Hours after France's Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres, who won the title in 1993, offered her insight on the decision as one of the judges.
"In the end, personality had a whole lot to do with it," Torres told ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo in an interview Monday night, adding that the Frenchwoman's answer to the final question was a huge plus.
As part of the top three, Mittenaere was asked about the biggest failure she had in her life and the lessons she learned from the experience. She replied by sharing that the story about her failed first try at medical school.
Torres added that all of the judges were looking for a different kind of beauty queen to represent the Miss Universe Organization, one with more personality rather than just physical beauty.
"When you arrive at an event where the Miss Universe is going to be, you want to find a person that's accessible and not just a robot or with an attitude. You don't want that," she explained. "You want somebody that's more human and who's going to touch other people. Because when they talk, people are going to listen."
She added that Mittenaere's strength lies in her natural appeal and eagerness to help other people.
Responding to the shock decision to exclude early favorite Miss Venezuela Mariam Habach from the top 13, she said: "See people need to understand that what you may see on television may be something beautiful. 'How come this one didn't make it?' But we know them in a more personal way.'"
Torres also said that the Miss Universe Organization is trying to break away from the stereotype that a winning candidate has to look or act a certain way.
"I think being more human at this point in time, when the world is going through so much, it's much more important than a person that's just impressionable to look at," she said.
Torres is part of the judges' table, which also included former winners Sushmita Sen and Leila Lopes. The other judges were fashion magazine editor Mickey Boardman, television star Cynthia Bailey, as well as social entrepreneur Francine LeFrak.