Jimena Navarrete, the 22-year-old beauty from Mexico, took first place at yesterday’s Miss Universe 2010 contest.
Navarrete, a Guadalajara native, beat out 82 global competitors to score the ultimate title and tiara. And with her newfound power as pageant queen, Navarette plans to promote her home country.
“I want the whole world to know about my country and my people,” she said. “I’m extremely proud and I’m sure they’re very proud, too.”
Hosted by Bret Michaels and Natalie Morales at the Mandalay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, this year’s pageant marks the second win for Mexico. Lupita Jones, a judge favorite, took the crown for her native country in 1991. This year’s celebrity judges included Olympic gold-medal figure skater Evan Lysacek; actresses Jane Seymour and Chynna Phillips; actors Chazz Palminteri and William Baldwin; illusionist Criss Angel; MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall; drummer Sheila E.; and supermodel Niki Taylor.
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“Her [Navarrete’s] triumph is a source of pride and satisfaction for all Mexicans, who see in her the fruits of perseverance,” Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in a statement. And Navarette doesn’t count on letting her people down.
“Every country has the right to impose and enact their laws,” Navarette said regarding Arizona’s recent immigration law. “But I tell you that all the Mexicans and the Latins that are living here in the United States are hardworking people — people who want to improve on their quality of life.”
In addition to the tiara and sash, Navarrete won several prizes including an undisclosed salary, a New York apartment, and a one-year scholarship to the New York Film Academy after her reign. She replaces Miss universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela.
-With Associated Press