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Miss Universe

The Miss Universe beauty contest has been held since 1952 (not to be confused with the similar Miss World; of course the scope for Miss Universe is not really wider than Earth).

The process of electing Miss Universe is a long one. Countries which want to participate must first hold contests in each city to elect a candidate to become the country's representative in Miss Universe. Then the country must elect a candidate from among the women selected by each city. For example, in Finland, Miss Helsinki must compete against the women selected by the other Finnish cities. Once a country has selected a candidate from among the women selected by its cities, that candidate goes on to compete for the title of Miss Universe.

According to the organisers, the Miss Universe contest isn't won just on looks. Women who aspire to become Miss Universe must be intelligent, well-mannered and cultured. Many times, a candidate has lost the contest because she did not have a good answer to a question on the contest's question and answer round.

The first winner in 1952 was Armi Kuusela[?] from Finland. There are 5 Venezuelan Miss Universes, 4 Puerto Rican Miss Universes and 5 Americans. Many other countries have won the contest once or twice.

One Miss Universe, 1981's Irene Saez, ran for President in Venezuela, losing to Hugo Chavez. Yet another one, 2001's winner Oxana Fedorova[?] of Russia, became the first one ever to leave her crown, making first runner up Justine Pasek[?] of Panama, the first Panamanian[?] ever to hold the title.

The Miss Universe contest's central offices are in New York, and the contest is held in different cities each year.

YearMiss UniverseFrom
1952Armi Kuusela[?]Finland
1970Marisol MalaretPuerto Rico
1981Irene SaezVenezuela
1985Deborah Carthy-DeuPuerto Rico
1993Dayanara TorresPuerto Rico
1994Sushmita Sen[?]India
1995Chelsi Smith[?]United States
1996Alicia Machado[?]Venezuela
1997Brook Lee[?]United States
1998Wendy Fitzwilliam[?]Trinidad and Tobago
1999Mpule Kwelagobe[?]Botswana
2000Lara Dutta[?]India
2001Denise QuiñonesPuerto Rico
2002Oxana Fedorova[?]Russia
Justine Pasek[?]Panama
2003Amelia VegaDominican Republic

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