Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela has been crowned Miss World.
The 21-year-old Sarcos -- who was orphaned at age 8 but has gone on to earn a college degree in human resources -- was declared the winner of the annual beauty and talent pageant on November 6 in London.
"More than nervousness, I felt some sadness -- just a little because my parents weren't physically present here. I lost them when I was little," Sarcos said. "And it makes me melancholy, but I feel much happiness because I know they're in heaven, looking down at me, and they're extremely proud of me and happy."
The first and second runners-up were Gwendoline Ruais from the Philippines and Amanda Perez from Puerto Rico.
More than 120 young women from around the world participated in the pageant.
Organizers said the contest -- which marked its 60th year this year -- was broadcast live to more than 150 countries and was watched by 1 billion viewers.
Outside the contest venue, a small feminist demonstration took place, with protesters denouncing the pageant for sexism and for objectifying women.
compiled from agency reports