Celebrating 60 Years of Miss Universe: 45th Miss Universe 1996 Las Vegas (NV). History!

1.Because of the country’s economic difficulties, South Africa does not host the pageant.

2.Miss Universe Mexico’s National Director Lupita Jones wants to turn Mexico into one of the most successful nations on Earth. She has been working hard to improve in this project and is making ominous progress. She personally has coached great Aztec beauties such as Vanessa Guzman, Rosa Maria Ojeda. Another great delegate coached by Jones is Ximena Navarrete.

3.The global competition is held in Las Vegas, putting Nevada (USA) on the world stage. It is the second time, after 1991, that LV will host the universal event.

4.The international jury is made up of celebrities from five different countries and dependencies: Cuba, Chile, Hong Kong, Sweden, and USA.

5.The Commonwealth of Australia becomes the second country (and territory) to win back-to-back Miss Congeniality, after Trinidad & Tobago (1975-1976), and the island of Guam (1985-1986).

6.Few weeks after visiting Lima (accompanied by her national director Osmel Sousa), where was a guest of honor at Miss Peru Universe 1996, Alicia Machado from Venezuela earns the universal crown on May 17, 1996. She also achieves something no other MU has in four decades of the competition: Wins two special trophies (Jantzen Best in Swimsuit and Best Hair). Yet, her reign was controversial and criticized in her own country. Over the following months, her body had changed: from being a slender girl to become the fattest Miss Universe of all time! Since then, she had hurt the pride of Venezuela, a beauty-obsessed country.

7.El Salvador’s beauty Carmen Milena Mayorga is elected as the seventh most beautiful girl on the globe (behind Venezuela, Aruba, Finland,USA, Russia, and Mexico) by judges, after an interview and appearances in swimwear and evening gown (for the second time in a row, the Central American nation to become a semifinalist). She, on the other hand, is the country’s first Salvadoran contestant of Venezuelan ancestry. Over the next years, she worked as a TV journalist on the Salvadorean soil.

8.Fans are not just waving flags from Mexico and America but from South Africa and Russia…

9.Tanny Mansell (Aruba)-Alicia Machado (Venezuela) win all-Latin American final at Las Vegas! Mansell from the Caribbean island of Aruba -a dependency from the Netherlands– is first-runner-up after losing to Miss Machado, becoming the first islander in history to accomplish that feat.

10.Despite the support of Cecilia Bolocco, Miss Chile 1996 Andrea L’ Huillier is defeated in the preliminaries. Bolocco was the first telecast judge from Chile.

11.Going back to Caracas, Miss Universe 1996, Alicia Machado, is congratulated by Venezuela’s President Rafael Caldera, as well as to other national officials.

12.Miss Russia Ilma Shasmsutdinova becomes the first delegate from an ex-Soviet Republic to qualify for the second phase. The Federation of Russia competed independently as a country in Manila’95.

13,Against all odds, Denny Mendez becomes the first black to be crowned Miss Italy, allowing her to qualify for the 1997 Miss Universe.

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