Betting odds on the Miss Universe competition are now firming up, with the finale just 72 hours away. Some of the betting leaders we have already previewed here and here, others not. It is interesting: this year, I am not particularly impressed by the betting favorites, as compared with others in the field.
The current betting favorite is Miss Australia, Monika Radulovic. As we see over and over in international pageantry, Miss Radulovic is mobile. She was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina but fled when war erupted there in 1992. She and her family lived for a while in Denmark as refugees before making their way to Australia.
Like a number of the top contenders, Miss Australia’s best photos predate the Miss Universe pageant. This one was taken while she was contending for Miss Australia. It’s a nice shot, but consider me skeptical about Miss Australia’s chances:
Second in the current betting is Miss Brazil. Brazil is, of course, one of the great centers of pageantry, but, with all due respect to the current title holder, Martina Brandt, I don’t see Miss Brazil as a top contender:
Others, of course, might disagree.
Third place, at the moment, is a tie between Miss India, whom we featured here, and Miss USA, Olivia Jordan. There is a definite home court advantage in pageantry, so having in the competition in Las Vegas will favor Miss USA. Still, I am skeptical that she will win. Miss Jordan, who started out as Miss Oklahoma, is another contestant whose best photos predate the Miss Universe competition:
Here is one more of Miss India, Bollywood actress Urbashi Rautela. I’ve been a bit of an India skeptic, but this one is hard to beat:
Tied at 12-1 with Miss Colombia is Miss Indonesia, Anindya Putri, whom we pictured here. Miss Putri deserves another shot:
Tied with Colombia and Indonesia is Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. In keeping with the polyglot nature of the contest these days, Miss Wirtzbach was born in Stuttgart. The pageant site says that she has been supporting her family since she was 11:
Those contestants currently are the favorites to win the Miss Universe crown on Sunday. Who are we amateurs to differ? Likely one of these nine will win the crown, but there are many worthy contenders who are ranked lower by the oddsmakers. Between now and Sunday, I will highlight some of those who are not among the favorites, but whom men around the world will surely appreciate.