Miss Universe Heats Up

The Miss Universe finale is only eight days away, and a preliminary webcast, the content of which is still unclear, will take place tomorrow night. So serious betting is now getting underway.
I was astonished to learn, in the course of doing research for this web site, that people bet on beauty pageants. Eventually I realized that this is because people will bet on anything: who will win Bachelorette, whether Jon and Kate will get a divorce–you name it. This site aggregates the odds at various betting sites and tells you where to go to get the best odds on a particular contestant. At present, the top three contenders, according to bettors, are Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Australia, and Miss Mexico.
Miss Dominican Republic is a lovely young lady, but one of her three wishes, as articulated in the video on her Miss U. page, is to meet Barack Obama. Miss Australia is clearly a strong contender; she reminds me, naturally, of the live blog in which I totally underestimated her countrywoman, the now-famous Jennifer Hawkins. Mexico has become a pageant power in the last few years, but I’m not convinced that this year’s title holder should be rated quite that high. Here are the top three in order; click to enlarge:
gallery_photo1249668239domincanrepublic_3.jpggallery_photo1249659886australia_0.jpggallery_photo1249673899mexico_0.jpg
There are some other contestants that I like a lot, in addition to those we profiled (so to speak) here. For example, Miss Colombia and Miss Ghana; if they gave out a “cutest contestant” award, they would no doubt be finalists:
gallery_photo1249667340colombia_2.jpg gallery_photo1249669913ghana_2.jpg
I like Miss Guam a lot. And maybe it’s the Bar Rafaeli effect, but for some reason Israeli pageant contenders have been very strong lately:
gallery_photo1249678077guam_2.jpg gallery_photo1249673250israel_0.jpg
There are more to come, but, hey–there are eight days to go before the final a week from tomorrow.

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