The universe has a new beauty queen: Riyo Mori, 20, of Japan.
Of the five finalists – those representing Japan, South Korea, Brazil, the United States and Venezuela – the first won the Miss Universe 2007 title in a decision that surprised many.
Bringing her reign to a close, Puerto Rican Zuleyka Rivera handed over her crown in a ceremony emceed by Mario López and Vanessa Minnillo that was full of beauty and glamour at Mexico City’s Auditorio Nacional.
Halfway through the ceremony, the 10 semifinalists who had been chosen minutes earlier strutted down the catwalk in bathing suits while RBD performed “Money, Money”, “Cariño Mío” and “Wanna Play?”
In addition to Riyo Mori, others who made it to the final rounds were Micaela Reis of Angola; Natalia Guimaraes of Brazil; Puja Gupta of India; Honey Lee of South Korea; Rosa María Ojeda of Mexico; Xiomara Blandino of Nicaragua; Flaviana Matata of Tanzania; Ly Jonaitis of Venezuela; and Rachel Smith of the United States, who fell during the evening gown part of the competition.
The jury was made up by actor James Kyson Lee, model Lindsay Clubine, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo; rocker Dave Navarro, Olympic ice skating champion Michelle Kwan; former Miss Universe Christiane Martel, designer Marc Bouwer, Elle magazine fashion editor Nina García and former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres.
The last time the contest was held in Mexico was in 1993 when, as a matter of fact, Torres, singer Marc Anthony’s ex, was crowned Miss Universe.