Australian model becomes Miss Universe

First release on SM online on June 4, 2004.

A borrowed 10-year-old dress and laid-back Aussie attitude led model Jennifer Hawkins to victory at the 2004 Miss Universe pageant.

The 20-year-old Bondi model and cheerleader for the Newcastle Knights NRL team is the first Australian to win the coveted title since Perth’s Kerry Ann Wells was crowned in 1972.

“I just can’t explain how shocked I am because I never thought this would happen to me, like, I’m just from Newcastle…” she told Seven’s Today Tonight.

Miss Hawkins, who wore a beaded gold brocade dress at today’s coronation ceremony in Quito, capital of Ecuador, was widely considered to be a strong conclusion.

Jennifer Hawkins after being crowned Miss Universe 2004.

Jennifer Hawkins after being crowned Miss Universe 2004.Recognition:AP

She beat 79 contestants and 14 semifinalists to take the title ahead of first runner-up Miss USA Shandi Finnessey.

“This is very new to me and I’m very excited,” the blonde, blue-eyed winner told reporters after receiving the opulent Miss Universe diamond crown.

Miss Hawkins admitted that winning Miss Universe had not been her dream and she said she did not expect to win.

“When that opportunity came up, I jumped at it and figured why not, I’ll do it. I figured if I happen to get in the top 15, it’ll be good.” Australian model becomes Miss Universe

Joel McCord

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