Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008

Mendoza and three other Latin Americans women made the final five at Sunday’s contest. Miss Columbia Tailana Vargas was the runner-up followed by Miss Dominican Republic Marianne Cruz.The other finalists were Miss Mexico Elisa Najera, and Miss Russia Vera Krasova.Miss India Simran Kaur Mundi failed to make it even to the top 15.

Miss USA Crystle Stewart of Texas was in the top 10 but tripped on the train of her bejeweled evening gown as she made her entrance.

The 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.Eighty contestants gathered in the seaside city of Nha Trang, Vietnam, vying to succeed reigning Miss Universe Riyo Mori of Japan.

Sporting yellow, green and orange bikinis, the 15 semi-finalists strutted across the stage during the swimsuit competition to the sounds of Lady Gaga, who belted out the pulsating “Just Dance” in a platinum blond wig. Miss Vietnam, Lam Thuy Nguyen, was greeted with a roar from the Vietnamese audience.The final 10 then competed in the evening gown event.

They performed in front of a panel of judges that includes international fashion experts and Donald Trump Jr., whose father, the real estate magnate and TV star, co-owns the pageant with NBC.

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