Those who have seen Miss Universe 2007, will know how unexpected the whole show was. First of all, the major favourites like Miss Greece, Spain, South Africa etc were left out. The host country girl, Miss Mexico, was left out of Top 5 which made audience furious. The the fall of Miss USA, poor Rachael Smith, in evening gown round became the headlines of the news channels across the globe. Then booing of Miss USA by audiences while Rachael advanced over Miss Mexico and while her Top 5 interview and finally, a never expected winner..!!!!
Riyo Mori will definitely go down as one of the most unconventional winners of pageants. I don’t say Riyo was not deserving or not good but she wasn’t expected by majority of people. However, I will also not deny the fact that she owned the stage on that night like no one else. I remember, back in 2007, when Riyo was crowned I saw her pic in newspaper. I literally laughed at her because the other two runners up looked much prettier and fitter than her. Moreover, Japan just finished 1st runner up placement in 2006 at Miss Universe, so it was more disappointing to see a winner like Riyo when the hopes were high from Japan.
However, Riyo started gaining momentum as the contest progressed. She had decent performance in prelim but wasn’t a sure shot for the finale. But she made it to Top 15. This girl didn’t standout till the time she took the ramp in swimsuit round. But oh, well, the moment she entered for Swimsuit performance, she exploded on the stage and left every stunned. She was dancer by profession and one could easily make it out while she took her walk in Swimsuit round. Her walk wasn’t conventional but it had the energy to convince judges, “I am here to win”. Adding to her performance, her VaVa Voom body was a treat. She topped this round .!!!
After Swimsuit, it was expected that she will make it to the next round. Her evening gown was again very unconventional, just like her, yet high fashioned. The gown covered her fully but while she took walk, she played it like no one else out there. We wondered why she was scored low in this segment. Again, it wasn’t a shock to see her making to the top 5. One could easily see how noticeable personality she carried on the stage. Her answer showed the depth and genuineness when she was replied to ‘What was the one lesson you learned as a child that still affects your life today?’ by saying that she had been dancing since she was a child. She lived her life growing up among many students and dancer. She learned how to always be happy, patient and positive and this is what she wants to teach to the next generation; and playfully she concluded, ‘Thank you!’
The crown still looked between Korea or Venezuela but Japan won it ultimately. Also, not to forget that hell fall of the crown from Riyo’s head while getting crowned by Zuleyka. Many believed that Zuleyka was not interested in crowning her and did it intentionally, we doubt though. She proved her haters, including myself, by being one of the most impressive Miss Universe with personality. I was glad later on that she won and we got to see something different..!!!