Miss Venezuela (Dayana Mendoza) is Miss Universe 2008
Dayana Mendoza, Miss Venezuela, was crowned Miss Universe 2008 on Monday and received the crown from her predecessor, Riyo Mori of Japan. Miss Venezuela, 22, was once kidnapped in her homeland and says the experience taught her to remain poised under pressure.
The judges panel comprises of Donald Trump Jr., (executive vice president of the Trump Organization); Roberto Cavalli (fashion designer and entrepreneur); Nadine Velazquez (international cover girl); Jennifer Hawkins (television presenter and Miss Universe 2004); Louis Licari (celebrity colorist and “Today Show” ambush makeover expert) and John Nguyen (vice chairman of Hoan Cau, LTD Investment and Construction).
Earlier the judges had narrowed the field of 80 to the final 10: Miss USA, Miss Kosovo, Miss Australia, Miss Spain, Miss Mexico, Miss Colombia, Miss USA, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Russia, Miss Italy and Miss Venezuela.
The NBC show was hosted by talk show star Jerry Springer and Spice Girl Melanie Brown and broadcast live to hundreds of millions of viewers in 170 countries.