The 2011 Miss Universe pageant held for the first time in Sao Paulo, Brazil, featured 89 contestants who displayed grace, charm, and beauty – with two top 5 contenders attributing their achievements to God.
Leila Lopes from Angola was crowned Miss Universe Monday night, during the 60th anniversary of the world’s largest beauty pageant. The 25-year-old is Angola’s first winner.
Lopes skillfully handled the Q&A asked of the top five contestants.
"Thank God I'm very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn't change a thing," Lopes replied when asked about the physical trait she would change if she could.
She added, "I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life."
Leila Lopes wasn’t the only pageant contender that answered her interview question with a reference to God – third runner-up Shamcey Supsup did too.
Judge Vivica A. Fox asked the Miss Philippines contestant if she would change her religion to marry the person she loved. Her answer:
"If I had to change my religious beliefs, I would not marry the person that I love because the first person that I love is God who created me and I have my faith and my principles and this is what makes me who I am,” Supsup said.
She added, “And if that person loves me, he should love my God too."
Supsup, who believed she had destroyed any chances of making it into the top 5 after a mistake in the swimsuit competition, told ABS-CBN News she began praying to God upon hearing her name called for the top 10.
“I said ‘Lord it’s a miracle.’ When I was finally called, I was shocked…I didn’t expect to be in the top 5 at all,” she told ABS-CBN News.
Supsup added she began to believe she had a chance at the crown.
“I prayed hard. I said to Him [God] I’m gonna do my best for my country for them to be proud of me and please grant me my heart’s desire.”
However, despite not taking the crown home to the Philippines Supsup said she was “very fulfilled” and that it was all part of God’s plan.
The Miss Universe third runner-up told ABS-CBN that she still felt like a winner regardless of having not claimed the crown and was happy for Lopes.
“I feel like winner even if I don’t have a crown. Miriam Quiambao (Miss Philippines first runner-up in 1999) told me this, she doesn’t wear a crown in her head. She wears it in her heart. And I wear my crown in my heart,” said Supsup.
She added, “I think we should be happy also for Ms. Angola that she won, and I think that she also deserves the crown.”