Thursday, April 30, 2009

Miss USA 2009

Flicking channels the other night, I came across the Miss USA contest. I called my five-year-old daughter in to watch. Don't they look like Barbie dolls?

Yes, she said, smiling. They look exactly like Barbie. Except they're a different color from my Barbie. And they can move without someone moving their arms and legs for them.

I had switched on just in time for the finalists' questions. Historically, this has always provided a chance for some amusement. The first one fit the stereotype perfectly. She was asked if Health Insurance should be the right of every American. Her response was something to the effect that in politics, it's less important if you're left or right than that you have integrity. Integrity is very important, she said. It was like Tina Fey's impression of Sarah Palin: I'm going to ignore that question and answer this one instead.

Next was Miss California, who waffled when asked about Gay Marriage. Apparently she didn't waffle enough, for her response started a mini-controversy that is still in the news today.

The other two actually gave reasonable answers to their questions. I also decided that they were the two prettiest. I hung around until after the commercial to see them come in last. I thought the contestant who gave the non-answer won, but when I look it up, I see that Miss North Carolina won. The waffler came in second. Miss Arizona, the non-answer-giver, was second-runner-up. I don't remember Miss Carolina's question--perhaps it was before I turned on the show. I've tried Googling for it, but there's only blogging about Miss CA.

It reminded me why I stopped watching beauty contests. They keep not picking the prettiest ones to win.

I was also curious why they bother asking the contestants questions. Is the point of the questions to not pick someone who can give a reasoned response, but to make sure you've selected a spokesperson who will avoid answering any political question no matter how absurd she sounds in her non-response? Without having heard Miss Carolina's Q&A, I can't say.

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