Miss Universe 2009

Fashion And Beauty 13158 Hits > 2009-08-24 10:36:40

Venezuela's Stefania Fernandez has been crowned winner of the 2009 Miss Universe pageant

Fernandez, 18, became the 58th winner of the title in a show broadcast live around the world from the imperial ballroom at a resort in the Bahamas.

It was the second consecutive year that a contestant from the oil-producing South American country, which is famous for its beauty queens, won the Miss Universe title.

Venezuela had produced five previous winners.

The first runner-up this year was Miss Dominican Republic, Ada Aimee de la Cruz.

The rest of the top five were from Australia, Puerto Rico, and Kosovo.

Miss China Wang Jingyao has been named Miss Congeniality and Miss Thailand, Chutima Durongdej, as Miss Photogenic.

Finch's mother Colleen Zablocki watched the pageant on television from her home in Townsville, north Queensland,

Ms Zablocki was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness earlier this year and was told by doctors to stay in north Queensland for the event.

She says she has never missed a single modelling assignment for her daughter and she cannot believe she had to miss the biggest event of them all.

"It's killing me to be honest with you. It's really really upsetting me. Unfortunately I got sick and almost died and I'm not allowed to fly internationally so I had to stay home and everyone else has gone over," she said.

Finch's father travelled to the Bahamas to be with his daughter.

"I think this is the most beautiful group of women I've ever seen," pageant co-owner Donald Trump told reporters before the final.

"In the old days, you got what you got. Now, Trump picks them. It makes a big difference."

The top 15 finalists appeared in bathing suits before the final 10 were chosen for the evening gown segment. The final five answered questions from the judges.

The judges included actor Dean Cain and supermodel Valeria Mazza.

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