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25august20091Dharamshala: On Sunday August 23rd, in Nassau, Bahamas, Miss Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela made history by winning the title of Miss Universe 2009. For the first time in the pageant's 59 years running, the same country has won the competition for two years in a row. When 18-year old Fernandez beat out 83 other beautiful young girls to receive the crown, her fellow Venezuelan Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008, was so shocked and excited that she reportedly dropped the tiara when passing it on to Fernandez.

The socialist South American Republic of Venezuela is now the country to have won the most Miss Universe titles (6 in total), and the only to produce two winners in a row.

According to the Telegraph, Stefania Fernandez "will become an international advocate for HIV/AIDS education, research, and legislation, just like her predecessor. Stefania Fernandez also won an undisclosed cash purse, a $100,000 acting scholarship at a New York acting academy, a five-day holiday package in the Bahamas for two, jewelry and clothes."

Fernandez secured her title by scoring highest overall in the three categories of swimming suit competition, evening gown, and personal interview. Miss Dominican Republic, Ada Aimee de la Cruz, was declared Runner Up; Miss China, Wang Jingyao, won Miss Congeniality; and Miss Thailand, Chutima Durongdej, earned the title of Miss Photogenic.

Miss Universe has become a truly global phenomenon, with television broadcasts of the pageant reaching over one billion people in 150 countries.