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Spanish Caribbean Nationals Make Miss Universe Top Five

CaribWorldNews, NASSAU, Bahamas, Mon. Aug. 24, 2009: It was a night for hot Latinas, with three taking the top five spots in the 2009 Miss Universe pageant, two from the Caribbean.

Miss Dominican Republic was named the 2009 runner-up while Miss Puerto Rico was fifth. But the crown belonged to Miss Venezuela.

For the second consecutive year, the South American nation managed to snag the title as 18-year-old Stefanie Fernandez walked away with the title of Miss Universe 2009. Last year`s Miss Universe was Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela.

Sexy Miss Dominican Republic, Ada Aimee De la Cruz, was edged out of the top spot even though she was undoubtedly a crowd favorite while Puerto Rico`s Mayra Matos Perez, surprisingly made the top five ahead of France and South Africa, despite stunning swimsuit presentations.

Kosovo was named second runner-up, Australia third.

Still for the Caribbean region, it was undoubtedly good news, especially since the spotlight was clearly placed on island host`s the Bahamas. The island`s tourism ministry, along with Atlantis Resorts, put on a fabulous show that will hopefully help lift them out of the tourism mire they have recently landed.

But while the Spanish Caribbean representatives sizzled, it was clearly disappointing to see no other Caribbean beauties in the top 15. However, the  seventy-eight other contestants, secured their `two minutes` of fame as they showcased their national costumes before a global television audience.

Among them were the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Guyana, Jamaica, Curacao, Aruba and the Cayman Islands.

The televised event included musical performances by Flo Rida, Heidi Montag, David Guetta and Kelly Rowland.

The hosts were Billy Bush, co-anchor of `Access Hollywood,` and Claudia Jordan, a former Miss Rhode Island USA who has appeared on several TV shows. Judges included actor Dean Cain and supermodel Valeria Mazza.

Miss China, Wang Jingyao, was named Miss Congeniality and Miss Thailand, Chutima Durongdej, won Miss Photogenic.