Australia was an underdog when it came to performance at Miss Universe and have had only one Miss Universe in 1972, Kerry Anne Wells, till the year 2004. They, however, have been on rise in the recent editions of Miss Universe. The national organisation seemed to have understood the requirements of Miss Universe contest very well and had consistently been sending excellent delegates. In fact, the new organisation under the direction of Deborah Miller could manage to produce one winner, 3 top 5 placements and 2 top 10 placements at Miss Universe in mere 10 years of their existence. Australia also held the record of one of the longest streaks of continuous placement (5 years) with consistent performance at Miss Universe along with USA, Mexico in last decade. However, the continuous 5 placement glory came to an end in 2013 when Olivia Wells failed to place in to the finals of Miss universe and ‘Missed’ the chance of breaking the record of 7 continuous placement of USA ( 2003- 2009) and 6 continuous placement of Mexico ( 2005-2010). Lets have a review on all the girls who brought glory to Australia and what went wrong in 2013 for Australia to miss the finals.
2004: Jeniffer Hawkins, Winner
Jennifer was the first winner of Miss Universe Australia under Deborah Miller’s direction and they got it right..!!! Jennifer Hawkins was never expected to win Miss Universe as per fans, although she was considered a front-runner but winning came out as a pleasant surprise. She had to fight with USA’s Shandy Finnessey to finally wear the crown of Miss Universe. Jeniffer’s unique selling points were her extremely beautiful face, smoking hot body and her stage presence. Her Top 5 answer was very calm and composed and she seemed taking the situation very lightly, which is a good sign when you have thousands of eyes staring at you from audience. She won Miss Universe rightfully that night and had fair reign. She made on to the headlines when she suffered wardrobe malfunction in some event where her lower skirt got trapped under her sandals and it got away. However, she managed to run backstage and controlled the situation. Jeniffer, for us, will go down as one of the most beautiful Miss Universe of all times.
2008: Laura Dundovic, Top 10.
Although Laura was beautiful and quite a bit deserving of her placement, she was barely considered as a crown contender against the likes of Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, Elisa Najera of Mexico, Taliana Vargas of Colombia, Simran Kaur of India, Krystle Stewart of USA and Ingrid Rivera of Puerto Rico. However, she made it against the odds which came as a pleasant surprise. Laura finished 10th overall at the finale which was quite fair. Laura’s unique selling points were her universal appeal, freshness in beauty and humble personality. Laura lacked the energy in finale and her overall she underperformed, we feel.
2009: Rachael Finch, 3rd Runners up.
Rachael Finch was the strongest delegate Miss Universe Australia had ever sent after Jennifer Hawkins. She was bubbly, she was charming and her angelic beauty just capture hearts of everyone. You could see her great personality in her performance, in her interviews and answers. Her eyes and expression spoke volume on finale and her white bridal inspired evening gown just suited her mesmerizing face to the pitch perfect. Rachael topped the swimsuit segment with her slender framed body and stood 4th in evening gown round. She was front-runner from the beginning and was expected to walk away with the crown after her performance. However, Stefania Fernandez from Venezuela became the ultimate winner of Miss Universe 2009 and Rachael had to settle down with 3rd runners-up spot. However, to us, Rachael will always be our favourite from the lot of Miss universe 2009 contestants. Rachael Finch recently met with an ‘almost’ accident where she and her baby girl got saved. Read more about her almost accident at http://thegreatpageantcommunity.com/2014/03/17/near-death-experience-of-miss-universe-australia-rachel-finch/ .
2010: Jesinta Campbell, 2nd Runners Up.
Jesinta Campbell placed against all the odds and in fact placed much higher than our expectation. Looking at her preliminary performance at Miss Universe, especially in evening gown round where she wore a hideous green gown which was no way meant for Miss Universe prelims. It was easy to knock her out of the list of Top 15. However, she placed and reached even higher than her predecessor. We do believe, her finale performance was actually very good. her swimsuit performance was full or energy and fun, she changed her evening gown to peach white colour whose texture looked similar to Jennifer Hawkins’s gown. Even, she had the best answer in Top 5 and it was kind of expected that she might win if the result would be based on just answer. Jesinta also won Miss Congeniality award which showed that she must have been very down to earth and on friendly terms with co-contestants that made her win this award and may be this helped her place in finale, remember Miss Univer Organisation picks 6 contestants out of Top 15 for finale. However, eventually, beauty was given more importance and Mexico’s Ximena Navarrate won the pageant. Jesinta also made it to the headlines during the pageant due to the news that her national costume was sabotaged by somebody by putting pins into it that could hurt her badly. However, nothing happened due to timely removal of those pins.
2011: Scheri Lee Biggs, Top 10
Another stunner from Australia who created the waves due to her angelic face and radiating positive outlook. 2011 was also one of the toughest years where most of the Top 16 were quite high-caliber and it was very hard to pick just one stand out girl as a winner. Australia’s bet Scheri lee was also considered as a front-runner along with many other girls. She too made it on the headlines due to her controversial evening gown which was tagged as too transparent that it was revealing more than limit. It almost got cancelled yet somehow still Scheri chose to wear it. Scheri finished in Top 10 which we consider was underrated for her. We feel Miss Brazil, Host country delegate, placed too high, 2nd runners-up, taking one spot in Top 5 which Scheri Lee could easily have filled and make a perfect Top 5, or even Laury Thilleman of France would have been wonderful instead of Brazil.
2012: Renae Ayris, 3rd Runners Up.
Although Renae was competing in one of the weakest batched of Miss Universe, she never caught our attention till preliminary of Miss Universe 2012. Renae, however, was not considered as a crown contender yet somehow was expected to place; firstly because she performed quite well and secondly the sponsors of Swimsuit, Kooey, was basically from Australia. However, her finale performance was strong enough to pull her as high as Top 3. her evening gown was similar in colour to her predecessor Scheri Lee Biggs and gave similar effects in look. Renae’s Unique selling points were her positive attitude, well toned body, charming smile and appealing beauty.
2013: Olivia Wells, Non Placement
Olivia was again competing in one of the weakest batch of Miss Universe and yet she couldn’t manage to stand out. Her only saving grace was her extremely cute face and charming beautiful smile. Unlike her past predecessors, she couldn’t stand out on the ground of her personality. She came out as little shy girl, which sometimes work in favour and most of the time can go against especially at the stage of Miss Universe. Again, the colour of the gown of Olivia resembled to her 2 predecessors and gave similar illusion. Her body wasn’t that well tonned to get her a place in top 15 and she looked bit chubby in Swimsuit round. She, however, looked angelic in Evening gown round but may be she couldn’t do that well at closed-door interview with Miss Universe Presentation’s Judging Panel. Her non-placement at Miss Universe not only ended the ongoing 5 years placement streaks but also made Australia lose a chance of equalling Mexico’s placement streak. Anyways, what is gone is gone.
The silver lining here is that Miss Universe Australia 2014’s registrations are going on and soon we shall get to know who is the next girl to hold the sash of Australia at Miss Universe 2014. After all, Australia’s Sash is quite heavy and isn’t easy to carry the legacy, hence we do expect some stunner like Jennifer Hawkins or Rachael Finch.