Miss Universe 2004, the fifty-third Miss Universe pageant was held in Centro de Convenciones CEMEXPO, Quito, Ecuador on June 1, 2004. It was won by Jennifer Hawkins of Australia.
1st Runner-up: U.S.A.- Shandi Finnessey
2nd Runner-up: PUERTO RICO - Alba Reyes Santos
3rd Runner-up: PARAGUAY - Yanina Alicia González Jorgge
4th Runner-up: TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - Danielle Amanda Jones
Hawkins was a former cheerleader for the Newcastle Knights rugby league team, and the Hunter Pirates basketball team and also worked as a model. It was as a model that she was cast as Miss Australia for the Miss Universe competition. Hawkins also worked as a choreographer for a dance team that toured Australia specialising in Hip-Hop and Ballet.
Shortly after being crowned Miss Universe in 2004, Hawkins created news during a fashion show at Westfield Miranda, an Australian shopping centre, when she tripped on the hem of her dress, which fell to the floor. Hawkins was left in her red g-string in front of a surprised crowd. Hawkins later apologized, laughingly adding she "wished she wore better underwear". The incident received the dubious distinction of being named "The most embarrassing moment ever shown on Australian television" by Australia's Nine Network.
Hawkins signed a contract with the Seven Network at the 2004 Melbourne Cup Carnival. Her first appearances were as a guest presenter on the network's travel show, The Great Outdoors, where she took viewers on tours throughout the world. When she ended her reign as Miss Universe, she became a regular presenter on the show, which resulted in a 2006 Logie nomination for Most Popular New Female Talent.
In an Interview with Jennifer she was offered the lead role in The Pink Panther but Jennifer later turned it down and R&B Star Beyonce soon won the role.
Hawkins was one of the participants in the fourth season of Australia's Dancing with the Stars and was the fifth celebrity eliminated. On February 15, 2006 she was in a celebrity version of Deal or No Deal called Dancing with the Deal which featured celebrities from Dancing with the Stars.
Hawkins is featured as the love interest of Australian artist, Guy Sebastian in the music video for the second single off his third album, "Elevator Love". She has made cameo appearances in multiple episodes of The Apprentice with Donald Trump, who stated that Jennifer Hawkins "is the most beautiful Miss Universe" he had ever seen. Hawkins turned down the role of Sophie Solandres in the Pink Panther 2 due to scheduling conflicts, which was eventually given to Former Miss World and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai.