55th place – Gloria Diaz – Miss Universe 1969

55th place – Gloria Diaz (Philippines)

(Our judges are: Greg Borowski, Willian Prendiz de Jurado, Edwin Toledo (Times of Beauty), Ricardo Guiraldes (Chilean Charm), Julio Rodriguez (Belleza Venezolana), Alberto Dubal (Miss Memorabilia), Jimmy Harris (Beauty School), Pepe Medel, Jean-Marie Vandecasteele, Andre Sleigh, Rose Foulger, Luis Trujillo. From GB, Ed Dominguez, Henrique Fontes, and Chris Kuntz)

In the year when the man first landed on the moon, the Woodstock Festival changed concepts of fashion, beauty, and behavior around the world, 18-year-old Gloria Diaz of the Philippines beat the odds and was crowned Miss Universe 1969, in Miami Beach, Florida, USA. It was the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one, and in that sense Miss Philippines’ election was very emblematic.

When the semifinalists were called, the major surprise was Gloria, the exotic underdog from the Philippines. Nobody could’ve predicted that she was moments away from being elected Miss Universe. The crowd and press huge favorite was Miss Australia, Joanne Barret, who finished as 2nd runner-up. In addition to Miss Australia, among the most applauded candidates were Misses Finland, Harriet Marita Eriksson, Brazil,Vera Fischer (a future actress who would perhaps become the most famous Miss Brazil of all times), Peru, Maria Julia Mantilla Mayer (aunt of Miss World 2004, Maria Julia Mantilla), Israel, Chava Levy (3rd runner-up), Chile, Monica Larson, Yugoslavia, Natasa Kosir, and Colombia, Margarita Maria Reyes Zawadsky.

When it was announced that Miss Finland, Harriet Marita Eriksson, was the 1st runner-up, and the short and odd beauty from the Philippines was Miss Universe 1969, there were more protests than applause among the shocked Miami Beach crowd attending the pageant. The international media heavily criticized Miss Philippines’ victory, but the Filipinos couldn’t care less, and celebrated their first Miss Universe victory for days.

For some, it was a political victory. The people of the Philippines were mostly unhappy with their participation in the Vietnam War (the government of the Philippines supported the US and sent troops to Vietnam) and showed it in public protests. Gloria’s Miss Universe victory could be a way of “calming their nerves”, once the Philippines is a nation with great appreciation for its beauty queens and their achievements.

For others, like our judge Alberto Dubal, Gloria’s victory came in good time, to break formerly established patterns and to give Miss Universe a more democratic and truly “universal” face. Dubal nicknamed Gloria “Miss Woodstock”.

Because the man first landed on the moon just a few days after the election of Miss Universe 1969, the pageant that year did not get as many newspapers’ headlines and magazine covers around the world as in previous years.

Diaz, the first Filipino and third Asian beauty to be crowned Miss Universe, became a major celebrity and a talented actress in her country. After 1969, the world (and Miss Universe) would never be the same…

Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1969:: surprise in Miami Beach

Australia (3rd), Finland (2nd), Philippines (Miss Universe 1969), Israel (4th), Japan (5th)

At least back home, Miss Universe 1969's election was big news. Meanwhile, the rest of the world followed the man's first steps on the moon with much more interest...


74 comments to 55th place – Gloria Diaz – Miss Universe 1969

  • taddercountryman

    bueno para esa fecha yo apenas tenìa 3 años, por lo que no pude ver el concurso, particularmente no me parece bella, pero viendola en las fotos de las 5 finalistas se ven bastante parejas todas, yo habrìa votado por Finlandia, pero, realmente tampoco es que fuera deamsiado bella en comparaciòn a la chica filipina, BUeno en fin, digamos que alguien tenìa que ocupar ese puesto y bueno le toco a Gloria Diaz de Filipinas. Saludos

  • Tina

    Don’t you just LOVE retro eyeliner?! Gloria worked it so well to compliment her exotic face. While she may not be the most physically gifted woman, I find her look (and the looks of retro Miss Universe winners) far more interesting than most of the winners of recent years. The make-up, the styling, the demure personalities…Miss Universe will indeed never be the same again.

    P.s. I hope Lupita Jones is next on the chopping block! LOL jks

    • Oteruel

      NO, aun faltan muchas posiciones antes de que Lupita Jones aparezca en este listado……

      • taddercountryman

        por cierto Lupita esta de jurado en el programa que todos critican que pero que todos ven, NUESTRA BELLEZA LATINA, jeje y està para coronarla de nuevo como Miss Universo, que bella se ha puesto esa mujer y ya cuando ganò no fue sorpresa porque fue la mejor de ese año, para mi, jejeje

  • FTLA

    Remember that every Miss Universe is a winner and that there should not be a Most Beautiful Miss Universe. Miriam Stevenson may be last from this panel of judges but she could very well be first from a different panel; likewise, the top vote-getter could be at the bottom. Contests like this can provoke harsh argument and debate instead of Miss Universe hallmarks of peace and harmony. So regardless of what place your favorite winners finish, think of this list as 59 Miss Universes waiting for #60 to join them.

  • cejotama


  • Luuk

    Viewing MU ’69 on YouTube, I thought Gloria clearly stood out. I do agree that she was “non-conventional” but in a very attractive, charming way (Miss Woodstock indeed!). I would have place her at least five slots higher than 55th though.

    • I do agree Luuk! I have seen the MU’69 in You Tube and I thought, “Wow, she really nailed the crown – in fact, the way she answered the question is comparable to Lara Dutta!”

      Honestly, I find your ranking quite controversial. It’s quite unfair you have given her a low ranking eventhough she really fared well but what’s worse, you added insult by giving her a different set of history! Duh, I heard from way back then, she was a favorite since the start of the pageant! :(

  • Patrick

    I agree with Tina. Lupita Jones from Mexico must be among the next 5.

  • Rica Tililing

    Her daughter is so Gorgeous! Search on google: Isabelle Diaz Daza :-)

  • Gloria Diaz was not the most beautiful winner but she is surely the smartest! IM HO, her exotic look is much more appealing than the recent winners crowned.

    I agree wtih FTLA, contests like this can provoke harsh argument and debate.

  • hokim

    She was the only one who were able to answer the question. Others did not even know what to say leh.

  • Gwapamantakun

    If US and European countries will make Miss Universe a big headline and big news in their respective countries, you don’t give sarcastic or ironic feedback but if it hits big time in the Philippines you make it something unusual and weird. One question, do you have something against the Philippines or you are just envious of their revelry and noise they make?

  • Jonathan From The Philippines

    Agree with FTLA. This is a bad decision from the blog to do that. And one example of “harsh argument” is this — girls with plastic surgery. For me, those who should be in the bottom are those with plastic surgery. Anyway, it is a culture thing. Plastic surgery is frowned upon in the Philippines, even up to now. I can proudly say Gloria Diaz never had any plastic surgeon touch her beautiful face during her win. Then this is what I will do. I will wait for each Miss Universe ranking and boo those who ranked higher than Gloria with plastic surgeries. BOO TO PLASTIC BEAUTIES

  • MOJO from the Philippines

    I love this selection of the TOP 60 Miss Universe and so far, the ranking is just right when the criterion will be the usual mold of a Miss Universe winner. But if your reading it well, the positive points of every winner are well presented and reasons for unpopularity are based on facts. I just would like to add that Gloria’s answer to the final question somehow helped in the choice of the winner in 1969. Let it also be known that GLORIA can overshadow so many past winners in the way she kept herself lovely and sexy through the years. Gloria is still with that regal presence even today. Keep ON! Am excited with every entry.

  • Lyndon

    . . . Those eyes and cheekbones are just as captivating as she is smart. . . .

  • Nat

    I still maintain that Surgically enhanced winners should be the first to go. Travesty to the real definition of physical beauty.

  • yekaterina

    You just mentioned that blah on politics why Gloria Diaz won. Her lucky inclusion to the top5(watching on youtube, I guess, she was 4th or 5th when the top5 were chosen)and nailing the interview (the rest of the finalist gave pageant-patty,shallow answers…especially the horrible answer of Israel, which I consider one of the dumbest response in Ms U history!) made her clinch the crown from the favorites. I love reading the tidbits and seeing pics of past Ms U’s…but the ranking? I find it annoying! They have created history, like Gloria owns 69,Brooke owns 97,Deborah owns 85…not even the other crowned women can own the time they reigned!For me, all Ms U title holders will remain Ms U, the runnersup will always be runnersup, the semis are semis, and the clappers, are wall decors (no matter how heavily favored they are on the net and the audience)! Back to Ms U queens,I’ve been an annual watcher since 86, and not always my favorite won the crown…but still, I put all title holders on equal footing!

  • Robert

    I am loving it, and so far, results make perfect sense!
    Although they are all winners, what is the problem to have a competition to elect the most beautiful among them? Supermodels are often compared in rankings in several websites and magazines and they do not compete among themselves necessarily. People magazine picks the Sexiest Man Alive, websites publish lists of the most beautiful Hollywood star or whatever, and so on. So, I think it’s great, and overall, results so far are within the expected.
    I hope Zuleyka Rivera leaves next. Let’s see, it’s exciting!!

    • DIM

      Totally agree!!!! I also hope Zuleyka Rivera (2006) with her plastic face will be the next candidate for withdrawal. She bears a strong resemblance to Michael Jackson ))) And absolutely featureless Lupita Jones must be next.

  • WilliamNYC

    If the Associated Press can list the top 100 athletes of the 20th Century, selected by a 16 member panel, It’s okay for Global Beauties to form their own panel in choosing the top 60 Miss Universe of all time.

    By the Way Babe Ruth ranked NO. 1 as the top athlete of the 20th Century.

  • Lorraine

    Good. Excellent work so far, judges. The only one whose low placement I disagree upon is Chelsi Smith – I think she was beautiful, not among the most beautiful Miss Universe winners but not this low either. Otherwise, fine. Can’t wait for certain outrageously overrated winners from past years to go.

  • Lily

    Honestly, if the next six are not the following, then I just don’t know:
    Corinna Tsopei
    Margrita Arvidsson
    Marisol Malaret
    Porntip Nakhirunkanok
    Mpule Kwelagobe
    Riyo Mori

  • Jonathan From The Philippines

    Hello Robert:

    I agree that experts can select the best among the best. As you have cited Babe Ruth is the No. 1 Athlete of All Time. But would they include Marion Jones, Ben Johnson, Barry Bonds? How would these cheaters ranks? Definitely on the bottom of the sea. The same thing should go for Miss Universe. Your SURGICALLY BARBIED Latinas and Europeans should go first.

    Plastic surgery in beauty contests is like steroid in sports.

    Nothing can change my stand on that. And anyone who believes in fair play should advocate the same.


  • Lupe

    Para mí, en las ultimas debe quedar Oxana, una de las menos bellas. No sé lo que veen en ella.


    Es verdad??!!!

    Pienso que Gloria es guapa y lista!

    I don’t agree with her ranking!

    Porntip y Mpule son mas feas que Gloria!

  • Ava Gardner

    Personally, I think Gloria Diaz has been ranked too low. She has a very unique and exotic look. I find her stylized, “retro” mascara and hair very fascinating. I think she is a more captivating beauty than Marisol Malaret, Margarita Moran, Mona Grudt, Michelle McLean, Dayanara Torres and Zuleyka Rivera.

  • Kris

    the whole article seems to be unfavorable to Gloria… she tied with Miss Finland in the swimsuit round at 1st place and gave the best answer among the 5… but the article is like questioning why she won the competition back in 1969…

    if it is not too proud to say this but i don’t think Gloria, even in these days, would look even older than some other winners in the 80’s and 90’s…

  • Phil

    Global beauties can be so sarcastic. Go to you tube and watch the top 5 finals. Only Gloria answered the question with decency and wit and some didn’t finished answering the question.

  • Nat

    The ranking of Gloria is so low. I was expecting this ever since seeing Chelsi and Brook. I know they would dump Gloria’s exotic brown beauty. This is really really sad. I will just finish this Beauty ranking to see how low these judges can get and say goodbye to this blog who has been a happy part of my gay life. Sayang

  • daniel lopetegui

    realmente fue una sorpresa yo era chico y viviamos en miami y nadie lo creia se decia que era el apoyo a la dictadura de marcos, las mejores ese año finlandia, chilemuy distinguida para estos eventos lo mismo brazil y peru, y la peor es la zuleika ordinaria y vulgar

  • Kendall Fan

    I think the most beautiful are: Jennifer Hawkings from Australia, Marisol Malaret from Puerto Rico, Oxana Fedorova from Russia and Wendy Fitzwilliams from Trinidad and Tobago

  • FTLA

    None of the Miss Universes are ugly. Porntip swept both the swimsuit and evening gown competitions; Mpule and Brook trailed but both gave very strong answers from both the judges’ questions and especially the final question; Lara Dutta is unquestionably the most eloquent

  • FTLA

    Amelia Vega gave an awesome flashy swimsuit combined a strong sentimental final answer; Jennifer Hawkins really strutted her stuff in swimsuits; Oxana Fedorova got near perfect scores but a brief final answer. Nobody knows for sure who’ll win regardless if a contestant wins both the ss & eg rounds or not, unless of course she is a clear standout like Oxana or Natalie Glebova; Yvonne Ryding and Wendy Fitzwilliam lost poise in the final answer; Sushmita gave a long pause first before she delivered a sweet answer; Riyo Mori was ingenious to say ,”hola Mexico” first before she gave a strong answer; and Lorraine Downes neither won a ss & eg competition nor did she answer a final question. These competitons are clearly subjective and unpredictable – but they are all beautiful, intelligent, and deserving to be Miss Universe. If they weren’t, then their respective countries wouldn’t send them to proudly represent them to potentially symbolize all strong women.

  • I agree with globalbeauties. 55th place is reasonable for Gloria. I have a problem with missology now, the Filipino likes always, so proud of her beauty queen, they through they are the best. They might doing better than a few countries, but certainly on my mind, they are not the best country. USA, Venezuela, Mexico, India, Puerto Rico and a lot more doing even better job than the philippine. Missology now definately master by the Filipino. If someone (sometime i did also)try to attack or bad word the Filipino delegate, you will got a thousand “fxxx you” messages, I have made a lot of videos public in youtube.com, the pinoy really isnt nice too, they called Marelisa Gibson (Miss Universe Venezuela 2010) a pig, they said Deborah Henry (Miss Universe Malaysia 2011)a old lady, she doesnt reserve to represent Malaysia becuase she not even 1% Malaysian. Now, when Gloria placed 55th. A massive messages from the filipino trying to defence her beauty queen. Pinoy, pinoy, why do you called Global beauties can be so sarcastic? You all do the same to other countries. Why do you question the judges: I will just finish this Beauty ranking to see how low these judges can get and say goodbye to this blog? Why do you want to see her next : I hope Lupita Jones is next on the chopping block. This is Filipino, you cant bad word them but they can do whatever they like in Missology. World…..This is Philippine.

  • It’s really biased on how Gloria Diaz of the Philippines have been ranked in your list. I heard from way back then that she was one of the crowd favorite and tied in swimsuit competition along with Miss Finland. Moreover, she was the only candidate from the Top 5 who answered the questions right!

    By the way, why is my comments not being approved here when I’m not a spammer and gives sensible answer! :(

  • Luis

    One thing to be reminded to everybody that it’s not about the face but poise and charisma what made a queen and if you have to judge the way this survey is done it could be better to send an e-mail to the contact in the web site and ask. Maybe it could say that Gloria has been ranked too low but I saw her in several times along with Margarita Moran and I consider the latter an astonishing lady. Yet I am happy that barriers were broken in that year since the dominion of the pageant have been between Europeans, Miss USA and 2 Miss Brazil (the only exception previously in the pageant were Gloria Sender – Peru, Luz Maria Zuloaga – Colombia, Norma Nolan – Argentina and Akiko Kojima – Japan). Yet the eyes of the world were focused in the Eastern Pacific area especially the developments in Vietnam.

  • Francisco

    Recuerdo que la elección de Gloria fue el primer Miss Universo que vi en televisión. En aquellos años no me gustó su elección pues no estaba acostumbrado a las bellezas asiáticas, sin embargo con el paso de los años me di cuenta que era una hermosa mujer de rasgos distintos a los que los latinos estamos acostumbrados pues nos vendieron siempre a las bellezas sajonas, europeas y latinas. Una mujer asiática impactante con una personalidad arrolladora que se hizo merecedora del titulo aunque para esos años fue duramente criticado su triunfo.

    • Nat

      Hi Francisco, hope you can translate this. I really cannot share your sentiment because I was born 1969 and the only thing I remember growing up was the popularity of Gloria Diaz in the Philippines as well as Margie Moran and Amparo Munoz (who won in the Philippines). I was never even aware that there were protestations during her win in 1969 until now reading this bogus article from Global Beauties. Nevertheless, thanks for pointing out that the passing of time proved how classical her beauty and bearing is. BOO TO MICHAEL JACKSON BEAUTIES! You know who you are.

  • What Duh..

    “When the semifinalists were called, the major surprise was Gloria, the exotic underdog from the Philippines.” Duh! This is absurd! Gloria was one of the 10 best in swimsuit awardees, a pre-pageant activity! 10 Best in Swimsuit Australia, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Finland, Israel, Peru, Philippines, U.S.A. & Yugoslavia! Major Surprise? Duh!

  • pop

    My 55th place is Miss Universe 1962 Norma Nolan from Argentina. Her score is 8.85

  • Jonathan From The Philippines

    Hello Admin:

    How can I view the original Most Beautiful Miss Universe 10 years ago?


  • rolando

    how could they scored the miss universe…miss gloria diaz is an exotic beauty….i think she dont deserve to be 55th most beautiful ever in miss universe….instead of scoring them i suggest to the judges here just give them screen name like Gloria Diaz- exotic beauty….Brook Lee-comedian beauty…just like that….and so on….i think the judges here is not really an beauty expert because they dont know what the beauty is…scored…even me can give a score just like that…if i hate it low…if i love it high…just simple as that…so stop to scored the miss universe bec. they already won the title and all of them is really beautiful not in score but being a good representation of being a human being…

  • MOJO from the Philippines

    I salute the judges in 1969 for teaching the world a new concept of beauty in GLORIA DIAZ and in 2007 for looking at TOTAL IMPACT in RIYO MORI – to visual artists and fashion editors, GLORIA and RIYO will be in the TOP 10. The world is tired of a Barbie collector pageant. But I respect the judges in this ranking with historical perspective as there are valid reasons for the unpopularity pointed-out. WISH: Please be more critical of Venezuela even if Venezuela’s Miss Universe winners set a Guinness World Record! They had unpopular wins, too. Consider also the Q&A performance.

  • elle mirrors (la islas filipinas)

    gloria. are u crazy? 55? she should have landed higher than this. she has that unique vintage glamour styling. up up :|

    gloria diaz. top 16 :D

  • Lady Shey

    Gloria was only 18 when she won but well poised and witty. Few years after her win she blossomed to be a very beautiful woman with or without make up. Up to this date she refuses to have surgical enhancement. One of my friend saw her at Cebu airport in the Philippines and she told him without any hesitation “look at my face it is all natural” nothing is fake. I agree with the previous comments the surgically enhanced winners should be listed first. You cannot be call the most beautiful and a perfect 10 if your beauty is FAKE. Gloria and Riyo Mori should be in the top 10.

  • victoria's secret

    When it was announced that Miss Finland, Harriet Marita Eriksson, was the 1st runner-up, and the short and odd beauty from the Philippines was Miss Universe 1969, there were more protests than applause among the shocked Miami Beach crowd attending the pageant. The international media heavily criticized Miss Philippines’ victory, but the Filipinos couldn’t care less, and celebrated their first Miss Universe victory for days.

    – I dont agree with this.. Gloria’s answer is the best among other top 5. that’s why she won, can you guys show who heavily criticized ms. philippnes???? coz i never heard that news just here. BTW i know who will become no. 1…its ms. brazil LOL

  • planetchuckie

    Watching the pageant in Youtube, Gloria was in no way the underdog. Not only was she one of the 10 preliminary swimsuit awardees, but she also showed the most personality among the semifinalists.

  • Bjoern

    I respect Globalbeauties so much but the reportage that there were protests int he auditorium is a false journalism. we could have been more objective and truthful in dishing out facts and reportage. We should, at all times, always ensure veracity of information.

    First, Gloria Diaz gave the best answer in the Top 5. Israel, who was a frontrunner, gave the dumbest answers among the 5 while Finland gave a very weak answer as well. Japan and Australia also did not deliver well in their responses.

    Second, the editorial that “the rest of the world followed man’s landing on the moon with much interest” is very judgmental against the Filipina beauty being unworthy of her winning. Pageant historians can absolutely counter this claim as Gloria Diaz had a wonderful year as Miss Universe travelling around the world with much press coverage.

    Third, Gloria Diaz may be short at 5’5.5″ but her exotic beauty was indeed outstanding above the rest. It is not true that she was not even a favourite in Miami. In fact, there was a documentary of Miss Universe 1969 citing Diaz as oe of the frontrunners. One documetary is available in YouTube.

    Fourth, the Miami live audience were very elated of Diaz’s winning. The shouts were for praises not for discontentment. This was discoursed in a documentary interviews regarding Miss Universe 1969, having statements not only from Gloria Diaz but also from Eileen Ford, Earl Wilson and Monique van Vooren. They were mesmerized by Diaz’s chocolate/tanned skin which was very rare during those times.

    Sixth, durig her travel to Mexico City in her reign, Diaz had a spectacular entourage by the Mexican press and fans, sealing her popularity as Miss Universe.

    These are just some few reasons why I think the review might have been a little on the thither side of the river. I mayNOT disagree more with the scoring as those are opinions of different pageant experts.

    During the 50th anniversary of Miss Universe, Diaz placed 45th. I do not see any sheer changes as some judges were the same as to the previous ranking.

    Nevertheless, GB is still the best pageant website in the world.


    • Stephanie Brancaleoni

      If it’s all about brown exotic beauties, then I guess I should have told the Miss Universe officials that I would continue with the competition, but as I explained in my post of August 17, 2011, I elected not to. The pageant is business-oriented and needed sponsors. The decisions are mainly politically and business-based. I read that the Miss Universe ratings have gone down, and Donald Trump will do anything extreme to get back on top again. In 2010 didn’t the girls pose suggestively (in unbuttoned men’s shirts) for their publicity photos?

      It’s a good thing in those days (1969) the girls didn’t have plastic surgery. That definitely would have been held against them. Beauty pageant schools like in Venezuela was unheard of.

  • Kate

    Gloria Diaz ranked 40th in GB’s 2001 contest.

  • clint

    what makes gloria stand out because she speak english and spanish,although she is less beautiful compare to other bets

  • pyroclastic

    One thing is for sure… GLORIA DIAZ OF THE PHILIPPINES TOOK THE WORLD BY SURPRISE!!! She was noticed since she arrived because of her modesty, humility and charm…and she stood out among the other semi/finalists (Peru, Brazil and Finland) who were crowd favorites all the way.
    The Americans conquered the moon but GLORIA DIAZ CONQUERED THE (MISS)UNIVERSE

    She is beautiful and nobody in the Plastic Surgery Land would say a thing against her

  • In person, Gloria was fabulous. She has personality-plus, and very sexy! Bck then, when she smiled, her eyes sparkled like diamonds. Bck in the late 70’s, I saw her and her group of friends in Gucci on Redo Drive in Beverly Hills, and we chatted, and she was as charming as usual.

  • Mark

    Would anything on Earth justify this woman’s victory?? Man, she’s ugly. Filipinos should be happy she won by miracle and stop complaining. I don’t care if she’s smart and beautiful in the inside, Miss Universe should be beautiful in the outside, and Diaz is not!

  • Javierox

    well totally agree so far, the judges are makinga very good job, Gloria Diaz has well deserved her 55th place, this so exciting !!! to see who si next, I hope to see Zuleyka Rivera getting out soon and Riyo Mori too

  • Alex

    Look to Miss Israel in the picture above.
    Look to Miss Finland in the picture above.
    Lok to Miss Austria in the picture above.
    Look to Miss Philippines in the picture above.

    Can you believe they crowned the last one?

    Yes, but they did.

  • Ken

    Gloria Diaz is pretty, but when we think of how Philippines is a country that is capable of sending stunning ladies to win or compete in other Grand Slam pageant, the judges may feel Gloria is not that stunning. It is unfortunate that GB decides to publish the results for all the bottom rankers. Gloria probably is rightfully placed here, but I just wish I am able to watch a full telecast of the 1969 pageant to get a better look.

  • miguel navarrete

    gloria’s winning only signals one thing – that beauty is not a monopoly of the surgically enhanced latinos, indians and caucasians.

  • Stephanie Brancaleoni

    I was Miss Hawaii USA 1969 and competed in the Miss USA 1969 Pageant. I wish to set the record straight. In those days, preselection was conducted (not in the public eye). Contestants who the pageant officials thought worthy of the crown were given an extensive interview prior to the final. I assumed I was one of the lucky “preselected” ones as I was asked if I sincerely wanted to continue. My honest answer was no, that I wanted to return to Hawaii as Miami in 1969 was not the Miami of today. The majority of the population was retired Jewish New Yorkers and Cubans. I am not anti-Jewish; I’m just stating what I saw. In one of the parades through Miami Beach, the only people viewing were retired people. I got a lot of flack from the press when I returned to Hawaii.

    Also this was the time of the race riots in the States. The pageant officials, in my view, wanted to “appease” their viewing public and thus wanted someone non-white but were not quite ready for a Black person, so a “brown” person would have been palatable. I should say I’m Filipino, Chinese, Spanish.

    The costume designer for Miss Universe had an American Indian costume on the drawing board for Miss USA and was most disappointed that I decided against continuing. After the contest, many sponsors withdrew their sponsorships, not pleased with the judges’ choice. When Miss USA (Wendy Dascombe of Virginia) visited Hawaii during her reign, she divulged to me that she was not happy at all, went to mostly carnivals, shopping malls, and venus of that sort. She was there to promote JC Penney swimsuits, not her cup of tea. One can read her controversial farewell speech at the 1970 Miss USA pageant on the Internet.

    So Miss Philippines was chosen as Miss Universe. Coincidental, don’t you think?

    For those commenting on plastic surgery, enhanced whatever, etc.. on the local level, the contestants did their own makeup, hair and gown. I even sewed my own gown for the Miss Hawaii pageant. I also did my own makeup and hair for the national Miss USA pageant.

    By the way, does any one have a decent video copy of the Miss USA 1969 pageant? It was not shown in Hawaii and only from 1970 did CBS televise it in Hawaii.

    Thank you for listening. My maiden name is Quintana and I finished in the top 15. I’m married and live in the French Riviera.

  • Stephanie Brancaleoni

    If you wish, I can post a photo of me then in 1969 and now. How do I post them? I have changed after more than 40 years (like everyone), but I’m pretty sure I can compete with those same contestants in 1969 and still do reasonably well.

    I wish to repeat that the judges’ decision was strictly political and had to follow the officials’ guidelines. Remember that Miss USA/Miss Universe is a corporation and is not at all like the Miss America pageant.

    One more note…I’ve watched the Miss France competion since 1991 when I moved to France and have never failed to pick the top 5 and/or even the winner.

  • Stephanie Brancaleoni

    This week I posted the Miss USA 1969 beauty pageant on YouTube. I found a DVD on the Internet that was converted from an old VHS cassette. Quality is pitiful but viewable, and the audio is acceptable. It’s in 8 parts as YouTube allows only 15 minutes per video. I was the only “brown” contestant.

    Again, you must read my comments (posted on August 17, 2011) to understand why I had to set the record straight.

  • Andy

    Uh…Ms. Brancaleoni, sorry but that was a whole ten paragraphs of nothing. You failed to prove your point that the reason behind that pageant or any other was political. Yes, you repeated it a lot but didn’t provide any evidence. The only thing you proved is apparently you don’t like Cubans or retired Jewish people and you didn’t have any interest in winning; perhaps the reason Dascomb and beautiful Gloria won their respective pageants is because they actually put their heart to it. On the other hand I’ve always found ridiculous comparisons between Miss USA and Miss America that try to make it seem as if the latter is ‘the real deal’. Come on, they’re both BEAUTY pageants, regardless of whether or not one has a talent segment or not.

    • Stephanie Brancaleoni

      Don’t know what happened, but my post disappeared…it may very well appear later.

      Briefly I don’t need to provide proof of anything. Unless you were there in the 1960s, you have no “feel” for the spirit of the times. Race riots were rampant in the States. I wrote what I felt and observed… Also my observations are based only on the Miss USA pageant and not the others (as Miss World, etc.). Do we have to prove that President Obama is responsible for the U.S. economic crisis?

      Your ridiculous statement that I’m anti-Jewish and anti-Cuban is laughable. I have many Jewish and Cuban friends, so leave me some slack. In 1969 Miami had a substantial community of retired Jewish people from New York. Also many Cubans. That’s all. If I say New Orleans has many African-Americans, does that make me anti-African-American? If I say Hawaii has a large military population, does that make me anti-military? If I say San Francisco has a large gay population, does that make me anti-gay? Remember that I’m from Hawaii, the melting pot state, where we’re pretty tolerant of all races. In my family alone, we have family members from diverse origins–Portuguese, Italian, French, Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian, German, African-American, Polish, Russian (plus other Caucasians), Brazilian, Moroccan.

      My heart was not into winning the pageant but only once I was there in Miami. I didn’t like the idea of living in Miami for one year (contractual obligation) and preferred to return to Hawaii where it definitely was paradise compared to Miami of 1969 which is so different today. I don’t want to offend any Miamians by listing my dislikes. I must say the restaurants were excellent, the volunteer chaperones were absolute angels, and the girls represented their respective States very well. Upon my return home, I got a lot of flack from the Hawaiian press. Mea culpa and Amen! Read Wendy Dascomb’s interview after her reign…it was not what she expected.

      I agree with you partially that both the Miss USA and Miss America pageants are both beauty pageants, talent competition or not. As I said previously, Miss USA/Universe is a corporation whose interest is in the bottom dollar whereas Miss America was set up to provide scholarships to young women and was (in 1969) run by the various States’ Chambers of Commerce. Their setups might very well be different today.

      • Stephanie Brancaleoni

        Add Chinese and Spanish to the list.

        To Andy: Yes, we also have Jewish family members. No Cubans yet, but who knows? It’s just a matter of time. My family is scattered everywhere.

    • Stephanie Brancaleoni

      In GB’s Final Review 2011 and comments by GB’s readers, I noticed the word “political” used quite frequently. Andy, I don’t see you asking any of these contributors or GB’s experts for “proof.” Why?

      This business of coaching leaves me cold. The girls don’t come across natural and spontaneous. Coaching didn’t exist in my day and if one were coached, this definitely could be held against the contestant.

      I want the sound-proof box brought back as it was in 1969. Read the Madison’s comments (currently on page 3).

      As part of the contract in 1969, we were not allowed to compete in other state’s subsequent Miss USA contests. No border crossing. It was a one-time shot only.

      In both the local and national contests, I was the only non-white person competing. Don’t know if I was the first, but it was unusual in those days.

      I see that the number one rated Miss Universe is the Russian Oksana who was dethroned by Donald Trump because of not fulfilling her duties after 3 months. As for me, I get flack for not putting my heart into it because I had the good sense to not continue after seeing first hand how things were ran by the organizers.

      I’m very happy that Miss Angola is Miss Universe 2011. She had the most beautiful gown, and she carried herself elegantly. Miss Ukraine was also a clear winner, but only one makes it to the end.

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