80 contestants take the stage as 57th annual Miss Universe contest begins

The 2008 Miss Universe contest has begun, with 80 of the world's most beautiful women competing to win one of the pageant world's most coveted crowns. The NBC show is being hosted by U.S. TV host Jerry Springer and Spice Girl Melanie Brown and broadcast live to hundreds of millions of viewers in 170 countries. The 80 contestants have gathered in the seaside city of Nha Trang, Vietnam, vying to succeed reigning Miss Universe Riyo Mori of Japan. They are competing in front of a panel of judges that includes international fashion experts and Donald Trump Jr., whose father, the real estate magnate and TV star, co-owns the pageant with NBC.