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pageantry interview ● paulina vega Don’t Stop the Party Colombia’s Paulina Vega might be ready to crown her successor, but that doesn’t mean that she and her fans need to stop celebrating her success W hen Gabriela Isler placed the Miss Universe crown on Paulina Vega’s head on January 15, 2015 in Miami, it marked the end of some se- rious bad luck for Colombia. It had been 56 years since the last time a woman from the nation once declared the Happiest Country in the World had been crowned Miss Universe, but when you listen to Paulina talk about her country’s love of pageantry, you’d think that Miss Colombia wins at Miss Universe every year. But this one was truly special for Paulina and the peo- ple of Colombia, so they treated her as the incredibly im- portant hero and role model that she truly is, and she certainly did not disappoint them or anyone with her reign as Miss Universe. With the festivities already underway in Las Vegas for the next chapter of the Miss Universe Organization’s glam- orous story, Paulina is looking ahead. What lies ahead will be determined by Paulina, but there are already so many doors open for her, enough that her decisions won’t be easy. Like most of her sister queens, she looks forward to the rest. But if she’s anything like her countrymen, she won’t be resting long. There are many, many more parties in this spectacular young woman’s future. Pageantry magazine: What memory still stands out from the night that you captured the Miss Uni- verse crown? Paulina Vega: So much adrenaline, so many different emotions, and I really remember half. But the moment that I was holding hands with the first runner-up, Miss USA, was kind of like in slow motion. And then, of course, when they announced my country’s name, then I felt like it was five minutes. It was so weird. After that, I don’t even re- 112 PAGEANTRY member. But my manager, the person that has been with me 24/7 during the whole year, she took me from the stage and we did all these things. I had three interviews in the car. Everything was happening so fast. It was madness. It was chaos. So many people. My family was, of course, all over the place, trying to catch me. It was super funny. But I remember that part only because of videos, because I was literally in shock. But it’s a good memory. PM: How has your life changed since you captured the crown of Miss Universe? PV: Having this kind of title is never for one year. It’s for your whole life. I can do whatever I want to do, but I always have on my shoulders the title of Miss Universe, so it’s changed my life forever. PM: Is there one moment that you will forever remem- ber from your year as Miss Universe? PV: I feel that one of the highlights was where I went back