How Much is the Miss Universe Pageant Worth?

If someone has to ask how much is the Miss Universe pageant is worth, it would be safe to say that it would be millions of dollars involved.

But no one could really pinpoint the actual number of zeros involved in the estimation of the pageant’s cost just yet. Except in 2015 when then owner Donald Trump submitted financial disclosure forms with the Federal Election Commission. It was written in the forms that the Miss Universe pageant’s estimated value between $5 million to $25 million dollars. It is estimated that in 2014 alone, the MUOrg revenues are at around $3.4million.
Below is the detailed Finanacial Disclosure Forms that President Trump submitted during his candidacy…

The US$5-25 million amount is only an estimated value not the actual purchase figures when WME|IMG acquired the pageant. CNN analysts estimated the deal may fall between $10-20 million. The actual purchase may possibly increased with the annual income generated, global reach and prestige of the pageant as leverage. Then owner Donald Trump even tweeted that he sold it for hundred million (which might be overstated). Nevertheless the current value of the pageant might have increased with IMG|WME’s involvement in pushing the pageant into a global scale. It would not be a surprise if the actual worth now has doubled since 2014…



Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers: First Black Miss Universe Great Britain

The first dark-skinned woman to win the Miss Universe Great Britain title in 66 years is one of the signs of how the Miss Universe pageant is changing what is beauty.

Dee Ann Kentish-Rogers, hails from Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean (close to the Puerto Rico, US & British Virgin Islands). She is a 25 year-old heptathlete who once dreamt of competing in the Olympics. Here are snippets of an article from the BBC on her…  Continue reading “Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers: First Black Miss Universe Great Britain”

Pia, Denise & Zuleyka: Yes to Transfemales in Miss Universe

More and more past winners are now speaking through their actions their support and/or approval on the participation of transfemales in  Miss Universe.
Latest to show her support is Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach who in a news report from ABSCBN said that, “you don’t have to be natural born woman to be Miss Universe.” Pia who is a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ community is reported to be open to transgender females in the Miss Universe competition.

In a related report former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico and current Miss Universe Puerto Rico National Director Denise Quiñones confirmed that the local organization will follow the international rules of the MU pageant. In February 17 this year, the MUPR organization eliminated the “birth” clause requirement that included the naturally-born female aspect and instead replaced it with the clause “born in Puerto Rico” and resided in the country for 6 consecutive months. This would make Puerto Rico the latest country to open its pageant to transfemales. This makes 5 with Canada, USA, Israel, Spain and now Puerto Rico.

Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera also expressed her support for Angela Ponce in the coming pageant. In the Spanish TV show Un Nuevo Dia on Telemundo, the former MU winner gave her support to Ponce and gave her advise for the MU competition. She said to relish every moment of the competition and drown out the noise coming from everywhere because ‘you can never get back the experience‘.

Seems like inclusion is the name of the game. The three former winners alongside Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo are just a few of the recent titleholders who are in favor of transfemales in the MU pageant.

The Evolution of the Miss Universe Crown

This post is all about the crowns used in the Miss Universe pageant and how it has evolved through time. While I already have posted individually on each of the 9 crowns of Miss Universe, I realized that I never had one post on all of them. Hence, we are featuring all of them in one easy post with links to the individual features on the crowns (to know more about the make, cost and years in use).

* The First Miss Universe Crown – The Romanov Nuptial Crown
Arguably the most expensive crown that has ever graced an international pageant. This crown may have been insured for US$500,000 at that time but it is actually priceless due to its association with the Romanov Imperial family. More on the Romanov crown here.

* The Second Miss Universe Crown – The Bronze Crown of 1953
Not much is know about this crown and remains to be one of the most enigmatic crowns of the pageant. This was only used once in crowning a winner. More of the Bronze crown here.
* The Third Miss Universe Crown – The Star of the Universe Crown
This is perhaps one of the most expensive crowns made specifically for the Miss Universe pageant as it is made out of pearls set in gold. The crown was so expensive that it can only be worn by the winner 3 times throughout her reign. More on the crown here.
* The Fourth Miss Universe Crown – The 10th Anniversary Crown
This is the first rhinestone crown used in crowning the winner of the pageant. This is only used twice. Read more on this link.

* The Fifth Miss Universe Crown – The Lady Crown AKA The Sarah Coventry Crown
Arguably the most iconic of all Miss Universe crowns. Used for 33 years, this crown has been passed on from one winner to another with a copy being given to each winner. Arguably also the most well-used crown, this rhinestone crown was one of the most visibly photographed crowns of the all. It was used in majority of a Miss Universe’s public appearances.
Didn’t you know that this crown was made adjustable only in the 80’s? Furthermore, all former winners get to keep their version of the crown. More here on this link.

* The Sixth Miss Universe Crown – The Phoenix Mikimoto Crown
Inspired by the feathers of the famed mythical bird, this crown made by the Mikimoto company of Japan is one of the best loved crown designs by the fans of the pageant. It is so well loved that it was returned in use after an absence of almost a decade. More of the crown here.
* The Seventh Miss Universe Crown – The Vietnamese CAO Crown
It was a ‘courtesy’ crown and was only used once in the crowning of a Miss Universe winner. This was used in the 2008 pageant held in Vietnam as a celebration of the Vietnamese people’s hospitality. Know more about this crown on this link.

* The Eighth Miss Universe Crown – The Diamond Nexus Crown
This is the one of the most traveled crowns among the recent crowns of the Miss Universe pageant. With its eco-friendly, laboratory-grown diamonds, the Diamond Nexus crown was commissioned during the end of the Mikimoto tenure. Miss Universe pageant co-owner (prior to its 2015 sale to IMG) NBC’s green initiative prompted the creation of this ‘green friendly’ crown. Read more here.
* The Ninth Miss Universe Crown – The DIC Crown
Nicknamed the ‘French Fries crown’ by pageant fans, this is perhaps one of the least loved crowns of the pageant. It was used only in crowning three Miss Universe winners. After a lawsuit was filed with the crownmakers in 2017 due to non payment of contractual obligations, the crown was discontinued in use. More of this crown on this link.

The pageant has created some seriously gorgeous crowns over the years. But my personal favorite is still the Sarah Coventry crown/ the Lady crown simply because is was the one that I grew up with. Most millennials would identify with the Mikimoto more and I understand why. What I loved about the Lady crown is that the outgoing winner gets to wear her own crown as she crowns the next Miss Universe with a new one. Each of the winners could gladly boast that they own a piece of the Miss Universe history with their own crowns, sashes and trophies, and for some lucky few in the late 60’s and early 70’s they get to keep their Miss Universe scepters.

The Miss Universe Transgender 2012 Ruling

There is a common lack of awareness of the Miss Universe Transgender Ruling of 2012 for a number of Filipino pageant fans that only started following the pageant during the time when Pia Wurtzbach won. So it is very likely that a number of them are uninformed of the ruling allowing transgender females to compete in the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

It all started in 2012 when former MUOrg owner Donald Trump has overturned a decision to disqualify Jenna Talackova in competing in the Miss Universe Canada pageant. Trump legal counsel Michael Cohen stated, “As long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant“.
The MU pageant has this posted on their website during the 2017 July Pride Month celebrations:
In 2012, the Miss Universe Organization allowed transgender contestants to enroll and compete at Miss Universe. Working closely with GLAAD, The Miss Universe Organization said in a statement that year, “We have a long history of supporting equality for all women, and this was something we took very seriously.
There have been a number of transgender females who were allowed to compete in state and national levels for a chance at the Miss USA title or a chance to represent their country at Miss Universe. Below  are just a few of transgender females in the Miss USA/ Miss Universe system:
1. 2012, Jenna Talackova in Miss Universe Canada 2012 – sparked the original debate of transgender women in Miss Universe. She ended as one of the top 10 semi-finalists and won Miss Congeniality at MU-Canada.
2. 2013, Arianna Wenzel competed in Miss California USA
3. 2017, Anita Green competed in Miss Montana USA – read more on what motivated Anita to comepte in Miss Montana USA in this link
4. 2018, Talleen Abu Hanna in Halyofi Israel – she was one of the more popular candidates in the Miss Israel pageant. She managed to make top 5 in the pageant.
5. 2018 Angela Ponce as the winner of  Miss Universe Spain – this isn’t the first time she tried for a national title as she competed in Miss World Spain in 2015. She is now in a media frenzy as she will be the first trans-woman to compete in Miss Universe.

Even the Olympics have been open to allow transgender athletes in both the Summer and Winter games. In 2004, just before the Athens Olympics, the International Olympic Committee ruled that transexuals could compete in the Olympic games, as long as they had completed sex reassignment surgery — and had undergone hormone therapy for at least two years. This was later updated in 2016 when female-to-male transgender athletes were allowed to compete prior to their gender realignment surgeries.

Angela Ponce: “We Are More Than What You See”

It is easy for traditional fans of the Miss Universe pageant to demonize people and situations that they do not understand. So it would only be fair that people get to know Miss Universe Spain Angela Ponce in her own words…

My goal is to be a spokesperson for a message of inclusion, respect and diversity not only for the LGBTQ+ community, but also for the entire world…
Society is not educated for diversity, it’s what made me go public, I mean, here I am and I’m not weird, I just have a different story, a woman who came to life differently but I’m a woman.” – Angela Ponce, 20 Minutos
Continue reading “Angela Ponce: “We Are More Than What You See””

Miss Universe 2018 Pageant in Thailand (?)

You have probably heard the rumor by now that the Miss Universe is to be hosted in Thailand this year.

Well, that is nothing really surprising considering that even former DOT Secretary Wanda Teo mentioned Thailand bidding to host previously (and we’ve blogged about that last May 8).  In fact she has mentioned as well in interviews that Thailand and Vietnam are the Philippines’ biggest rivals on the bidding for the MU hosting rights. If it does pushes through, then this would be the 3rd time that the Land of Smiles will be hosting the competition.
Continue reading “Miss Universe 2018 Pageant in Thailand (?)”

Catriona on Trans-Females in Miss Universe

While an uproar among pageant fans has brewed over the winning and participation of Miss Universe Spain Angela Ponce in Miss Universe, Filipina-Aussie Catriona Gray has more of an open-mind in the issue.

Here is the news report by ABSCBN:
Catriona Gray, who will be representing the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant later this year, has no problem competing with a transgender woman in the prestigious beauty contest. Continue reading “Catriona on Trans-Females in Miss Universe”

Sandwich Victories in Miss Universe

Back to back pageant victories are rare cases in Miss Universe. In fact it is almost frowned by the org as it almost never let it happen. However, if a back to back is close to impossible to achieve then better as well to try for a sandwich victory.

A sandwich victory is  where you can win the first year, rest awhile for the second year and then bounce back at the third. Pageant aficionados observe that this kind of scenario is more common in Miss Universe than a #back2back, in fact it already happened thrice already.
TRIVIA: Did you know that this could have almost happened again this decade when Miss USA Olivia Culpo won MU in 2012 and with Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez almost winning Miss Universe in 2014? Nia ended up as 1st runner up to Colombia’s Paulina Vega.

Let’s take a look at Miss Universe sandwich victory through the years. The first ever sandwich victory occurred when in 1954, Miss USA Miriam Stevenson  won the title of Miss Universe and then followed up in 1956, with Carrol Morris winning the title. In between the two Americans was Sweden’s Hillevi Rombin who won in 1955.

The second sandwich win happened 23 years later. It happened again in 1979 when the powerhouse Venezuela won their first Miss Universe with Maritza Sayalero. Then in 1981 with just a 1 year gap, Venezuela enjoyed its second Miss Universe crown worn by Irene Saez. USA’s Shawn Weatherly won in 1980, in between the two Venezuelans.

USA achieved another sandwich victory becoming the only country to do a 2nd sandwich win in the years 1995 and 1997. Chelsi Smith won the Miss Universe crown in Namibia making as the first African-American to win the title. Then in 1997 Brook Lee of Hawaii won the Miss Universe crown making the first Asian-American to win the title. Meanwhile in the year 1996 the pageant was won by the very controversial Alicia Machado who would later cause a sensational weight gain battle with the MU owner Donald Trump.

NOTE: This is a republished article from 2014. We updated several information to make it more current but left the main thoughts as well as the original graphics of the writeup. Enjoy!

Angela Ponce Wins Miss Universe Spain 2018!

History has been made! Angela Ponce is the first transgender female to win Miss Universe Spain. She will also be the first transgender female to compete in Miss Universe later this year!

26 year old Angela Ponce may not have won the Miss World Spain title in 2015 but she surely is grinning ear to ear now as she will be representing Spain in Miss Universe 2018. Her triumph is truly a win for the LGBTQ community as she won during the month of June which is considered to be the PRIDE Month.

Angela beat 19 other equally gorgeous candidates on last night’s finals held at the Augusto auditorium of the Palau Firal i de Congressos de Tarragona.
In 2012 the Miss Universe organization has allowed transgender females to compete in the pageant. She revealed in an earlier interview with Toñi  Moreno that her hardest moments took place during her adolescence and when she had to convince a psychologist that she was who she was. She also says that she could not “appear” as Miss Spain because the Miss World rejected transgender women and that now that she can, she plans to bring back to Spain the Miss Universe crown.