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  • venus-rajMaria Venus Raj of the Philippines was named 4th runner-up during the Miss Uni­verse 2010 pageant held last August 24 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada..
    Jimena Navarrete, 22, of Mexico was crowned Miss Universe. This is the second time that Mexico took home the crown; the first time was in 1991 when Lupita Jones won. Incidentally, it was also in Las Vegas where Jones won her crown.First runner-up was Yendi Phillipps, 24, of Jamaica; second runner-up was Jesinta Campbell, 19, of Australia; and third runner-up was Anna Poslavska, 23, of Ukraine. Venus, 22, narrowly made it into the Top 5 when she ranked fifth overall in the Long Gown competition with an average score of 8.714. Mexico led with 8.913; followed by Jamaica (8.884), Australia (8.841), and Ukraine (8.743).

    The eliminated candidates scored as follows: Albania (8.693), Ireland (8.548), South Africa (8.420), Guatemala (8.286), and Puerto Rico (7.971). The Top 10 who competed in the Long Gown competition are: Ireland, Albania, Philippines, Jamaica, Mexico, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Guatemala, and Australia.

    In the Swimsuit Competition, Venus ranked third with an average score 8.957 from the judges, behind Jamaica’s 9.426 and Mexico’s 9.265. This enabled Venus to enter the Top 10, along with the candidates from Ireland (8.784), Australia (8.543), Puerto Rico (8.415), Ukraine (8.333), South Africa (8.229), Albania (8.229), and Guate­mala (8.071).
    The eliminated candidates scored as follows: Colombia (7.643), Russia (7.843), France (7.586), Belgium (7.571), and Czech Republic (7.429).

    The Top 15 who competed in the Swim­suit competition are: Puerto Rico, Ukraine, Mexico, Belgium, Ireland, South Africa, France, Australia, Jamaica, Russia, Alba­nia, Colombia, Guatemala, Czech Repub­lic, and the Philippines. In the question-and-answer portion, Ve­nus was asked by Hollywood actor William Baldwin (brother of 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin) what was the biggest mistake in her life and what did she do to fix it. Venus answered, “You know what, sir, in my 22 years of ex­istence, I can say that there’s nothing ma­jor major problem that I’ve done in my life because I’m very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So thank you so much that I’m here. Thank you, thank you so much!”

    The Philippines last won the Miss Uni­verse title way back in 1973 when Margie Moran took the title. But the first Filipina to win the crown was Gloria Diaz in 1969. Prior to Venus’ fifth-place finish, the last time the Philippines placed in the Miss Uni­verse was in 1999 when Mirian Quiambao was named first runner-up. Venus’ road to Miss Universe was not an easy one.

    After winning as Bb. Pilipinas-Universe on March 6, 2010, she was dethroned by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) because of “inconsistencies in her birth re­cords.” But the decision was reversed on April 10, 2010 and Venus, who was born in Doha, Qatar, was reinstated as the coun­try’s representative to the Miss Universe.

    Three days before the Miss Universe pageant, Venus lost a very close friend. Bb. Pilipinas-International 2009 Melody Gers­bach was killed in a vehicular accident in Camarines Sur. It was actually Melody who convinced Venus to join Binibining Pilipi­nas. Venus, who hails from Bato, Cama­rines Sur, is a veteran of beauty pageants. She first won the title Miss Bicolandia in 1997. The following year, 2008, Venus was named Miss Earth Philippines Eco-Tourism. This year, she won Bb. Pilipinas-Universe. (philstar.com)

     

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