Local Vibes
June 3, 2005
Miss Universe crown goes to Canada

Miss Canada Natalie Glebova was crowned Miss Universe 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday morning at the climax of the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant.

Glebova, a 23-year-old motivational speaker from Toronto, succeeded last year’s winner, Australian Jennifer Hawkins, after the usual evening gown and swimsuit parades which pulled in TV viewers worldwide.{{more}}

Though hotly tipped for the title, the final announcement appeared to stun Glebova, who moved to Canada from her native Russia only 11 years ago.

Glebova paraded the stage moments after being crowned with the glittering, diamond-encrusted Miss Universe tiara.

Dressed in a long white evening dress, she hugged her parents on stage and then praised her new homeland for giving her and her family the chance to start a new life.

Miss Puerto Rico Cynthia Olavarria, a 12-1 favorite according to on-line betting service Sportsbook.com, came in second.

Miss Philippines Gionna Cabrera, who lost her bid for the country’s third Miss Universe crown, was voted Miss Photogenic.

Miss Thailand, Chananporn Rosjan bagged the Best National Dress award while Miss US Virgin Islands Tricia Homer was hailed as Miss Congeniality.

In all, 81 beauties from Albania to Zambia made it to Thailand, riding elephants, touring temples and frollicking on tsunami-hit beaches in the run-up to Tuesday’s finale, which was broadcast live on Monday evening in North America.