Angola's Leila Luliana da Costa Vieira Lopes (25; 1.78m; Benguela, Angola) is the 60th Miss Universe. She was crowned by Mexico's Ximena Navarrete at the Credicard Hall in São Paulo, Brazil. She became Africa’s 4th Miss Universe, and the 1st black woman to win the crown since 1999. Leila Lopes beat out 88 other competitors to win the title during the 60th anniversary of Miss Universe. She replaces last year’s winner, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.
“Thank God I’m very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Lopes said when asked her interview question. “I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principals from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.”
Olesya Stefanko (Ukraine) was the first runner-up, Priscila Machado (Brazil) was the second runner-up, Shamcey Gurrea Supsup (Philippines) was the third runner-up and Luo Zi Lin (China) was the fourth runner-up.
Scherri-Lee Biggs (Australia), Johanna Solano (Costa Rica), Laury Thilleman (France), Laura Gonçalves (Portugal) and Sheldry Sáez (Panama) completed the group of semi-finalists.
Catalina Robayo (Colombia), Afërdita Dreshaj (Kosovo), Kelly Weekers (Netherlands), Viviana Ortiz (Puerto Rico), Alyssa Campanella (United States) and Vanessa Gonçalves (Venezuela) were the quarter-finalists.
Portugal won the fan vote and obtained a position in the Top 16. Nikolina Lončar (Montenegro) won Miss Congeniality, Sheldry Sáez (Panama) won Best National Costume and Ronnia Fornstedt (Sweden) won Miss Photogenic.
The biggest shock of the night was the early elimination of Miss Malaysia, Deborah Henry, considered by many one of the top favorites for the crown. Other favorites left out, were Misses Greece, Trinidad & Tobago, Nicaragua, Spain, and Aruba.
Among those who made it, the main surprises were Misses Panama and Portugal. It was the first time in 60 years of history that Portugal advanced to Miss Universe’s semi-finals.
The pageant was hosted by NBC “Today” anchor Natalie Morales and the Bravo network’s Andy Cohen. Among the celebrities in the jury, Connie Chung, supermodel Isabeli Fontana and Indy race car driver Helio Castroneves.
Brazilian pop stars Claudia Leitte and Bebel Gilberto performed during the event.
Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, was a favorite since she arrived in Brazil. She was actually prepared for the pageant in Brazil. It’s a well-deserved title for Angola and the African continent!
Congratulations, Leila Lopes!!