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Miriam Quiambao - Miss Universe 1999 1st Runner Up

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Published on Dec 11, 2011

The Philippines almost had their 3rd Miss Universe Crown when Miriam Quiambao placed second at the 48th edition of the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant held at Trinidad and Tobago.

Quiambao was one of the strongest and most visible contenders for the crown. She consistently placed second during the pageant's preliminaries and bested a composite score of 9.52, just trailing behind the score of Sonia Raciti, the South African candidate. At the semifinals, she once again placed second overall in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions, racking up scores as high as 9.32 and 9.42 respectively. It was Spain's candidate, Diana Nogueira that dominated the semifinals with a marginal lead over Quiambao of 9.33 for the swimsuit event and 9.45 for the evening gown competition.

During the preliminary round of the evening gown competition, Quiambao slipped and fell on stage. As she walked, the heel of one of her shoes got caught in the trail of her evening gown and she slipped on the floor. Despite this incident she collected herself, regained composure, walked graciously, finished her walk, and drew applause from the audience. At the finals, Quiambao referred to the incident during an interview portion. She said "she felt she represented those women who have fallen both on and off the stage" and hopes to be "an example to the rest of the women in the world".

Early at the competition she received the Clairol Herbal Essences Style Award, the only Asian candidate at the pageant to do so. She was called as one of the final three delegates, alongside Misses Botswana and Spain. Quiambao faltered during the final question, which tackled the debate of whether a Miss Universe should continue her reign even if she gets pregnant. Spain's Diana Nogueira placed as 2nd Runner-Up. It all came down to Philippines' Quiambao and Botswana's Mpule Kwelagobe, and in the end, Quiambao placed as 1st Runner-Up, with Kwelagobe winning the Miss Universe title.

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