Delayed-Blogging Miss Universe

No live-blogging this year, as we have house guests–my youngest brother, the Rocket Prof, and his family. But, through the miracle of Tivo, we preserved the pageant finale to watch after dinner.

The initial impression is that this was an evening of upsets. A number of the betting favorites didn’t make the top twenty, while several underdogs broke through. The big shocker was that Miss Australia, the betting favorite just twenty-four hours ago and the contestant who accompanied Donald Trump on the David Letterman Show, didn’t make the cut. What a diss by Trump, who got to name five of the twenty finalists! No Miss Iceland, who made a late rush among bettors, either.

Another shocker was that Miss Sweden survived the National Costumes exhibition and made the cut-off. And Miss Sri Lanka didn’t make the cut, which took some of the fun out of it for me. But I was happy to see Miss Trinidad & Tobago, another of my favorites, in the finals.

Now the top ten. Several favorites survive: T & T, Puerto Rico, USA.; also Switzerland, whom I still don’t buy. Miss Japan is in; she looks a whole lot better in real life than in pre-pageant photos. Miss Mexico is in; the strange thing about her is that English seems clearly to be her native tongue. Or else she is a heck of a linguist.

The evening gown competition. Yawn. Miss Japan is my new favorite. Well, except for Puerto Rico. “I’m ready to switch teams for Puerto Rico,” says the gay host, an odd concept in itself.

Now the top five, who will have to answer questions–always an interesting part of the competition.

Wow, upsets everywhere–Paraguay, Japan, USA–the short girls are doing OK. Puerto Rico and Switzerland are the favorites still in the hunt. Here come the questions. Miss Paraguay imparts a great deal of information, in Spanish, as does Miss PR. Miss Japan’s samurai sword has made her a crowd favorite. She answers her question in French–then adds a few words in English, the crowd loves it. They didn’t bother to translate the French part.

One thing I’ve learned is, it takes a lot of words to answer a question in Spanish. I don’t think we have a clear winner yet. I’m watching with a pretty big group of adults and kids, and if we have a consensus it’s Miss Puerto Rico. But I think it may be Switzerland.

Japan and Puerto Rico left at the end–a big surprise. And the winner is: Miss PR! We know from Miss U. gossip sites that she arrived in Los Angeles with two young men whom she described as “personal travel assistants,” and her bearing was described by other competitors as “regal.” In all respects, a worthy winner!

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