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Miss Universe Mania Sweeping Latin America

AFP reports on the sky-high interest in this year’s Miss Universe pageant in Latin America, where no fewer than seven contestants are among the favorites. AFP says Miss Venezuela and Miss Puerto Rico are this year’s Latina “heavyweights,” a metaphor I’m not sure they’d appreciate.
Apparently pageantry is to Venezuela what soccer is to Brazil:

Nothing, however, compares with the obsession of Venezuelans, who treat beauty pageants with the same reverence as neighbouring Brazilians view football’s World Cup.

Take that, Deacon!
Speaking of metaphors, I also liked how AFP thought it had to explain the Super Bowl for readers who might be up on beauty pageants, but a little slow on sports:

In Latin America, the pageant is not just big beauty, it’s big business.
“It’s their Super Bowl,” said Tony Santomauro, vice president of business planning for Miss Universe, referring to the American football championship that is routinely the most widely-watched US sports event of the year.

The AFP story focuses mostly on Miss Venezuela, who is pictured here. The pageant final is Monday evening.

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