Phoenix Satellite TV is congratulating itself after staging the first Miss Chinese Universe pageant on Saturday. The organisers managed to draw 4,576 hopefuls from all over the world, including Paris, London, San Francisco, Toronto and even Mauritius. The mainland dominated the US$6 million pageant, with 38 of the 50 finalists. Bobby Wan, deputy head of programming for Phoenix, says: 'It was a year-long project. We spent a lot of time preparing for the final stage, training the girls and making sure the event would be a success. With Miss Hong Kong, you know, they spend only three months.' The pressure was on to crown someone with enough brain and beauty to carry the weighty Miss Chinese Universe title. But despite the good international representation, all three winners were from the mainland. 'It just happened that way, it is a ratio issue,' Wan insists. 'Look at the population in China, 1.3 billion, and how many Chinese there are in the other countries. That speaks for itself.' Pictured (from left) are runner-up Hu Guyee, winner Jing Xinrong, and second runner-up Gu Yu.