At times, the choices of the judges about the winners end up being questionable and many people expression their preference for the first runner-up instead! This is in a way a good thing because it brings out the fact that really competitive girls participate in pageants. One such year was 2006! Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto Rico won the crown, but Kurara Chibana of Japan won hearts! Till today it is a topic of debate who deserved the crown more.
Face: Both the girls have a beautiful face. Of course, both girls are in the Top 2 of Miss Universe, this should not be a surprise! 🙂 Both the girls have cute smiles and are very attractive. However, if I personally have to have a say, I will go with Kurara Chibana. Hers’ would have been a unique face to represent the Miss Universe organization! Plus it is not just about features – Kurara had/has a very genuine and sweet smile. Her flirtatious winks in the finals were a reason why she ended up being the favorite of the crowd. Zuleyka Rivera too is very pretty and has the face of an international beauty queen.
Body: Alright, Zuleyka Rivera wins this one hands down! She started the swimsuit competition and oh boy, she was so good! Her lean mean body and the way she worked the swimsuit & the sarong on the stage – fabulous! She set the tone for the entire evening with the amazing swimsuit presentation. Kurara Chibana was slim and toned. She was lean and looked lovely in the swimsuit.
Evening gown & presentation: This one has to be a tie. Both the girls used different gowns for presentation show and the finals. In the presentation show, Zuleya wore a gown in which the bodice was made of satin and chains. Kurara sported a red and pink-hued gown with silver corseting designed by Novespazio. In the finals, Zuleyka Rivera sported the “entirely chain” version of her presentation show gown. Kurara Chibana sported a black gown with intricate latice-work. It was designed by Olivier Theyskens for Rochas. Zuleyka’s gown was heavy, but it won appreciation from many. In fact, as a gown it can be considered more popular than Kurara’s dresses. However, we still conclude this as a tie because Kurara ended up looking harmonious and pleasant on eyes in finals. Zuleyka loved lovely too!
Stage presence: Kurara please! She won the hearts of many through her flirtatious winks and her reactions on making the next cut! On the other hand, sometimes Zuleyka came across a bit stiff and “not really very pleasant or easy going” from her attitude. Kurara came across as natural and genuine, while Zuleyka looked a bit plastic and fake. Anyways, looks can be deceptive. Perhaps both are lovely girls from within. 🙂
Final answer: Okay, so this why Zuleyka Rivera won the crown. Her answer was very good in terms of content as well delivery. She was asked to define success and she said it is about overcoming obstacles and becoming better. In fact it was more elaborate, I am lazy. 🙂 Kurara Chibana was asked about something she would like to change from past and she mentioned about injustices done to women in past. It was a very nice answer. However, Zuleyka gave the “perfect” beauty pageant answer. It was like the ones you would hear in 90s!
Thus, the competition between the two girls was very close. I would have voted for Kurara because I think it would have been amazing to see a fresh, lively, pleasant beauty winning Miss Universe. However, I can see how close the battle and can understand how there can be no clear consensus on this! Hail to both the stunner <3
Image Credits: Miss Universe website, Fan pages of Zuleyka Rivera & Kurara Chibana on Facebook