“If for any reason that the Miss Universe cannot fulfill her duties, the first runner up shall take over.” This statement can be heard before the crowning moment of every Miss Universe to emphasize the important role of the first runner-up.
They were first runners-up, equally deserving of the title, and would have been incredible Miss Universe winners but were only led on to the background.
Let us now put the spotlight on these beautiful and empowered women who almost captured the Miss Universe crown in the last 10 years.
Miss Universe 2010
Yendi Phillips – a Jamaican TV host and model who holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in dance from The College at Brockport, State University of New York, and a master’s degree in recreation and leisure management. After pageantry, she appeared in various commercials for brands such as Toyota and Pepsi Refresh in the US and the Sprite campaign in India.
Miss Universe 2011
Olesya Stefanko (Ukraine) – a Ukrainian lawyer who graduated with a degree in law from the National University of Odesa Law Academy in 2012. She gave Ukraine its highest placement at the Miss Universe pageant.
Miss Universe 2012
Janine Tugonon (Philippines) – now a fashion model based in the US, Janine finished her pharmacy degree with Latin honors (cum laude) at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and became a licensed pharmacist in June 2010 before joining her national pageant twice and eventually, Miss Universe.
Miss Universe 2013
Patricia Rodríguez (Spain) – a Spanish model and actress who came out as a lesbian, becoming the first openly LGBT woman to hold a major national pageant title and the first to compete in a major international beauty pageant.
Miss Universe 2014
Nia Sanchez (USA) – a fifth-degree black belt in taekwondo and the first Miss USA ever featured on the cover of Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine. Her placement at Miss Universe is the highest achievement of the USA since Olivia Culpo won Miss Universe 2012.
Miss Universe 2015
Ariadna Gutiérrez (Colombia) – a Colombian model and actress who became very controversial after being mistakenly announced as the winner by host Steve Harvey. After pageantry, she starred in the film XXX: Return of Xander Cage and was 4th place on Celebrity Big Brother 1 (US).
Miss Universe 2016
Raquel Pélissier (Haiti)- a Haitian model who has a master’s degree in scientific research from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. She became the first representative from her country to place in the Miss Universe pageant in 41 years.
Miss Universe 2017
Laura González (Colombia) – a Colombian model and actress who participated in the telenovela La Cacica playing Chechi and has also been featured in several films. She marked the fourth year in a row that the delegate from Colombia placed in the Miss Universe Top 3.
Miss Universe 2018
Tamaryn Green (South Africa) – a South African model and doctor. After pageantry, she pursued her education and graduated with a medical degree from the University of Cape Town in 2019.
Miss Universe 2019
Madison Anderson (Puerto Rico) – a Puerto Rican-American model who was born to an American father and Puerto Rican mother. She gave her country its highest placement since Cynthia Olavarría who also finished as first runner-up at Miss Universe 2005.
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