Riyo Mori from Japan: Miss Universe 2007!!! (Pictures/Video)

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    Yes, that’s right. Riyo Mori, who represented Japan at the Miss Universe Contest, has just been named the winner of the pagent:

    Mori, 20, the 56th winner of the title, was given her $250,000 (U.S.) diamond-and-pearl crown by last year’s winner, Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto Rico, watched by a live audience of 10,000 and some 600 million television viewers worldwide.

    A lifelong ballet dancer from a village near Mount Fuji, Mori wore a striking black gown with coloured lapels for the final. Winning surpassed the ambition of her grandmother, who told her as a child she wanted her to be Miss Japan one day.

    “My mind went blank,” she said of the winning moment.

    I’ll be following up later today or tomorrow with more information on the Japanese media coverage of her win. You can bet it’s going to be huge news over here!

    Congratulations, Riyo!

    Update: Some goodies for those of you looking to see more of Riyo Mori:

    2 videos of her win at the Miss Japan contest earlier this year:
    Some more photos of her win today:

    Whoops, looks like Miss Universe 2006 is horrible at the simple act of placing a crown on the winner’s head:

    …and the blunder even made the frontpage of Yahoo!

    Update 2: Apparently the odds were not on Miss Japan to win this year, and it was a huge upset for online gambling sites, many of which had given her 22 to 1 odds of winning.

    Update 3: Japanese media coverage of Riyo Mori’s win

    [Our previous post about Riyo Mori, from March 2007, can be found here.]

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