Most dramatic crowning moments in pageantry

08 Nov 2023 | Priya Bhardwaj

Winning pageants and earning an opportunity to represent your state or country at a national or international platform is an exhilarating feeling. Passing through the nerve-wrecking and diligent process of selection to walking on the ramp to represent your purpose is a feeling that words fall short for and when all the hardships result in the form of a crown, it becomes an iconic moment mixed with emotions, drama, and sometimes into the craziest controversies.

Many dream to win the glorious crown, but only those with sheer determination and dedication make their dream come true. Without any further ado, we bring to you some of the most iconic crowning moments in the history of pageantry:

Miss Universe 2015 Winner Announcement mix-up

While Steve has proven to be a reliable pageant host for past many years, it's nearly impossible to forget his giant flub in front of millions back in 2015. It was then that Steve mistakenly announced that Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez had won the competition. Realizing that Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbach was the actual winner, he had to walk back on stage and revoke his declaration.

The blunder immediately took the world by surprise, prompting a flurry of reactions and is till date one of the most iconic moments in the pageant world.



Miss Grand International 2018 Clara Sosa

Paraguay’s Clara Sosa, Miss Grand International for the year 2018, fainted on stage after being declared winner of the pageant. She swooned on stage after admitting the anticipation just before the announcement was unbearable. In an interview before the winner was announced, Sosa said breathlessly that she might need a doctor because she felt like she would have a heart attack.

Sosa soon recovered and waved, cried and smiled to cameras before she was surrounded by fellow contestants who congratulated her.



Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza

Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza shared a nervous emotional hug with first runner-up, Kurara Chibana of Japan, moments before the winner was announced, then clasped her hands to her mouth in amazement as her name was called as she won Miss Universe 2006.

She beamed as the crown was placed on her head but briefly fainted after a post-pageant news conference. She quickly recovered after being given liquids, said Miss Universe spokeswoman Esther Swan. Rivera, who was wearing a dress made entirely of metal chains, had been standing under hot stage lights for some time when she began to topple over. Someone caught her as she fell.



Miss Amazon 2015 Crown Brawl

After Carol Toledo was crowned Miss Amazon, according to the Associated Press, runner-up Sheislane Hayalla stepped up front, snatched the tiara off Toledo's head and threw it on the ground. She wasn't willing to take second place.

Hayalla then stormed off stage, according to a video from the incident, pausing to blow kisses and wave to the crowd.



Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar’s drought-breaking win

It had been a 17-years long drought for India at the global beauty pageants since Lara-Priyanka-Dia last brought home a hat-trick of winner sashes in the year 2000. The Miss World crown had come back to India in 2017 with a stunning win by Manushi Chhillar, a 20-year old medico from Sonepat, Haryana.

Manushi had won against all odds, and with very few inputs from her sponsors and her win was definitely an emotional roller coaster for her country.



Miss America 1945 Bess Myerson

When Bess Myerson entered the Miss America pageant in 1945, the pageant director reportedly suggested she change her name because it sounded too Jewish. Myerson refused and went on to win the pageant, becoming the first and thus far the only Jewish Miss America, just as World War II was ending. She became a "heroine" for the Jews in the U.S.


Miss America 1945 Bess Myerson