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Know more about the beauty pageant

Some interesting facts and figures about the biggest beauty pageant in the universe! Read on. Oomph, glamour & more! Click to see pictures

india Updated: Aug 19, 2006 10:26 IST

Some interesting facts and figures about the biggest beauty pageant in the universe!

How many women compete?
Delegates from 75 to 86 countries take part in the pageant every year.

Any age requirements delegates must meet?
As of 1993, Miss Universe delegates must be at least 18 years of age and under 27 years of age by February 1st in the year they compete in the national competition.

Can delegates be married?
No. Delegates may not be married or pregnant. They must not have ever been married, not had a marriage annulled nor given birth to a child. The titleholders are also required to remain single throughout their reign.

Are delegates allowed to have plastic surgery?
Although contestants are discouraged from altering their own natural beauty, no restrictions are placed on cosmetic surgery; it is impossible to enforce such a rule. In fact, since 1990 the organization has allowed the use of padding in an effort to discourage participants from permanently altering their bodies for the contest.

May a delegate compete more than once?
Delegates may compete more than once in the preliminary competition but may also compete in Miss Universe.

How are the semi-finalists chosen?
All delegates are judged in three areas of preliminary competition:

Interviews: Judges spend time with each delegate to learn about her successes, goals and ambitions.
Swimsuit Competition: Each delegate wears one of a variety of swimsuit styles provided by a sponsor.
Evening Gown Competition: Each delegate wears a gown she has chosen for herself.

All scores are entered into a computer and are then tallied in each of the three categories. The delegates with the highest aggregate scores are named the semi-finalists. The competition is narrowed twice more to produce the winner.

How are the Titleholders and runners-up chosen?
Once the finalists are named, their scores are discarded, and they begin competing anew. In the final competition, the same three areas are judged. The judges' scores in these categories are tallied and the winners are named live on the air.

What happens to the winners after they are named?
Part of each titleholder's prize package is an employment contract with the Miss Universe Organization (now Miss Universe, L.P., LLLP). To fulfill that contract, the titleholder becomes a representative of the company for one year.

Miss Universe is provided with a deluxe apartment in New York City and travel the world meeting dignitaries, speaking on behalf of the company, meeting with charitable organizations and appearing at events held by official sponsors.

About the winning crown
Design by Mikimoto. The official jewellery sponsor of the Miss Universe Organization. Kept by the Miss Universe Organization to be used in the crowning of the new Miss Universe every year

Valued at $250,000
800 diamonds, almost 18 carats.
120 pearls South Sea and Akoya pearls, ranging in size from 3.0 - 18 mm
Design depicts the phoenix rising, which signifies status, power and beauty
The Crown was designed specifically for the pageant on Mikimoto Pearl Island in Japan, Mikimoto crown and tiara first used for Miss Universe 2002.