Miss World: The Early Betting Favorites

I previewed the 2014 Miss World competition, the finale of which will take place on December 14, here, and posted a few photos. Preliminary competitions are already under way; you can read about them, if so inclined, at the Miss World site. The contestants are here, but the photography is so bad–a recurrent problem with the Miss World pageant–that they are hard to evaluate.

Nevertheless, betting odds are starting to take shape. This site has odds from two bookmakers. The current favorite is Miss South Africa, at ridiculously low odds. You can find a photo of her at my earlier post, linked above. Miss Russia, Anastasia Kostenko, is the second most heavily-bet contestant. She is a dancer and says her favorite books include Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard [Technically a play–Ed.], Mikhail Lermontov’s A Hero Of Our Time and The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I liked The Idiot a lot when I was her age, too. Given that she is a pageant contestant, it is weirdly difficult to find pictures of her. This one from the Miss World site is as good as it gets, for now:

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Actually, come to think of it, it’s pretty good.

The third favorite is Miss Netherlands, Tatjana Maul. Miss Maul is a blogger, but don’t hold that against her. Her site is called DancyFood and focuses on health etc. She is more of a pro than most of the other contestants, so there is no shortage of pictures of her. I like this one:

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The fourth leading favorite is Miss USA, Elizabeth Safrit. Miss Safrit is a news junkie: she is currently working as a lobbyist, although I can’t readily find out what firm she is with, and she wants to be a “political broadcaster for a major news network.” I’m thinking she would fit in at Fox:

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Watch for her soon on the O’Reilly Factor if she doesn’t win the pageant.

That is enough for now. Upsets are the rule in beauty pageants, not the exception, so I wouldn’t take those betting odds too seriously. There are lots more worthy contestants to preview. Moreover, the climaxes of Miss USA and Miss Universe are almost back to back this year, with Miss Universe in January. So if you like pageant coverage, there should be plenty of it in the weeks to come.

The Miss Universe site is here. One is tempted to say that the Miss Universe field looks a little stronger this year, but that is probably because the photography isn’t so wretched. You can’t say that Donald Trump never does anything right.

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