Miss Universe: A Digression

Last August, I was doing a radio show with Brian Ward and watching a news feed on my iPad as we were broadcasting. I was stunned to see, coming over the wire, the news that the Miss World contest had just finished up in Inner Mongolia, and Miss China had won. The result was considered a dubious, home town decision. But what astonished me was that the pageant had gotten so little coverage in the U.S. that it sneaked up on me: I didn’t even realize it was going on until it was over. I vowed not to let our readers down again!

So I checked out Miss Universe, the other big international beauty pageant, and found that it will take place on December 19 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. This time, I will keep our readers up to date on all the twists and turns of the competition!

It is too early for betting odds to take shape, but lots of national pageants have been completed and many contestants have been named. The pageant is using Facebook to communicate with its fans, and if you go here, they have posted photos and some basic information about the first 16 contestants. They will add more photos in the weeks leading up to the pageant’s finale. You have to be careful about drawing conclusions from a single photograph, but the first 16 contenders look like a strong group. Australia has become a pageant hotbed, and this year’s Aussie, Renae Ayris, exemplifies the trend. Click to enlarge:

Mexico has been another frequent source of pageant champions. This year’s Miss Mexico, Karina Gonzalez, has 451 Facebook likes so far:

Miss Ecuador has gotten a lot of attention from Facebook fans, but I’m not sure I am a believer:

I would say that one favorite has emerged clearly from the first batch of 16, and 785 Facebook likers agree: Miss Peru is outstanding. No surprise there; Scott’s wife is from Peru, too. But Miss Peru, Nicole Faveron, could be seen as a professional competing against amateurs. She is a Maybelline model and is the first Peruvian to sign with Ford Models:

The Miss Universe pageant doesn’t have a talent competition; when it comes to talent, you’re looking at it. So in a sense, Miss Universe is the pageant for purists. We will conclude with a parting shot, so to speak, of Miss Faveron:

More to come between now and December 19!

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