Miss Universe Pulls an Upset

One thing I’ve noticed is that beauty pageants tend to follow form. I’m not sure how bettors are able to predict judges’ choices, but they generally do so pretty accurately. But not in this year’s Miss Universe competition.
I had thought about live-blogging the event, but dinner got delayed and I caught it on the fly, semi-DVR’ed. It was an entertaining show. For better or worse, Miss Universe doesn’t have a talent competition, so it goes pretty fast.
For the most part, the final fifteen contestants were the betting favorites. The evening’s only major mishap occurred when Miss USA, who I always thought was questionable as a favorite, slipped and fell down during the evening gown segment.
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Remarkably, and to the Mexican audience’s disgust, she still made the final five, which also included Brazil, Venezuela, Japan and Korea.
The last five contestants get asked a question. The low point of the evening came when Miss USA’s turn came, and the crowd booed her lustily. I doubt that the audience’s enmity related solely to her pratfall a few minutes earlier; perhaps the current immigration debate in the U.S. had something to do with it.
The question round was mostly uneventful, but I did like Miss Korea’s answer to a question about what super-power she would most like to have. She said that “a wallet that never dried up” would be a good thing to have. Not a bad choice. After the questions, they counted down to the final two contestants. When the favorite, Miss Venezuela, was announced as second runner-up, she looked like she wanted to ask for a recount.

The final contestants were Miss Brazil, my original favorite, and underdog Miss Japan. I felt a bit prescient, having said here that I liked Miss Japan better than many of the favorites. In a pretty major upset, as beauty pageants go, Miss Japan was the winner. Here are the last two contestants, just as the winner was announced:
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And here is the winner, Riyo Mori, Miss Japan:
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