Throwback Thursday: #TBT-14

Miss Universe 2005 Top 2 : A Tale of Optimism

Miss Universe 2005
Cynthia Olavarria & Natalie Glebova

Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up. – Chinese proverb

Very often people judge the beauty pageant girls just by their faces or pictures. Of course, physical beauty helps in pageants. But like any competition, there are other factors which affect the result. These include focus, confidence and optimism among others.

Recently in an interview Nana Meriwether acknowledged that during their stint at Miss USA pageant, there were just three girls who would wake up early everyday to get a work-out throughout the pageant and exactly those three girls actually made it to the Top 3. The history of pageants is full of many such examples. There are many beauties who have not won their local or state or national pageants at the first shots and then they came back to win it all.

2005 was one such year when the Top 2 of, the arguably most entertaining pageant in the world, Miss Universe had two such courageous souls!

Story of Natalie Glebova

Miss Universe 2005
Picture from Miss Universe Canada 2004: Natalie Glebova on extreme left was 4th in the pageant. Eventual winner Vanessa Fischer is on her right. (PC:

Natalie Glebova of Russian Heritage had competed in Miss Universe Canada in 2004. She was not the winner. In fact she finished 4th. However, this did not deter her. She came back into the pageant with better preparation and won it all in 2005! Her preparation was very strong and that perhaps helped her at Miss Universe 2005. She was among the favorites and easily made the first cut to Top 15. She glided the stage in simple white gown and then burnt the ramp in white bikini with her sexy lean body. However, what made her the winner that night was her amazing answer to the final question. When asked about the biggest challenge in her life, she said it is to stay positive. The icing on the cake was how she greeted the audience in the local language. She was the only girl to do that. She turned out to be a fantastic Miss Universe.

Tale of Cynthia Olavarria

Miss Universe 2005
Cynthia Olavarria in Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2003

Cynthia Olavarria was the first runner-up at Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2003 pageant which was won by Carla Tricoli. Carla failed to make the Top 15 cut at Miss Universe but won Miss Photogenic. Cynthia prepared herself better and then returned in 2005. She won the national pageant with ease and became an instant favorite for Miss Universe 2005. In the finals of Miss Universe 2005 at Bangkok, she was the strongest competition to Natalie Glebova. Although Natalie was clearly the best in swimsuit round, the evening gown round belonged to Cynthia. In her beautiful black gown, she smiled her way into the hearts of the audiences. The crown was clearly between her and Natalie once the Top 5 was announced. In the last round, she talked about how she made her failure at Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2003 into a positive experience by learning from it and coming back to win it all at Miss Puerto Rico Universe and reach so far. Somehow Natalie’s answer had an edge and hence Cynthia had to settle with the 1st Runner-up placement. She was very gracious when Natalie was announced as winner.

Both these beauties did not give up on their dreams on losing their national pageants. They took the expereince positively and returned back to flaunt their worthiness to the world. They are remembered & they will always be! Definitely there are things every person can learn from beauty pageants. 🙂