The Miss Universe pageant is one of the most-watched contests globally, but we bet there are many things about it that you may not know yet!
The Filipino people have a fervent devotion to the annual Miss Universe pageants. When contestants start to walk on stage to showcase their long, wonderful gowns, we throng in front of our TV screens and scream as loud as we can to cheer for our favourites.
Through the years, Miss Universe has been part of many people's lives; in this article, Tatler gathers some of the most interesting facts about the prestigious contest: the countries with the most wins, the history of the infamous Mikimoto crown, and more.
1. Colombia and Thailand have the most Best National Costume wins
When it comes to Best National Costume wins, two countries are tied on top of the list: Colombia and Thailand. Both countries have six wins each.
Colombia's candidates in 1968, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1997, and 2002 have won the title; for Thailand, it was Miss Universe candidates in 1969, 1988, 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2015 who bagged the award.
2. Miss Russia 2002 Was Dethroned
In 2002, Miss Russia Oksana Gennadyevna Borodina was the first Miss Universe titlist to ever be dethroned. She was only able to reign for four months and was stripped of her title for "failing to fulfil her duties". Sources say that the queen gave up her crown to enter law school.
First runner-up Justine Pasek of Panama replaced Fedorova and was crowned Miss Universe in 2002.
3. The infamous Mikimoto crown costs $250,000 or P12.5 million
The fabled Phoenix Mikimoto Crown was made by the Mikimoto Pearl company in Toba in Japan. It was used by the Miss Universe Organization since the 1970s. According to beauty pageant connoisseurs, the crown is the most elegant of the other 10 crowns used by the pageant.
The Mikimoto crown is composed of both yellow and white gold. It has a traditional Asian design ascribed to the seven auspicious feathers of a Fenghuang Phoenix, a mandorla flame design that symbolises the human aura.
Related: Nationalistic Pageantry
4. Ms. Finland 1952 is the first Miss Universe
Have you ever wondered who held the Miss Universe title first? Miss Universe pageant commenced in 1952, and Ms Finland Armi Kuusela was the first beauty to be crowned.
Among the first time winners are Miriam Stevenson (Unites States, North America) Miss Universe 1954, Gladys Zender (Peru, South America) Miss Universe 1957, Akiko Kojima (Japan, Asia) Miss Universe 1959, Kerry Anne Wells (Australia, Oceania) Miss Universe 1972, and Margaret Gardiner (South Africa, Africa) Miss Universe 1978.
5. Venezuela is the only country to win back-to-back Miss Universe crowns
Nothing feels more rewarding when a queen passed down the crown to a woman from the same country. This is what happened to Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza when she crowned Stefanía Fernández as Miss Universe 2009.
Both queens were from Venezuela, the only country to win back-to-back Miss Universe crowns.