Miss Universe 2008 Update

Miss Venezuela wins Miss Universe 2008

July 14, 2008 – 1:04PM

Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela has been crowned Miss Universe 2008.

Australia’s entrant, 21-year-old Laura Dundovic of Sydney, made it through to the top 10, but could not make the final five.

The pageant, which started with 80 contestants, was held in the seaside town of Nha Trang, Vietnam today.

The Sydney psychology student survived the swimwear round of 15, and made it through the evening gown section.

She was hoping to emulate Jennifer Hawkins, who won the crown in 2004.

She had spent the past month touring Vietnam with the other 79 contestants.

“I’d love to win but the competition is very tough,” she said.

She paraded in a red gown by Melbourne couturier Connie Simonetti, a tiny green bikini and the heavily criticised tiered organza dress hanging from a boomerang breastplate by designer Jayson Brunsdon as her “national costume”.

Miss USA falls over, again

For the second year in a row, Miss USA fell down during the evening gown competition.

It was a nightmare come true for Miss USA Crystle Stewart, a Texan, who tripped on the train of her bejewelled evening gown as she made her entrance.

During the 2007 Miss Universe contest in Mexico City, Miss USA Rachel Smith also tumbled during the evening gown competition and became an unintended star on YouTube, on which the video was shown over and over.

Her mishap occurred just after the judges had narrowed the field of 80 to the final 10: Miss USA, Miss Kosovo, Miss Australia, Miss Spain, Miss Mexico, Miss Colombia, Miss USA, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Russia, Miss Italy and Miss Venezuela.

The NBC show was hosted by talk show star Jerry Springer and Spice Girl Melanie Brown and broadcast live to hundreds of millions of viewers in 170 countries.

It will be broadcast on the Seven Network tonight.

Last year’s Miss Universe was Riyo Mori of Japan.


Nguyen Khac Nguyen and 2007 Miss Universe Riyo Mori will host the 2008 Miss Universe Final Presentation Show on July 8, 2008.

2007 Miss Universe Riyo Mori
Nguyen Khac Nguyen

With many years’ experience working as an MC at a variety of events requiring the ability to entertain, engage and bridge the interaction between the audience and the central character in a smooth and lively way, Nguyen Khac Nguyen deserves the first choice for hosting important events. Earning an MBA degree from Curtin University of Technology Australia and born to be active, Nguyen owns a solid background making him a perfect MC at significant programs of different fields. His expressive language and well-trained verbal eloquence have helped Nguyen to become a professional MC for the “Career World” on VTV9 and other programs of REE Corp., Heineken, BAT – British American Tobacco, Honda Vietnam, Sanofi Aventis, ACB – Asia Commercial Bank, Kao Vietnam, Unilever, and VGAC – Vietnamese Graduates from Australia Club.

Nguyen said: “What an MC needs is not just a good general knowledge of various fields but also a quick mind to keep pace and deal with the audience’s responses, making good impressions and deliver emotional excitement to each individual attendee”.


Miss Universe® 2008 Judges for Final Presentation Show on July 8, 2008


Rosalina Tran Lydster

Born in Vietnam, Rosalina Tran Lydster worked as a co-designer for the official Miss Universe Crown for the 2008 pageant. A graduate of San Francisco State University and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Lydster has designed pieces for a wide variety of celebrities and her jewelry has appeared in major films such Superman Returns. She was also recognized in 2007 as the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition’s recipient of the Achievement in Fashion Award. According to Lydster, “from minimalist to extravagant, my goal is for my creations to truly express the personalities of my clients.”

Adel Chabbi

French-born Adel Chabbi has over 23 years of experience as a hair dresser, working with notable clients including Alicia Silverstone, Lauren Hutton and Jessica Lange, to name a few. Specializing in hair extensions for many years, Adel has become an expert in the field. His know-how landed him several TV appearances over the years, including spots on Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” NBC’s “Today Show” and “Extra.” He has also styled for major fashion and beauty magazines including French Vogue, Glamour, Elle and many more.

Leigh Rossini

Born in New York, Leigh Rossini began her career in 1993 shampooing hair for Louis Licari Color Group on some of the most influential people in the world. In 1995 she left New York for New Mexico where she earned her degree in Communications. After graduating she returned to Louis Licari Salon in New York City as Mr. Licari’s personal assistant and soon after became Louis Licari Salon’s first in-house Publicist. Today Rossini works side by side with Licari and his team in New York and Beverly Hills and is responsible for the company’s publicity efforts.

Dean Mcfliker

Dean is the Vice President of NBC Primetime Special Projects, where he produces, directs and choreographs countless productions and has created the promotional campaigns for “ER,” “Law & Order,” “Grease: You’re The One That I Want,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Apprentice,” “America’s Got Talent,” “American Dreams,” “American Gladiators,” “Deal or No Deal,” “The Singing Bee” and many more. On Broadway, Dean has choreographed “Sha*Bang” (Lincoln Center), “Gypsy of the Year” (Virginia Theater), “Upfront” (Radio City Music Hall) as well as international tours, concerts and benefits for Tina Turner, Kool & The Gang, Ray Charles, The Temptations, The Pointer Sisters, Debbie Reynolds, and Carol Channing. Recently, Dean was a choreographer for “Blame It On Bacharach” at the Wilshire Theater and is currently executive producing a “Heroes” one hour special airing September 22nd on NBC.

Evening July 2nd Vinpearl Land was so exciting to receive about 6,000 audiences and contestants from continents to the swimming costume pageant called Vinpearl Queen.

Honorable guests were Mr. Nguyen Van Tu – Member of the Central Party Committee, Secretary of Khanh Hoa Party Committee, Madam Paula Sugart – President of World Miss Universe Organization; Mr. Mai Ai Truc – Mayor of Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee, Mr. Le Xuan Than – Vice Mayor of Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee and Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan – President of the UniCorp.

The jury included Mr. Nguyen Cong Khe – Editor-in-Chief of Vietnamese Youth Newspaper, Mr. Hoang Dai Thanh – Editor-in-Chief of Young Fashion Magazine, Miss Hung Temple Giang My, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Van – Aesthetic Doctor and Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori.

Two-hour pageant concluded with announcements by speakers Quynh Huong and Anh Quan 5 contestants who were the most beautiful swimming costume models such as Miss America Crystle Stewart, Miss Portugal Claudia Moro, Miss India Simran Kaur Mundi, Miss Columbia Taliana Vargas and Miss Mexico Elisa Najera. Then speakers loudly announced the nation of the Vinpearl Queen in big hands of audiences. Miss Mexico Elisa Najera honorably received the title Queen of Vinpearl (for the most beautiful swimming costume model) from Madam Paula Sugart.

Early July 2nd reporters, who overheard that they will have chance to take photos of contestants, woke up at 5:30 am to prepare equipments for Diamond Bay Resort.

As planned, the schedule is set up for foreign and NBC reporters record contestants in bikini dress only but the Organizer approved for all reporters who are now in Nha Trang city to join.

At 7:30 am, more than 50 reporters including Japan NHK reporters rushed to Diamond Bay where they will only have 30 minutes to record before NBC reporters will record and conduct a 9-minute film advertising Vietnam country which will air live on the final round night of Miss Universe 2008 contest – July 14th.


2:00 pm July 1st, 80 Miss Universe contestants arrived in Vinpearl Land to plant trees to mark these days living and working in Vinpearl Land and Nha Trang City.

Then, they moved to the musical water stage to practice and prepare for the swimming costume pageant which will take place tonight. Earlier, 40 contestants paid a courtesy visit to Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee with Madam Paula Sugart – President of World Miss Universe Organization and Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan – President of the UniCorp. Mr. Nguyen Chien Thang – Executive Vice President of the Committee, Mr. Le Xuan Than – Vice Mayor of the Committee received the delegation. On behalf of the delegation, Madam Paula Sugart expressed sincere thanks to the hospitable reception of the Committee and strong supports of the leadership recently.


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