In Medias Miss World Res

Miss World is different from most beauty pageants in that it unfolds over a period of several weeks, with preliminary events in which winners are selected, leading up to the final night. This year the finale will be on December 1, from Sanya, China.
Two preliminary winners have already been chosen, Beach Beauty and Miss Sports. Beach Beauty–historically a pretty good predictor of success in the final round–was won by Miss Dominican Republic. Here are the three finalists, China, Dominican Republic and Jamaica; click to enlarge:

Miss USA, Abigail McCary, won the sports title.
Another interesting feature of the Miss World competition is that contestants are organized geographically and a finalist is selected from each region of the world. There are strong contestants from all over, but this year the story may be the continued resurgence of Europe as a power in the world of pageantry. There are a number of excellent European candidates, including Miss Northern Ireland and Miss Montenegro (really):

Two personal favorites are Miss Austria, who gets extra points for being a medical student, and Miss Macedonia, who once fronted a punk band:

Some other tough contenders, in no particular order, are Venezuela, Angola, Bolivia and–another personal favorite–Paraguay, which has emerged as a pageant power in recent years:

There is a lot of interesting stuff at the official Miss World site, linked above. You can catch up on the latest news here (“Miss World Contestants Visit the Pulanna Factory”). If you go here, you can check out all of the contestants. There are brief bios, photos, etc. Last year they had a video interview with each contestant, but these haven’t yet been posted.
The betting odds are starting to take shape, with Miss Dominican Republic and Miss Jamaica, who finished one-two in the beach competition, the early favorites at 15/2 and 8/1 respectively. Looking at the odds reminds me that I forgot Miss Philippines:

With no clear front-runner, the competition looks wide open this year.
By the way, Scott was once a Latin instructor, whereas I was never even a Latin student, so if I botched the syntax of the post title, I’m sure he’ll let me know.
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