In the long distant past the Miss Universe pageant had been held regularly in Miami Beach. Now it returned to the Miami-Dade suburb of Doral in South Florida for the 63rd Annual Miss Universe pageant. It was presented live Sunday night at Florida International University on the NBC and Telemundo TV networks. 88 contestants were in the running at the start of the show. Each one presented their costume on film as they stated their name and country.
In no time at all the first 15 finalists were called out for the swimsuit competition: Miss Colombia, Miss Italy, Miss India, Miss France, Miss USA, Miss Indonesia, Miss Venezuela, Miss Spain, Miss Philippines, Miss Argentina, Miss Jamaica, Miss Ukraine, Miss Brazil, Miss Netherlands and Miss Australia. This was the portion where viewers learned a bit more about each one while parading in their pink bikinis.
Musical guests performed at various changes throughout that included Prince Royce, Nick Jonas (whose current girlfriend was the 2012 MissUSA/Miss Universe Olivia Culpo), and Gavin DeGraw doing a medley for the five finalists later in the program. Miss Universe pageant judges included boxer Manny Pacquiao, record producer Emilio Estefan, reality TV star of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Lisa Vanderpump, and one of the judges on “Project Runway” Nina Garcia (who is from Colombia) to name a few.
The evening gown competition included the paring down of 10 who were Miss Colombia, Miss USA, Miss Venezuela, Miss Spain, Miss Philippines, Miss Argentina, Miss Jamaica, Miss Ukraine, Miss Netherlands and Miss Australia all making the cut and getting closer to the title of Miss Universe.
Nia Sanchez, Miss USA from Las Vegas, was called out first as one of the top five remaining finalists. Her competition included social media favorite Miss Jamaica, Miss Ukraine, Miss Netherlands, and Miss Colombia who was the only Latin American in the group. Instead of the standard question asked by a judge, someone from Facebook submitted a question for all of the finalists. Everyone gave safe, but short answers, with some being visibly nervous.
Who will wear the $300,000 topaz and sapphire crown? Fourth runner-up was Miss Jamaica, third runner-up Miss Netherlands, second runner-up Miss Ukraine, and it was between Miss USA and Miss Colombia. Paulina Vega, Miss Colombia, took the crown and title as the 63rd Miss Universe. The last time someone won Miss Universe from Colombia was in 1958. She was Luz Marina Zuluaga.