Does John know about this?

Miss Canada 2012, Adwoa Yamoah, competes in her Kooey Australia swimwear and Chinese Laundry shoes during the Swimsuit Competition of the 2012 Miss Universe Presentation Show on Thursday, December 13th at PH Live in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 89 Miss Universe Contestants will compete for the Diamond Nexus Crown on the LIVE NBC Telecast of the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant set for 8:00 PM ET on December 19, 2012.
HO/Miss Universe Organization L.P., LLLP

Several former Miss Universe contestants allege that Donald Trump helped pick the finalists in the days leading up to the competition and made sure to note his business holdings in the nations being represented by his favorites. So reports Jeffrey Toobin in a long New Yorker article (warning: the article is more about Russia than about beauty).

According to Toobin:

Adwoa Yamoah, who participated in the competition after winning Miss Canada 2012, told [him] that Trump would drop by during rehearsals, chat up the contestants, and then note his preferences to Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart.

“He made comments about every girl,” Yamoah told Toobin. “‘I’ve been to that country.’ ‘We’re building a Trump Tower there.’ It was clear the countries that he liked did well. He’d whisper to Paula about the girls, and she’d write it down. He basically told us he picked nine of the top 15.”

Yamoah, whose image appears in this post, is not the only former contestant who feels aggrieved:

Kerrie Baylis, Miss Jamaica 2013, added, “the list [of Miss Universe finalists] looked like the countries that Donald Trump did business with, or wanted to do business with.” And Shi Lim, Miss Singapore 2013, also told Toobin, “The finalists were picked by Trump. He was really in charge. We called it the Trump card.”

According to a Miss Universe spokeswoman, pageant rules allowed the company’s staff, including Trump, to participate in naming the finalists. As Ronald Reagan once said, “I am paying for this microphone.”

It would be bad form, though, for Trump to select finalists based on whether he was doing business, or wanted to do business, in the country from which a contestant haled. Did he?

It is possible, I think, to determine whether a correlation exists between nations finalists represented and nations where Trump had business interests. This sounds like a good assignment for John.

Toobin does not appear to have performed such an analysis (he does say that “finalists usually came from countries where Miss Universe had strong television ratings — a different and perhaps more plausible conspiracy theory for which he also presents no evidence). Thus, as good as Miss Canada looked, the allegations of the three former contestants may just be sour grapes.


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