The “Questions & Answers” round of the pageants helps us know the girls who can stand out from the rest when it comes to confidence and communication skills. Hence the round has always been the final criteria for selection of winner in most pageants like Miss Universe. This round was particularly important in the international pageants in the previous century. Recent years, we have seen winners who are just about decent in speaking skills but are highly beautiful & glamorous women. It seems that soon the trend may change again and we may see winners who are great orators. Miss Universe pageant always had this round since its inception. This year the final show was of greater duration and hence there were two Q/A rounds. It is a good change in our humble opinion because this rounds a lot of fun to the overall watching experience!
Here we make an attempt to highlight the best 10 answers in Miss Universe finals in the past 10 years, i.e. 2005-2014.
Spot No. 10: Stefania Fernandez – Miss Universe 2009 winner (Venezuela)
Andre Leon Talley: In many parts of the world, obstacles still exist which impede women from achieving their goals in some corporations. What can women do to overcome this?
Stefania: I believe that nowadays woman have overcome many obstacles and I do believe that we have reached the same level as men have. We must realize there are no longer any obstacles amongst us.
Stefania’s answer promoted equality among sexes but the best thing about it was the way she controlled the interpreter. She came across as very self-composed. Her style of delivery had a lot of ease and harmony. The judges noted her confidence, making her the eventual winner.
Spot No. 9: Dayana Mendoza – Miss Universe 2008 winner (Venezuela)
Louis Licari: If she believed that men or women have it easier in life and why.
Dayana: Actually God made us to share and to have difference but the big difference between women and men (it doesn’t matter what kind of life they life) is that men think the faster way to go to a point is to go straight but women know that the faster way to go to a point is through the curves and fixing every curves.
Honestly the content of the answer was pretty unexpected, but what made Dayana winner was the confidence and the energy that she exuded as she delivered her answer. Her spontaneity was impressive. It is admirable how she instantly came up with an well-rounded answer to such challenging question!
Spot No. 8: Zuleyka Rivera – Miss Universe 2006 winner (Puerto Rico)
Natalie Glebova: what was your definition of success?
Zuleyka: True satisfaction is when a human being has fulfilled their goals and realized the work they have done. Overcoming obstacles makes you strong and enables you to succeed.
Zuleyka’s answer in terms of content was very strong and philosophical. It was like the answers you hear in 90s. She delivered it with sincerity and confidence. Due to her attitude at times, Zuleyka’s fan-base is not big, but we have to acknowledge her good performance in all three rounds of the finals. Crown? Yes. Hearts? Not really. Anyway, as per “her” definition, her feat was a success!
Spot No. 7: Leila Lopes – Miss Universe 2011 winner (Angola)
Lea Salonga: If she could change one of her physical characteristics, which one would it be?
Leila: She thanks God and she is very satisfied with the way that God created her and she wouldn’t change a thing. She considered herself a woman endowed with inner beauty. She has her principles acquired from her family which she plans to follow throughout her life. And she had a piece of advice for everyone which was to respect one another.
Leila’s answer was philosophical, preachy and a very “beauty queen” like. Overall she came across as a very positive girl. The crowd for sure loved her. She would giggle a lot when the crowd would cheer her up and that perhaps went well with the judges. Her queenly performance in this round definitely helped her win the crown.
Spot No. 6: Riyo Mori – Miss Universe 2007 winner (Japan)
Nina Garcia: what was the one lesson she learned as a child that still affects her life today?
Riyo: 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.
Riyo’s delivery was very playful and easy. She was composed and confident. Her answer was good in terms of content. Her calmness & cool attitude overall worked for her!
Spot No. 5: Kaci Fennell – Miss Universe 2014 4th Runner-up (Jamaica)
Common Question: What is the greatest contribution of your country to the entire world?
Jamaica’s response was, “Well. As we all know, we have the home to the legendary Usain Bolt, Bob Marley who have contributed such great music to this world and we have the fastest man alive who has been trailblazing the Jamaican flag. Thank you so much.”
Kaci clearly gave the best answer of the evening. She was able to give specific instances of the contribution by made Jamaica to world. Few people argue saying that contribution in sports or music doesn’t really count, but those with a wise mind know that the world thrives on positive energies of masses and the contribution of arts & sports in this sense is invaluable. Brownie points to Kaci for delivering the answer with a spunk and good attitude!
Spot No. 4 Yendi Philipps – Miss Universe 2010 1st Runner-up (Jamaica)
Tamron Hall: Some countries still practice the death penalty and she asked if it is acceptable and why?
Yendi: Life is a gift, a gift given by only one ultimate creator and that none of us as humans have a right to take a life. And she believes that, we as mere beings of the earth have no right to control what it is and there is only one to control it and that is God.
Yendi took a stand and did it firmly. Beauty queens are supposed to be politically correct a lot of times, but Yendi chose to express what she truly felt. She made her point and justified her stand reasonably well. A very strong answer!
Spot No. 3: Janine Tugonon – Miss Universe 2012 1st Runner-up (Philippines)
Nigel Barker: As an international ambassador, do you believe that speaking English should be a prerequisite to being Miss Universe? Why or why not?
Janine: For me, being Miss Universe is not just about knowing about how to speak a specific language. It’s being able to influence and inspire other people. So whatever language you have, as long as your heart is to serve and you have a strong mind to… to show to people, then you can be Miss Universe. Thank you.
Janine’s answer was very strong in content & well-delivered. She was very confident and the crowd was totally in her favour. It takes intelligence and guts to deliver an answer like this in front of millions throughout the world.
Spot No. 2: Olivia Culpo – Miss Universe 2012 winner (USA)
Ximena Navarrete: “What is something you have done that you would never do again?”
Olivia: “Hmmm… Okay. Well, first, I’d like to start off by saying that every experience no matter what it is, good or bad, you’ll learn from it. Um. That’s the name of… That’s just life. But something that I regret would probably be picking on my siblings growing up because you appreciate them so much more as you grow older. You get closer with your family but everybody fights with their siblings, right? So… But I don’t regret it!”
Olivia came across as very personable and confident. She was composed and very much herself. She was relatable and not at all “robotic”. Her answer seemed very genuine and well-put. You just end up liking her as a person.
Spot No. 1: Natalie Glebova – Miss Universe 2005 winner (Canada)
Miss Dominican Republic: What the biggest challenge in her life was?
Natalie: It was trying to stay positive. She considers herself as the kind of person who sees the glass as half-full rather than half-empty and even though sometimes it’s difficult to look at life this way, she always tries to maintain a positive outlook on life.
Natalie gave a very positive answer, strong in terms of content, and she delivered it with a strong affability. She was the first to give the “wai” Thai palms pressed together greeting instantly creating a positive impression. She also ended her answer with “kop khun ka” (thank you in Thai) but it came out mispronounced as “kapoonka”; but she made the effort, the audience loved it and cheered loudly for her.
Overall a good answer in Q/A rounds is the one that has good content and is backed up with a confident delivery. Intelligence is a turn on, but confidence is sort of the back-bone of the whole thing. You have to show composure and self-assurance no matter what! Then only will the judges trust you with the crown.
What do you think about our choices? We are keen to hear your feedbacks. Picture Credits: Miss Universe website & Tpmum.com websites.