MISS UNIVERSE Fans Cast Over 1.5 Million Votes to Send First Semifinalst to 2012 Pageant

Over 1.5 million votes have been registered to select the "fan vote" semifinalist for the upcoming 2012 MISS UNIVERSE to air on Telemundo on Wednesday, December 19 at 8pm ET from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the first time ever, Telemundo and Miss Universe partnered to offer online users with a valid email address the opportunity to select their favorite semifinalist by voting on www.Telemundo.com/MissUniverso, until Tuesday December 18 at 6pm. The contestant with the most "fan votes" will be announced during the Miss Universe live telecast as she joins the 15 semifinalists on stage on the way to the Miss Universe crown.

The "fan vote" for the Miss Universe pageant is open to any person who lives in, and is a legal resident of, any of the countries of origin of the Miss Universe contestants. Each person will be allowed up to 10 votes cast from their email address.

Telemundo.com/MissUniverso features interviews, pictures and videos from the Latin American contestants and offers an open forum for the Miss Universe fans to make comments about their favorite delegates, as well as share their opinions on controversial issues. Main trending topics in Telemundo social media accounts are led by fans from Venezuela and Puerto Rico, the two Latin American countries that have collected the most Miss Universe titles. Heated discussions on Telemundo.com relate to the controversies surrounding Miss Colombia's comments about the new Miss Colombia not wearing underwear and Miss Salvador's opinions about the firing of sign-language interpreter in New York. Other trending topics include Miss Peru's statements about her successor Cindy Mejia's comments on homosexuality and the debate about the contestants not been born in the country they represent, such as Miss Puerto Rico, born in Holland of a Dutch father and a Dominican mother; Miss Nicaragua, who is from Monterrey, Mexico, and Miss Dominican Republic, who represented Italy in Miss World 2009.

Telemundo's 2012 MISS UNIVERSE pageant will be hosted by Rashel Díaz and Omar Germenos, hosts of the network's morning show "Un Nuevo Día." Prior to the main broadcast, TV personality Monica Noguera and mun2 VJ Guad Venegas will host Camino a la Corona (7pm/6c), a one-hour pre-show special exclusively dedicated to the Latina delegates.

To learn more about the Miss Universe contestants vying for the crown, please visit www.telemundo.com/missuniverso.<