Miss Universe 2008, Part 2

The finale of the 2008 Miss Universe competition is tomorrow night. The show originates from Vietnam and will be televised on NBC. We began our coverage of the event here, and I noted some of my favorite contestants.

The betting action has picked up, with at least one source saying the pageant will be among the most heavily-wagered events of the summer. The odds have shifted considerably, too, with bookmakers reporting large influxes of cash being bet on Miss Japan, Miss India, Miss USA, and others. The odds on all of the contestants are here; you can place a wager on most online betting sites if you are so inclined.

Miss Venezuela remains the favorite, but Miss Panama has now joined her at 4-1:

Just behind the leaders at 5-1 is Miss USA, Crystle Stewart:

Miss Colombia, who actually lives in Alexandria, Virginia, has rocketed up to fourth place. Paul, keep an eye out for her!

I’m afraid, though, that she has mastered pageant correctness (a variant of political correctness) a little too thoroughly. This is from her online interview:

I hope to pursue a career in Communications for the advancement of Economic and Social development, with an emphasis on marginalized populations around the world. I believe effective communications can help build more sustainable communities by linking remote areas through better technology and innovation. By studying towards a PhD in Communications for development, I hope I can help improve the lives of people worldwide.

Some of my favorite contestants are not among the betting favorites. For example, Miss Germany and Miss Ireland:

Miss Korea and Miss Mauritius:

New Zealand and South Africa:

There are more, but that’s as good a place as any to stop. You can see a short video of all the contestants here. One more thing: Jennifer Hawkins, the Australian who won the Miss Universe title in 2004 and contributed so much to our live-blogging of the pageant’s finale, is one of this year’s judges. So anything could happen.

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