LONDON (U.K.) -- Venezuela did it again.
Ivian Sarcos-Colmenares of Venezuela gasped and threw her hands to her face as she was declared 2011 Miss World. She was chosen from among the 113 contestants at a glittering final ceremony held at Earls Court Two in this city on Sunday, Nov. 6.
Last year's Miss World, Alexandria Mills of the United States, took off her crown and placed it on her successor's head.
"I felt like the most gorgeous woman in the world. I was so happy and I wanted to shout, to cry, to stand still and to smile. So many emotions," the 22-year old human resource graduate said. "I'm incredibly happy for this moment, for this opportunity and for winning winning and I'm grateful with my life."
Sarcos is the sixth Venezuelan to have won the title in the 60-year history of the Miss World. Other Venezuelans who came before her include, Carmen Susana Duijim Zubillaga (1955), Carmen (1955), Carmen Josefina Leon Crespo 'Pilín León' (1981), Astrid Carolina Herrera Irrazábal (1984), Ninibeth Beatriz Leal Jiménez (1991) and Jacqueline María Aguilera Marcano (1995).
Coming close next to Sarcos is Miss Philippines Gwendoline Ruais, a 21-year old French Filipino beauty from Muntinlupa City who describes herself as "confident and friendly". She was one of the crowd's favorites.
Miss World organization chairman and chief executive Julia Morley said there was only a small difference between the scores of Miss Venezuela and Miss Philippines in their quest for the crown.
The Philippines waited for three decades before its candidate again placed first runner-up at this pageant. Evangeline Pascual was also first runner-up in 1973.
Some 113 beauty queens from Albania to Zimbabwe took their place on the stage, with the show being broadcast live to an estimated audience of more than one billion viewers in 150 countries.
Inside the Earls Court Two auditorium in west London, the few thousand fans cheered, waved national flags and shouted for their favorites.
In an interview with Ruais after the coronation, the 5'9" beauty from Muntinlupa City, said she was offering her crown to her parents and Filipino kababayan. "I only wanted to give honor to the Philippines," Rualis said.
President Benigno Aquino, through his spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, sent his congratulatory message to Ruais, citing her unquestionable capability to compete against the best around the world.
“Miss Philippines-World Gwendoline Ruais placed first-runner up at the 2011 Miss World Pageant held in London, United Kingdom. We extend our congratulations to... Miss Philippines for once again proving that we Filipinos are capable of competing against the best and the brightest on the world stage,” Lacierda said.
Amanda Victoria Vilanova Perez of Puerto Rico, placed third.
To cut down the contenders to the 15 semi-finalists, several point-scoring rounds were held during the contestants’ tour of Britain over the previous two weeks, with the results revealed on stage.
Miss Venezuela topped the interview round; Miss Dominican Republic, Marianly Tejada Burgos, was named the general sports champion; home favorite Miss England, Alize Lily Mounter, won the beach beauty title, while Miss Kazakhstan, Zhanna Zhumaliyeva, was named top model.
The audience was shown clips from the talent round — where performers sang, danced and gave piano recitals — won by Miss Chile, Gabriela Paz Pulgar Luco.
Miss Ghana, Stephanie Adwoa Agyeiwaa Karikari, and Miss Indonesia, Astrid Ellena Indriana Yunadi, were the joint winners of the beauty with a purpose category, where contestants can highlight a charity project.
With the scores in and only the top 15 going through to the semi-final, Miss Puerto Rico topped the leaderboard, ahead of Miss Venezuela, Miss Philippines, Miss Ukraine and Miss Scotland.
The final seven, chosen by the judges, were Miss England, Miss Korea, Miss Philippines, Miss Puerto Rico, Miss Scotland, Miss South Africa and Miss Venezuela.
(Photo credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)