Miss Venezuela Dayana Mendoza was crowned Miss Universe 2008 at the Crown Convention Center in Nha Trang, Vietnam, Monday.
The 22-year-old Miss Venezuela edged a fellow Latina, Miss Colombia Taliana Vargas, who won 1st runner-up.
The second, third and fourth runners-up were Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Russia and Miss Mexico, respectively.
"Actually, God made men and women different. But the big difference between women and men--it doesn't matter what kind of life they live--is that men think that the faster way to go to a point is to go straight. Women, no. The faster way to go to a point is to go through curves and fixing every curve," Miss Venezuela answered international judge Louis Lacari.
Before the special announcement, Miss Venezuela, who is into interior design and learning new languages, was among the crowd favorites.
She wore a beautiful yellow night gown when given the 18K white and yellow gold crown, which was valued at $120,000. She is the 57th Miss Universe.
The crown was given to her by Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori of Japan.
Earlier, the Miss Congeniality category was awarded to Rebeca Moreno of El Salvador and the Best National Costume award was handed to Miss Thailand Gavintra Photijak.
The show was hosted by Jerry Springer as well as former Spice Girl Mel B. The judges panel comprises of Donald Trump Jr., (executive vice president of the Trump Organization); Roberto Cavalli (fashion designer and entrepreneur); Nadine Velazquez (international cover girl); Jennifer Hawkins (television presenter and Miss Universe 2004); Louis Licari (celebrity colorist and “Today Show” ambush makeover expert) and John Nguyen (vice chairman of Hoan Cau, LTD Investment and Construction).