Photos of the exact moment 37 contestants found out they won Miss Universe (Gabbi Shaw)
miss universe

Paras Griffin/Stringer/Getty Images

  • A new Miss Universe was crowned on December 8: Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi.
  • To celebrate, we've found hilarious yet heartwarming photos of pageant stars finding out they've won the title of most beautiful woman in the universe.
  • Some cry, some scream, some are shocked — but all are equally amazing.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Miss Universe is arguably the biggest pageant on the planet — it's no wonder that the winners can be overcome with emotion once they win the crown for their country.

In honor of the this year's pageant, which was held on Sunday, December 8, we found some of the best reaction shots of contestants finding out they've won Miss Universe. 

1961: Miss Germany, Marlene Schmidt

miss universe Marlene Schmidt

AP Images

Schmidt is the first and only Miss Germany to win the crown.

1970: Miss Puerto Rico, Marisol Malaret

miss universe Marisol Malaret

Jim Bourdier/AP Images

Malaret became a grandmother for the first time in May 2018.

1971: Miss Lebanon, Georgina Rizk

miss universe Georgina Rizk

AP Images

Rizk was the first woman from the Middle East to win Miss Universe.

1976: Miss Israel, Rina Messinger

miss israel Rina Messinger miss universe

AP Images

Messinger stayed in the US for four years after her reign as Miss Universe ended.

1980: Miss USA, Shawn Weatherly

miss usa shawn weatherly

AP Images

Weatherly went on to appear in the first season of "Baywatch."

1981: Miss Venezuela, Irene Sáez

Irene Sáez miss universe

AP Images

Sáez went on to be elected governor of the Venezuelan state Nueva Esparta.

1983: Miss New Zealand, Lorraine Downes

Miss Universe


Downes won the New Zealand version of "Dancing with the Stars" in 2006.

1985: Miss Puerto Rico, Deborah Carthy-Deu

miss universe deborah carthy-deu

Raul de Molina/AP Images

Carthy-Deu went on to star in the telenovela "El Cisne Blanco," or "The White Swan," in English.

1987: Miss Chile, Cecilia Bolocco

Miss Universe


Bolocco was the first Chilean Miss Universe.

1988: Miss Thailand, Porntip Nakhirunkanok

miss thailand Porntip Nakhirunkanok miss universe

Jeff Widener/AP Images

Nakhirunkanok was the first woman to win both the Miss Universe title and Best National Costume.

1989: Miss Netherlands, Angela Visser

miss netherlands miss universe Angela Visser

Mark Terrill/AP Images

Visser appeared in a season one episode of "Friends," called "The One Where the Monkey Gets Away."

1993: Miss Puerto Rico, Dayanara Torres

miss universe Dayanara Torres


Torres was married to singer Marc Anthony from 2000 to 2004. He married Jennifer Lopez the week after their split was finalized.

1994: Miss India, Sushmita Sen

miss india Sushmita Sen

Erik de Castro/Reuters

Sen was the first Indian woman to win the pageant.

1996: Miss Venezuela, Alicia Machado

miss universe alicia machado 1996

Eric Draper/AP Images

Machado blasted then-pageant owner Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign for body-shaming her during her reign.

1997: Miss USA, Brook Lee

miss usa brook lee miss universe

Colin Braley/Reuters

Lee was the oldest woman to win, at 26 years and 128 days old.

1998: Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Wendy Fitzwilliam

Miss Universe


Fitzwilliam was the first contestant to win the swimsuit competition while wearing a bikini.

1999: Miss Botswana, Mpule Kwelagobe

Mpule Kwelagobe miss universe

Getty Images/Handout

1999 was the first time Botswana was represented at the pageant, and consequently their first win.

2000: Miss India, Lara Dutta

lara dutta miss universe

Enric Marti/AP Images

Dutta was the second-ever Indian Miss Universe, and the last Miss India to win the crown.

2001: Miss Puerto Rico, Denise Quiñones

Denise Quinones miss universe


Quiñones became the director of Miss Universe Puerto Rico in February 2018.

2002: Miss Russia, Oxana Fedorova

Oxana Fedorov miss universe

Colin Braley/Reuters

Four months after she was crowned, Fedorova was dethroned for being "unable to fulfill her duties." Apparently she was too busy to travel much, and was replaced the first runner-up, Miss Panama, Justine Pasek.

2003: Miss Dominican Republic, Amelia Vega

amelia vega miss universe

Andrew Winning/Reuters

Vega was the first delegate from the Dominican Republic to become Miss Universe.

2004: Miss Australia, Jennifer Hawkins

Jennifer Hawkins miss universe

Guillermo Granja/Reuters

Hawkins currently runs two successful brands, Cozi by Jennifer Hawkins swimwear and the Jbronze by Jennifer Hawkins line of tanning products.

2005: Miss Canada, Natalie Glebova

Natalie Glebova miss universe

Rungroj Yongrit/Reuters

Glebova published her second book in November 2018, "I Am Winning: A Guide to Personal Empowerment."

2006: Miss Puerto Rico, Zuleyka Rivera

Zuleyka Rivera miss universe

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Rivera had a resurgence in popularity after starring in the music video for "Despacito," which is currently the most-viewed video on YouTube.

2007: Miss Japan, Riyo Mori

Riyo Mori miss universe

Eduardo Verdugo/AP Images

Mori auditioned for the role of Yaeko in "Heroes."

2008: Miss Venezuela, Dayana Mendoza

Dayana Mendoza miss universe

Adrees Latif/Reuters

Mendoza appeared on "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2012.

2009: Miss Venezuela, Stefanía Fernández

Stefanía Fernández miss universe

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Fernandez was the first Miss Universe to be crowned by a compatriot — her predecessor was also Miss Venezuela.

2010: Miss Mexico, Ximena Navarrete

Ximena Navarrete miss universe

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Navarrete has appeared in various telenovelas since her reign ended.

2011: Miss Angola, Leila Lopes

miss angola Leila Lopes miss universe

Andre Penner/AP Images

Lopes and her husband, former football player Osi Umenyiora, welcomed their first child in June 2018.

2012: Miss USA, Olivia Culpo

olivia culpo miss universe

David Becker/Getty Images

Culpo won Miss Rhode Island, Miss USA, and Miss Universe all in the span of 15 months.

2013: Miss Venezuela, Gabriela Isler

gabriela islar miss universe

Victor Boyko/Getty Images

Venezuela is second only to the US in terms of Miss Universe winners — the country has had seven.

2014: Miss Colombia, Paulina Vega

paulina vega miss universe

Wilfredo Lee/AP Images

The president of Colombia declared the day of Vega's win a national holiday.

2015: Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach

Philippines miss universe

John Locher/AP Images

Wurtzbach originally thought she was runner-up, after host Steve Harvey accidentally called out the wrong name.

2016: Miss France, Iris Mittenaere

Miss France Iris Mittenaere is crowned the Miss Universe 2016

Bullit Marquez/AP

Mittenaere became the host of France's version of "American Ninja Warrior" in 2018.

2017: Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

miss universe

Steve Marcus/Reuters

Nel-Peters announced her engagement to NFL player Tim Tebow in January 2019.

2018: Miss Philippines, Catriona Gray

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray

Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP

Gray was crowned on December 16, 2018. She served as Miss Universe for 11 months.

2019: Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi

miss universe 2019

Paras Griffin/Stringer/Getty Images

Tunzi became the first black woman from South Africa to become Miss Universe, just two years after Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters won in 2017.

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