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You're reading: Miss Ukraine crowned first Vice-Miss Universe

She’s the second most beautiful in the world but for native Ivano-Frankivsk and the rest of Ukraine, she is the one and only. Ukrainian 23-year-old brunette Olesya Stefanko was crowned first Vice-Miss Universe 2011 on Sept. 12 pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Leila Lopes, a 25-year-old from Angola, beat Stefanko on the 60th anniversary of the pageant.

After strutting in her pink bikini and a sumptuous white evening dress, Stefanko had to show off her brains as well. Asked which historical figure she admires the most, the former law student said she’d live the life of Cleopatra if she could. The Ukrainian beauty said that it would have been an honor to become just as wise, strong and beautiful as the Egyptian queen, who proved to the world that not only men can be leaders.

In the July interview with the Kyiv Post, Stefanko said that her dream was not, as beauty contestants often claim, to save children or heal the world, but to put criminals in their place as a prosecutor.

“I dreamed of being a prosecutor,” said Miss Ukraine-Universe 2011, who is in her fourth of six years studying at the Odesa Legal Academy. “But then I spent some time at the prosecutor’s office as an intern and realized that this isn’t work for women. Legal practice is better.”

The fragile brunette had all the typical sound bites needed to excel in the competition. She said beauty was not just about a perfectly-shaped nose or good genes, but also neatness, kindness and looking after oneself.

However, a couple of days before the contest Stefanko wasn’t as confident. She had a nervous breakdown, said Anna Filimonova, the head of the “Miss Ukraine Universe” contest in comments to

“Olesya was tired and fell for the girlie gossip that she won’t win,” said Filimonova.

And yet she did, well, nearly.

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