Natalie Glebova is elected Miss Universe

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The 23-year-old Canadian delegate Natalie Glevoba was elected on Tuesday morning as the new Miss Universe, in a ceremony held at Bangkok's Impact Arena.

Glevoba is a professional model, height 1.79 m (5'11"), who received her Bachelor of Commerce in Information Technology Management and Marketing at Ryerson University. Born in Russia, she emigrated to Toronto at the age of 11. She beat four Latin American delegates in semifinals: Cynthia Olavarria (Puerto Rico), Renata Soñe (Dominican Republic), Laura Elizondo (Mexico) and Mónica Spear (Venezuela), as well as another 75 delegates from the same number of countries.

Chananporn Rosjan, from Thailand, won the Best Costume Award, while Gionna Cabrera, from Philippines, was chosen as Miss Photogenic and Tricia Homer, US Virgin Islands delegate, became Miss Congeniality.

Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell co-hosted the ceremony.

Glebova received the Mikimoto crown, valued in 250,000 dollars, from Australian Jennifer Hawkins, Miss Universe 2004. Besides, Natalie will live in New York for one year, in one of the Trump Towers, with other several prizes. The first time a Canadian was elected Miss Universe was in 1982, when Karen Baldwin won the pageant.

Colombian designer Miguel De La Torre, who designed Glebova's wardrobe, declared that "Canadian beauty contestants have always been quite classical. It's the first time a Latin designer is chosen. (...) At the very first days, Natalie was quite low-key, because being too noticed is not good. To be with her is the best thing has ever happened in my professional life. Furthermore, to come here for the first time with two delegates (Glebova and Daniela Clerk from Nicaragua) and two gown dresses was a dream come true".

Glebova visited Colombia in April 2004 in order to take part in Miss Maja World pageant, held in the northern town of Corozal, Sucre, where she was the second runner-up, and went back there a few months ago to try the dresses designed by De La Torre. The Colombian designer has never participated at his country's national beauty pageant.

Thailand's prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said the pageant was very positive for his country's tourism reactivation, after the tsunami tragedy. Thailand spent 6.5 million dollars in the pageant and used locations at Phi-Phi and Phuket beaches for the previous footages with delegates.

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