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Miss Universe Gets Weird, Plus More

It happens every year: the Miss Universe pageant takes time out for the “National Costume” competition. Or exhibition. Or whatever it is. For the most part, the alleged national costumes run the gamut from garish to bizarre. Best case, your national costume is pretty much a swim suit. Miss Aruba, for example:

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Unfortunately, it is all downhill from there. Some, at least, are familiar, like Miss Canada’s Mountie getup:

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And Miss Great Britain’s costume looks like something Queen Victoria might have worn, if she forgot to put on her skirt:

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Lots of the national costumes are inexplicable to the casual observer. Like Miss Germany’s, for example. Is that a life preserver dangling from her belt? And the fact that she is saluting is vaguely disturbing:

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Some of the costumes betray a bit of wishful thinking. To my knowledge, no Swede has wielded any sort of weapon since the days of Gustavus Adolphus. You probably know the saying, “A thousand Swedes ran through the weeds, chased by one Norwegian.” To Miss Sweden I say, dream on:

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Trust me, I spared you most of the worst examples of the national costume genre. Most of the Latin contestants are wearing what can loosely be described as Sun goddess uniforms. Well, some of them actually aren’t too bad. But what about Miss USA? It requires research to figure out what our national costume is supposed to be. A Transformer? Seriously?

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Happily, the national costume event is over. Today the preliminary round was held, and the pageant streamed it live from Moscow. You can watch it on YouTube if you are so inclined; it is three hours long. Did they select finalists during the preliminary round, or just do some early scoring? Honestly, I’ve forgotten the rules. But we will find out soon enough; the finale will be broadcast on Saturday.

The betting odds haven’t changed much since this post, which showed the top six. But a few others are closing in on the leaders, so, sans national costume, here is Miss Colombia, Lucia Aldana. If you like pageant contestants to be religious, she qualifies. Her quote on the Miss Universe site is:

I am a person of faith. I live my life to give glory to God because I believe His will determines my life path.

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And finally, Miss Israel, who has crept up to eighth place in some books. Titi Yitayish Ayanaw began life in Ethiopia and moved to Israel at age 12. Unfortunately, she lists Barack Obama as her role model. But hey, she is young, and there is still time for her to aim higher:

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That’s enough for now.

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