This article applies Spanish naming customs: the paternal last name first, followed by the maternal last name
|Dayana Sabrina Mendoza Moncada|
Young Dayana in Nicaragua
|Special award||Miss Universe 2008|
Dayana Sabrina Mendoza Moncada (born June 1, 1986) is a model and beauty pageant titleholder, who won Miss Venezuela 2007 and Miss Universe 2008. She also received the honor of crowning Stefanía Fernández as Miss Universe 2009. Eighteen-year-old Fernández was a fellow Venezuelan, and Dayana became the first Miss Universe to crown a compatriot. 
Personal Life[change | change source]
Dayana is 34 years old. She won Miss Venezuela 2007, and also Miss Universe 2008.
Early Life[change | change source]
Kidnapping![change | change source]
Dayana was once kidnapped in Venezuela, and stated that its psychological trauma taught her, to remain poised under pressure.
Marriage[change | change source]
Young Dayana married Michael Pagano in 2013, when she was just 27 years old. In 2016 their marriage ended, however. They have a daughter, Eva.
Career[change | change source]
She was the host of the TV show "Relaxed" for the network E! Entertainment Latin America.[source?]
She also participated in the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice (corresponding to the season twelve of The Apprentice), a program hosted by Donald Trump.
Miss Venezuela 2007[change | change source]
Mendoza beat out 27 other candidates to win Miss Venezuela 2007 on September 13, 2007, in Caracas, and became only the second woman representing the Amazonas state to win, following Carolina Izsak in 1991.
Miss Universe 2008[change | change source]
Dayana was just twenty-two when she was crowned Miss Universe 2008 at the pageant at the Crown Convention Center, Nha Trang, Vietnam, on July 13, 2008. She became the first winner of the pageant from Venezuela since Miss Universe 1996's winner Alicia Machado, thus making her the first Venezuelan Miss Universe in the 21st century.
Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori crowned her with a tiara worth US$120,000. Her prize package includes cash, a year contract promoting Miss Universe, world travel, a rent-free prestigious New York City apartment, a luxury apartment, and a gift bag stuffed with designer shoes, dresses and beauty products, a US$100,000 stipend for a two-year course at the New York Film Academy and free access to famous fashion houses and beauty parlors. Dayana kindly spent her year-long reign traveling the world to lecture on humanitarian issues and to promote education regarding HIV/AIDS.
As of June 2009, Dayana as Miss Universe has traveled to Indonesia, Singapore, Italy, Vatican City, Spain, France, Nicaragua, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bahamas, Russia, El Salvador, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Argentina, Romania, and Vietnam, in addition to numerous trips around the United States and her homecoming in Venezuela! Together with Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz, Mendoza was the goodwill ambassador of Venezuela-based technology firm Smartmatic to thank the Philippines for entrusting the company the success of their 2010 presidential elections.
Production of the film Honey[change | change source]
Dayana is concerned about humanitarian issues, such as AIDS awareness, and domestic violence prevention. So, she wrote, directed and produced the short film Honey to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Crowning Stefanía Fernández[change | change source]
Dayana got an honour on August 23, 2009, in Nassau, Bahamas, when she got to crown a compatriot, Stefanía Fernández, as Miss Universe 2009. She was the first person to crown a compatriot as Miss Universe.
Controversies[change | change source]
Modeling photos[change | change source]
After photos of Mendoza modeling naked for a jewelry firm surfaced, officials from the Miss Universe Organization decided against penalizing her, saying that the candid photos were not pornographic but "artistic in nature, and they don't have an ounce of pornographic content to them."
Guantanamo Bay visit[change | change source]
On 27 March 2009, Dayana documented a visit to Guantanamo Bay detention camp on her blog. In it, she was quoted as saying, "Guantanamo was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful". She also stated that when she visited the detainees camps, "...we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting".
In her home country, Venezuela, the issue became the talk of the town, with the president, Hugo Chávez, reconsidering the praise he had previously given her. The Miss Universe Organization has replied that "...[her] comments on her blog were in reference to the hospitality she received while meeting the members of the U.S. military and their families who are stationed in Guantánamo". On 1 April 2009, the entry vanished from her blog.
References[change | change source]
- "Dayana Mendoza". Antenna TV / Zap2It / Tribune Media Services.
- "Miss Venezuela is Miss Universe 2008". The Associated Press.
- iht.com, Venezuelans celebrate fifth Miss Universe win
- en.rian.ru, Venezuelan beauty wins title Miss Universe 2008
- english.vietnamnet.vn, Miss Venezuela crowned Miss Universe 2008
- "Dayana Mendoza". Wikipedia. 2020-03-01.
- Miss Universe – Dayana Mendoza Times of India
- "10 stories that could be April Fools... but aren't" BBC News dated 1 April 2009.
- "Miss Universe Visits Guantánamo Bay" The New York Times 30 March 2009.
- "Guantanamo 'fun' – Miss Universe" BBC News dated 1 April 2009.
- "Guantanamo Bay" missuniverse.com dated 31 March 2009.
- "Dayana Mendoza dice que se divirtió mucho en Guantánamo" El Universal dated 1 April 2009.
- "Miss Universe’s Blog Post on Guantánamo Vanishes", The New York Times 1 April 2009.