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Colombia’s Carnival W hen Donald Trump, NBC and the Miss Universe Organization decide to celebrate the super bowl of pageantry in your back yard, everyone marks their calendar for the big event, and Pageantry magazine is no ex- ception. With the Miss Universe Pageant scheduled to beam live to fans around the globe, we traversed the 3.5- hour excursion from our offices in Orlando, Florida, to visit with the contestants and experience the worldwide pageantry that is Miss Universe in Miami-Doral. Throughout the contestants’ three-week media blitz across South Florida, the worldwide representatives rev- eled in the hospitality and graciousness offered by such a diverse community. The 88 Miss Universe hopefuls were the crowning guests on this magnificent stage and enjoyed every bejeweled moment, beginning with the contestant meet-and-greets and through the Miss Universe Parade of Nations celebration and introductions. Although South Florida and the Miss Universe delegates were creating a crescendo of goodwill and excitement, the eyes of the world were focused on the prized crown of Miss Universe 2014, and the upcoming competition that would bring the organ- ization and NBC their highest ratings since 2006. And in a nod to social media, a No. 2 rating for Miss Universe via the Twitter-verse! State of the Union? How about State of the Universe! As with many events in South Florida, the evening of the final countdown to the crown kicked off with the true Latin influence of the region and the stunning, remarkable women introducing themselves in their national costumes. With each introduction, the cheers and screams of encour- agement grew louder from the crowd on this live telecast, as fans joined the contestants in dancing and the obligato- ry selfies throughout the aisles of the Florida International University venue. The 2014 Miss Universe telecast showcased the obvious beauty and glamour of the contestants, and the Top 15 who would vie for the newly-minted Miss Universe crown were announced. Taking center stage were Miss Colombia Paulina Vega, Miss Italy Valentina Bonariva, Miss India South Florida was the perfect setting for the lights and passion of the Miss Universe pageant, and no one represented the energy more than Colombia’s Paulina Vega MISS INDONESIA: Elvira Devinamira MISS COLOMBIA: Paulina Vega MISS ARGENTINA: Valentina Ferrer Noyonita Lodh, Miss France Camille Cerf, Miss USA Nia Sanchez, Miss Indonesia Elvira Devinamira, Miss Venezuela Migbelis Castellanos, Miss Spain Desire Cordero, Miss Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa, Miss Ar- gentina Valentina Ferrer, Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell, Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha, Miss Brazil Melissa Gurgel, Miss Netherlands Yasmin Verheijen, and Miss Australia Tegan Martin. One of these women would soon wear the crown of Miss Universe. The swimsuit competition commenced the arduous task of selecting the next young woman who would soon have her life forever changed as a universal ambassador of the crown. With the 15 country representatives presenting OPENING NUMBER PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MISS UNIVERSE ORGANIZATION, LLC. PAGEANTRY 33