August 24, 2009 in Nation/World

Venezuelan wears Miss Universe crown

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez poses after being crowned Miss Universe.
(Full-size photo)

NASSAU, Bahamas – Miss Venezuela was the fairest of them all, again.

Venezuelan Stefania Fernandez won the 2009 Miss Universe pageant in the Bahamas on Sunday night.

Dressed in a flowing red gown, Fernandez embraced runner-up Miss Dominican Republic as the announcement was made and received the crown from last year’s winner, Dayana Mendoza, of Venezuela. The sparkling tiara fell to the floor at one point as Fernandez danced in joy.

Venezuela, a beauty-obsessed South American country, has won the Miss Universe pageant six times.

During a question-and-answer segment with the five top finalists, Fernandez said she believed women have overcome obstacles such as hitting the proverbial glass ceiling.

“I feel we have reached the level that men are at,” she said.

The other top-five finalists were runner-up Ada Aimee de la Cruz, followed by Miss Kosovo Droga Ganusha; Miss Australia Rachael Finch; and Miss Puerto Rico Mayra Matos Perez.

Pageant co-owner Donald Trump told reporters, “I think this is the most beautiful group of women I’ve ever seen.”

The televised event included musical performances by Flo Rida, Heidi Montag, David Guetta and Kelly Rowland.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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