The new Miss Universe, right, Miss Venezuela Dayana Mendoza,�and Miss Australia Laura Dundovic (left), the wrong-footed Miss USA Crystle Stewart and, top. the finalists.
Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela has been crowned Miss Universe 2008.
Australia's entrant, 21-year-old Laura Dundovic of Sydney, made it through to the top 10, but could not make the final five.
The pageant, which started with 80 contestants, was held in the seaside town of Nha Trang, Vietnam today.
The Sydney psychology student survived the swimwear round of 15, and made it through the evening gown section.
She was hoping to emulate Jennifer Hawkins, who won the crown in 2004.
She had spent the past month touring Vietnam with the other 79 contestants.
"I'd love to win but the competition is very tough," she said.
She paraded in a red gown by Melbourne couturier Connie Simonetti, a tiny green bikini and the heavily criticised tiered organza dress hanging from a boomerang breastplate by designer Jayson Brunsdon as her "national costume".
Miss USA falls over, again
For the second year in a row, Miss USA fell down during the evening gown competition.
It was a nightmare come true for Miss USA Crystle Stewart, a Texan, who tripped on the train of her bejewelled evening gown as she made her entrance.
During the 2007 Miss Universe contest in Mexico City, Miss USA Rachel Smith also tumbled during the evening gown competition and became an unintended star on YouTube, on which the video was shown over and over.
Her mishap occurred just after the judges had narrowed the field of 80 to the final 10: Miss USA, Miss Kosovo, Miss Australia, Miss Spain, Miss Mexico, Miss Colombia, Miss USA, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Russia, Miss Italy and Miss Venezuela.
The NBC show was hosted by talk show star Jerry Springer and Spice Girl Melanie Brown and broadcast live to hundreds of millions of viewers in 170 countries.
It will be broadcast on the Seven Network tonight.