Miss Universe Beauty Pageant and its controversial moments!

06 Nov 2017 | Angelopedia

All that glitters is not gold!

Every beauty pageant has had its controversial moments, and even Miss Universe, one of the Top 2 international beauty pageants, has also not been immune to controversies. In the history of the pageant, there were incidents which nobody would have expected and some of them should not even have made headlines. Though given the popularity of the pageant and its bringing together so many countries and contestants on a huge platform to compete for the most prestigious beauty pageant title, the controversies will always be there for one reason or the other. And we know that even 'negative publicity' is still publicity!

Miss Universe 1996 Alicia Machado's weight gain and other controversies

Miss Universe 1996 Alicia Machado of Venezuela made headlines when she reportedly gained too much weight during her reign as Miss Universe and was then forced to diet and exercise in order to maintain the svelte figure that is expected of Miss Universe titleholders.  Miss Universe organization also considered replacing her with the first runner-up Taryn Mansell of Aruba, and the move was heavily criticized by fans all over the world. Alicia’s pictures of her working out to lose weight floated on all newspapers and the pressure, created by the organizers, was heavily criticized.

Nine years later, she again made headlines when she participated in a Spanish reality show called 'La Granja' in 2005 where she was criticized for having sex with one of her roommates in front of cameras. She also became the first-ever Miss Universe to pose nude for both US and Mexican versions of PLAYBOY magazine!

Dethronement of Miss Universe 2002 Oxana Fedorova

Miss Universe 2002, Oxana Fedorova of Russia, became the first ever (and till date only) titleholder to be dethroned. She was stripped of her title due to 'failing to function' in her responsibilities as Miss Universe. Her responsibilities were assumed by the first runner-up Justine Pasek of Panama after her official dethronement on 23rd September 2002, four months after crowning. Rumours were that she was secretly married and was pregnant, and was dethroned because of her marriage and pregnancy. Oxana said in an interview that she wanted to concentrate on her studies and wanted to undertake a thesis in law and denied reports of her being married or pregnant.

Miss Universe Trinidad & Tobago 2008 Anya Ayoung-Chee's video controversy

Miss Universe Trinidad & Tobago 2008 Anya Ayoung-Chee made news when a video emerged that showed her having a threesome with former boyfriend and Miss Universe Japan 2008 Hiroko Mima. Her boyfriend claimed that the footage was stolen off his laptop. Miss Universe pageant distanced themselves from the controversy stating that the tape had been filmed too far after the pageant had already been conducted.

Miss Universe 2009 Stefanía Fernández involvement in a murder trial!

Miss Universe 2009 Stefanía Fernández's boyfriend, Julio Marcollu, was accused of murdering another young man. Stefanía chose to protect him by becoming his alibi and fought for his innocence. While his boyfriend was let off, the speculations around the murder continue to date.

Miss Universe USA 2010 Rima Fakih pole dancing controversy

Miss Universe 2010 finalist Rima Fakih from the United States of America made headlines when photos surfaced of her pole dancing pole in 2007. She has since clarified the context of those photos, saying that those were from a pole dancing class she took. In response to the headlines, Rima said, "I think that because of the image that Miss USA should present, of course, people are going to look into your background and take away your success."

Jenna Talackova Miss Universe Canada 2012 Transgender Debate

In Miss Universe Canada 2012, Jenna Talackova, a transgender contestant, was disqualified from the competition on the grounds that she is not a “naturally born female”. This statement of the MU Canada organization led to huge criticism by audience and fans. Eventually, she was allowed to participate and made it to Top 12. We wonder what would have happened had she won and competed in Miss Universe 2012! Well, she is actually now one of the most successful transgender models in the world.

Miss Universe 2014 controversy around Kaci Fennell's low placement

In 2014, when Paulina Vega of Colombia was crowned Miss Universe 2014, the low placement of her fellow contestant Kaci Fennell of Jamaica was not well received by the audience who were expecting her to win after her impressive answers during the Q&A round. Everyone expected her to be there in Top 2, but when she was declared the fourth runner-up, the crowd felt disappointment and it evoked booed response from the audience. Fans even took on social media to vent their anger and disappointment over her placement.

Controversial Statements of Andjelka Tomaševic Miss Universe Serbia 2014

Another controversy besides the audience disappointment with Miss Universe organization on the low placement of the Jamaican beauty was criticism and disapproval from other contestants. Andjelka Tomaševic of Serbia made some strong statement on her social media calling the Miss Universe 2014 pageant a political manifestation and that the pageant abides by “money makes the world go round perspective”. She posted, “Hard work and sincere approach are not respected. I hope this would change and make many girls happy in the future. I am not writing this because I am angry. This was a pretty educational experience for me, very useful in my future work. Still, there were great things that made me feel fantastic and these I want to remember. Best wishes!”

Miss Universe Thailand 2014 Pimbongkod Chankaew's controversial comments

Another candidate for Miss Universe 2014, Pimbongkod Chankaew Miss Universe Thailand 2014 also released a controversial statement through a video, declaring that the Miss Universe Organisation showed favouritism and was very unprofessional. She claimed of being a victim to favouritism and vividly stated that the Miss Universe 2014 winner was pre-decided. Her video went viral on YouTube evoking annotations and remarks from people all over the world!

Israel-Lebanon photo controversy in Miss Universe 2014

A selfie of Miss Universe Israel 2014 Doron Matalon with her fellow contestant Miss Universe Lebanon 2014 Saly Greige sparked criticism in Lebanon as the photo featured a smiling Miss Lebanon next to her Israeli counterpart. Following the criticism in Lebanon and demands to strip Saly off her title, she claimed that the Israeli beauty queen 'jumped in' and photo-bombed her in the controversial selfie at Miss Universe contest!

Goof-up by Steve Harvey in Miss Universe 2015

And yes, we still remember the moment when Miss Universe Colombia 2015 Ariadna Gutiérrez was crowned Miss Universe 2015!


Miss Universe Beauty Pageant and its controversial moments


And then about four minutes later the crown was taken back from her! Why? Well, it was the host Steve Harvey who misread his cue card and crowned Miss Colombia the winner when actually the winner was Miss Universe Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurztbach.


Worst Controversies in the history of Miss Universe beauty pageant


Steve returned to host Miss Universe 2016 and that too in the Philippines, and fortunately, there was no other goof-up in that year's pageant finale!

Do share your views on the above controversies with us in the comments below.