MEXICO CITY: The world's 77 most beautiful
women were to prepare on Sunday for the final of Miss Universe 2007, and
the bestowing of the crown by last year's winner, Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto
puja gupta from india reaches
amongst the last ten finalists
MEXICO CITY - Miss USA Rachel Smith made
the top 10 Monday night in her bid to reign as Miss Universe 2007.
Fifteen finalists from a field of 77
contestants were announced in Monday night‘s show. They were picked last
week during preliminary judging in the contest‘s swimsuit, evening gown
and interview categories, but their names were not announced until Monday,
allowing all 77 to be introduced to the television audience.
Then the top 10 were announced, including
Smith. The others were Micaela Reis of Angola; Natalia Guimaraes of Brazil;
Puja Gupta of India; Riyo Mori of Japan; Honey Lee of Korea; Rosa Maria
Ojeda of Mexico; Xiomara Blandino of Nicaragua; Flaviana Matata of Tanzania;
Ly Jonaitis of Venezuela.
Missing from this year‘s contest is
Miss Sweden, whose country is one of the few to win the crown three times.
Isabel Lestapier Winqvist, 20, dropped out because many Swedes say the
competition, airing from Mexico City‘s National Auditorium, does not represent
the modern woman.
Pageant organizers say the Miss Universe
contest carefully selects women who are intelligent, well-mannered and
The celebrity judges included actor
James Kyson Lee, model Lindsay Clubine, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony
Romo, rocker Dave Navarro, Olympic figure skating champion Michelle Kwan
, celebrity hairstylist Ken Paves, fashion designer Marc Bouwer, "Project
Runway" judge and Elle magazine fashion director Nina Garcia and former
Miss Universe Dayanara Torres.
Miss Denmark, Miss Czech and Miss Cyprus pose during the
Miss Universe 2007 Contest at the National Auditorium in Mexico City,
May 23, 2007.
US real estate magnate Donald Trump hired
Mexico City National Auditorium for the contest, to begin Monday at 7:15
pm (0015 GMT Tuesday).
On Wednesday, a jury selected the 15 finalists,
who paraded in cocktail dresses, gowns and bathing suits.
As Miss Universe 2006, Rivera had a busy
promotional year making commercials and doing volunteer work.
She advised the contestants, "Do your best,
forget about everything, have fun and have confidence in yourself."
Rumored favorites are from Angola, Brazil,
Mexico, South Korea and Venezuela, while Colombia, Russia and Tanzania
also made it to the semifinal.
Miss USA endured boos from the public because
of her country's attitude toward Mexicans living there.
Miss Mexico was also the subject of controversy,
over her required regional dress, which depicted a late 1920s religious
rebellion, complete with scenes of the rebels being hanged.