Miss Universe Heats Up

Evidently stung by our criticism of their web site, the Miss Universe people scrambled to get it ready for prime time, and last night unveiled the nearly completed site. Using the pull-down menu, you can now access photos of each contestant, a transcript of an interview, and–a welcome technological innovation–a short video. I haven’t checked the gambling sites yet, but I’d guess this will be the signal for serious wagering to begin.

There has been a great deal of interest in Miss Sri Lanka, Jacqueline Fernandez–is that a Sri Lankan name?–who looks ravishing and sounds as though she grew up in Wisconsin.

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The bathing suit photos, by the way, appear to have been designed by the art director for Waterworld and in some instances are rather alarming.

Miss Puerto Rico also looks sensational, but you might want to turn down the volume on her video, which is a reminder that Miss Universe, unlike, say, the Miss America pageant, is not a scholarship contest.

In the interviews, they asked each contestant who her “idol” is. I kept waiting for someone to say Dick Cheney or Condoleezza Rice (or maybe even, “There are these citizen journalists in the United States…”), but no such luck. Most stuck to relatives, with an occasional Nelson Mandela thrown in.

Two other contestants whose videos I liked were Miss Japan and Miss Angola.

The official site also includes a vlog, but the only entry so far mostly features Donald Trump, the pageant’s owner. So we’ll see how that develops.

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