close-and-personal video segment that showcased the delegates as they spoke about themselves in a more informal setting.

With the Top 10 remaining Miss Universe contestants from the swimsuit competition announced, it was time to enjoy the elegance and beauty of the Miss Universe evening gown presentation. With six-time Grammy Award winner John Legend and the Legendary Roots Crew providing an aesthetic musical backdrop for evening gown with Legend’s hit “Shine”, the Miss Universe delegates graced the stage with poise and polish. Showcasing their own personal style, the delegates truly shined in gowns that ranged from embellished, accentuated beading with stones to understated and flowing grace.

 

John Legend seranades Ximena Navarrete

Legendary: John Legend performs as Ximena Navarrete, Miss Mexico 2010, competes during the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant evening gown competition.

 

Top 5 in Evening Gowns
Ximena Navarrete, Miss Mexico 2010, competes during the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant evening gown competition

In the most elegant of competition, the judges’ decision was a difficult one with only .942 points separating the delegates. This infinitesimal number would have universal implications as it would narrow the Miss Universe hopefuls to only five. These five would carry the weight of their homelands into the final round as they faced the judges and audience in the final question segment.

The pressure was now felt by Miss Mexico, Miss Australia, Miss Jamaica, Miss Ukraine, and Miss Philippines.

While allowing the remaining Top 5 time to gather their composure and collect their thoughts on the enormity of the final competition, several special awards were announced. Recognized by her peers was Miss Australia as Miss Congeniality. In a double win, Miss Thailand captured both the Miss Photogenic and National Costume awards.

Additional Awards

The final five—the final question. Everything came down to this pressure-packed moment, in which one instantaneous answer could propel a deserving delegate to the title of Miss Universe, or dash her hopes in an instant. This is pressure—before a worldwide audience. With thought-provoking questions (paraphrased) addressing such timely issues as the effect on youth of unsupervised internet usage, the role of government in the regulation of personal preference in the wearing of religious clothing, whether or not the death penalty is acceptable, the implications of full body scans at airports which can now see through clothes, and how someone could make right a mistake they had once made in their life. One question—one 30-second answer each. The delegates, as well as the worldwide audience, could feel the pressure.

With the questions presented and addressed, the judges’ final ballots cast and verified, the universe was ready for the announcement of its newest queen. In succession, the final ballots revealed the final decision: 4th alternate Philippines, 3rd alternate Ukraine, 2nd alternate Australia.

With only two remaining delegates standing center stage and holding hands in silent prayer, Miss Jamaica was announced as 1st runner-up. With the final proclamation, the audience exploded in applause as the former Miss Mexico Ximena Navarrete received the Miss Universe crown, title, and instant universal recognition as Miss Universe 2010, the second youngest woman representing Mexico to capture the Miss Universe crown. All seemed right in the Universe with the new Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete instantly surrounded by her fellow delegates wishing her the best that the universe would now offer.

 
Ximena Navarrete is Crowned Miss Universe

Following her victory and celebratory visit to her homeland Mexico during it’s bi-centennial celebration, Pageantry caught up with Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete as she prepares to depart on a worldwide tour as Miss Universe.

Pageantry magazine: The Miss Universe pageant is truly held on a worldwide stage. What were your thoughts during the competition?
Ximena Navarrete:
I remained very calm throughout the whole process. I believed that if it was my place, I would win the pageant. If not, then I would move on and find my purpose elsewhere.

PM: Traditionally, Mexico has very strong support during the Miss Universe pageant. What would you like to say to those who supported and believed in you?
XN:
Thank you for believing in me and for supporting me. Thank you for being a part of my dream.

PM: How would you describe your hometown in Mexico?
XN:
My homecoming trip in Mexico was wonderful. There were so many people celebrating and I was very busy with press interviews and activities. I was also able to see my family and friends! Jalisco is full of unique culture, food and music, and it was wonderful being back home in the country that I love.

PM: What has been the response from your family and friends?
XN:
They are very proud. They are supportive and share my excitement in winning the crown.

PM: The Miss Universe competition brings together women from around the globe. What was most exciting for you in meeting these women during the competition?
XN:
I enjoyed learning about every culture and making friends from all over the world. I especially enjoyed the national costume parade and seeing the pride everyone has for their country. It was a very special moment.

PM: It’s been a whirlwind experience since you became Miss Universe. Have you been able to spend much time in New York?
XN:
About three weeks. I just returned from my homecoming trip in Mexico, and I’m off to Indonesia next week.

PM: As New York’s newest celebrity, what events have you been able to experience?
XN:
I have been so lucky to have attended New York City’s Fashion Week, and I was a special guest at shows by renowned designers like Roberto Cavalli. I even had the privilege of attending a fashion week luncheon event with Karl Lagerfeld! I have also been very busy with lots of television and radio interviews with outlets like the Today Show, CNN, FOX and Friends, and the Late Show with David Letterman, to speak about my experience at the Miss Universe Pageant and how it feels to be crowned Miss Universe 2010.

PM: You have a very well-known boss in Mr. Donald Trump. What advice has he given you as the representative of the Miss Universe Organization?
XN:
He is very happy with the decision of the judges. He told me to enjoy every moment and to learn from the experience.

PM: Please tell us about your first photo shoot with renowned photographer Fadil Berisha.
XN:
It was great! The photos from the pageant are very pretty and I can’t wait to see the final results from my first official shoot as Miss Universe. He is a very talented photographer and it is a great honor to work with him.

PM: With Mexico celebrating its bicentennial this year, how has your achievement added to the excitement when you travel on behalf of the Miss Universe Organization?
XN:
It was a double celebration! It is a big moment for my country and we’re lucky to have the crown of Miss Universe in Mexico.

PM: What was it like meeting with President Felipe Calderon while in Mexico?
XN:
He was very kind to me and my family. We talked about the Miss Universe Pageant and he told me that it was a big surprise for our country and that it is wonderful to have another Miss Universe. He asked me to serve as an ambassador for Mexico as I travel the world.

PM: The Miss Universe Organization is very involved in the AIDS Awareness program. Have you begun to speak on behalf of the organization?
XN:
I spent some time at the Aid for AIDS office being trained on the facts and statistics of HIV/AIDS in the world. I hope to participate in events helping to raise AIDS awareness in the near future.

PM: What are your goals and dreams for the upcoming year?
XN:
My goal is to help raise awareness for HIV/AIDS, and to be a great Miss Universe and representative for my country.

PM: Are there any special places you wish to visit?
XN:
I am traveling to Indonesia next week and I can’t wait!

PM: Have been able to meet and spend time with your pageant sisters in New York?
XN:
Unfortunately, I have yet to see Rima! Although we share an apartment we have been so busy traveling that we have not been there at the same time. I have seen Kamie several times, and we had a wonderful evening together during Fashion Night Out.

PM: What would you like our readers to know about Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete?
XN:
I am very happy to be Miss Universe! Follow my adventures on www.missuniverse.com and Twitter.

Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete outside of the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas

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