6th place – Lara Dutta, India
(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 2000, the first of the new millennium, was held at Eleftheria Stadium, in Nicosia, Cyprus. 79 delegates competed in a show hosted by Sinbad, with comments by Ali Landry and Julie Moran. Being the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty, and alluding to the Judgement of Paris, the organizers presented a golden apple as a prize to the pageant’s winner.
The final competition at the Eleftheria Stadium featured a stage set reproducing the ancient Curium Amphitheatre. Elvis Crespo, Montell Jordan, saxophonist David Koz and Cypriot international star Anna Vissi performed during the live telecast. The event started at 4 AM in Cyprus so that it could be televised live during the prime-time viewing period in the United States.
Political tension marked the pageant: Turkey did not send a delegate, the Lebanese and Israeli delegates refused to speak to each other, and Corrinne Crewe of Zimbabwe had to deal with the threat of escalating violence in her country. There were also protests from religious and feminist groups on the island who claimed the event was un-Christianand an affront to women.
Miss India, Lara Dutta, was always considered “the one to beat”. Her beauty, intelligence and charisma shinned throughout the competition. Other favorites were Spain, Helen Lindes, Colombia, Catalina Acosta, South Africa, Heather Hamilton, Australia, Samantha Frost, Panama, Analia Nunez, Czech Republic, Jutka Kucorova, Israel, Nirit Bakshi, Namibia, Mia de Klerk, and Francia, Sonia Rolland.
The semi-finalists were Colombia, Spain, Venezuela, Estonia, France, Zimbabwe, Canada, USA, India, and South Africa. Miss Venezuela, Claudia Moreno, who many doubted would reach the next round of competition, was the surprise of the night: with a magnificent performance, she placed 2nd. Estonia, Evelyn Mikomagi, was another pleasant surprise. She was chosen by GB as the Sexiest Woman Alive for the year 2000.
The top 5 had India, Spain, Venezuela, Canada and USA. Many thought Canada and USA had gone too far, and should’ve been replaced by Colombia and France.
Spain was 3rd, Venezuela 2nd, wowever, the winner could be no other than India’s Lara Dutta. Her elegance, stunning face and incredible answers took her easily all the way to the top. As a matter of fact, that same year, Miss India World, Priyanka Chopra, was also crowned Miss World 2000.
Lara became a famous Bollywood actress. She got married on February 2010, and earlier this month she announced that she is expecting her first child.
MISS UNIVRESE 2000, LARA DUTTA
MOST BEAUTIFUL MISS UNIVERSE FROM ASIA (1952-2010)
The top 5: 1978, 1989, 2002-Oxana, 2004, 2008