13th place – Cecilia Bolocco, Chile
(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)
Miss Universe 1987 happened in Singapore. Only sixty-eight countries competed, with Greenland, Egypt and Kenya debuting. 13 nations which had competed in 1986, did not come back in 1987. Miss Universe returned to an Asian country after 7 years. Singapore was the 4th Asian nation to host the pageant. Two girls were sent back home after a few days of competition, one for being too young, Miss Scotland (17), and another for being too old to compete, Miss Bermuda (25).
Singapore was supposed to invest USD 3 million, but ended up with a bill of over USD 8 million.
It could be said that 1987 was the last mega production of the 1980’s. Changes in television production (for worse) were visible in subsequent years, especially in 1989. It was also the last time Bob Barker hosted Miss Universe. Bob spent 20 years presenting the pageant, and is regarded as the best ever.
It was also the year when pageants in general started to live a crisis. The press treated them with more irony than ever, and the Latin press, Miss Universe’s main supporter, did not show up in a significant number in Singapore.
The Miss South American pageant, usually a thermometer for Miss Universe, happened in Cartagena, Colombia. Miss Colombia, Patricia Lopéz Ruiz, was the winner, with Miss Uruguay in 2nd, Miss Venezuela in 3rd, and Miss Bolivia in 4th place. Miss Chile, Cecilia Bolocco, and Miss Peru, Jessica Newton, were not among the finalists.
This time around, Miss Universe results were very different, and from 1988 on, many South American countries stopped sending their winners to the regional pageant. They thought it had lost credibility.
In Singapore, Miss Colombia, Patricia Lopez, was the #1 front-runner and favorite for the crown. It was no surprise that she was voted as Miss Photogenic. Other favorites were Misses USA, Uruguay, Brazil (who had not participated in Miss South America), Mexico, Italy, Finland, Holland, Guatemala, and Philippines.
Miss Singapore, Marion Nicole Teo, was never a favorite. As a matter of fact, when she won her national title, the local Miss Universe committee was very unhappy with Teo’s victory, and thought she had not chance to become a semi-finalist.
The opening number had the participation of Barbara Palacios Teyde, Miss Universe 1986, who looked more beautiful than ever. After the parade of nations, the public at home could see how the 68 candidates were scored in the preliminary swimsuit competition, and the top 10 scorers were USA, Sweden, Turks & Caicos, Uruguay, Chile, Italy, Singapore, Finland, Peru, and Puerto Rico.
The top 10 were announced, and they were Italy, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Venezuela, Peru, USA, Singapore, Sweden, Turks and Caicos, and Chile.
The heavy favorite from Colombia, who many said had a bit of an attitude problem, was out, and so were other favorites, like Finland and Uruguay. Among those who made it, the surprises were Peru, Sweden, Singapore and Turks and Caicos. Carmelita Louise Ariza, the sister of Miss Turks & Caicos 1983, remains the only woman from Turks & Caicos to have ever placed in a Grand Slam pageant.
Miss Chile, Cecilia Bolocco, started impressing the judges and the audience after her interview with Bob Barker (watch it here). It was actually the last time Bob Barker interviewed a Miss Universe candidate in 20 years, and perhaps, it was his greatest interview. She got the highest score, and never left the top until the end of the competition. Bolocco’s evening gown presentation was also a memorable one.
Chile won its first (and so far only) Miss Universe title with massive celebration back home. Even the head of the Catholic church in Chile congratulated Cecilia!
Miss Italy, Roberta Capua, a very beautiful and charismatic brunette from Naples, was the 1st runner-up; Miss USA, Texas’ Michelle Royer, was the 2nd runner-up, followed by Venezuela’s Maria Ines Calero (3rd), and Puerto Rico’s Laurie Simpson (4th). Miss Puerto Rico would be crowned Miss International 1987 later that year in Tokyo.
Miss Brazil won the Best National Costume Award, and Miss Honduras was chosen as Miss Congeniality.
After her year of reign, Bolocco worked as a journalist on the Spanish language edition of CNN, on Telemundo and on various programs for Chilean Television. She has also acted on soap operas. In 2003, she was a special commentator for Miss Universe 1993. In 2001, she made worldwide headlines when she married former Argentine president Carlos Menem. They got divorced in 2007.
CECILIA BOLOCCO, MISS UNIVERSE 1987
MOST BEAUTIFUL MISS UNIVERSE FROM SOUTH AMERICA
MOST BEAUTIFUL MISS UNIVERSE FROM THE 1980’s
Special thanks to Alberto Dubal and Alex Liu!
(Still competing: 1953, 1961, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1989, 2000, 2002-dethroned Oxana, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010)