Wow, how did I miss the scandal of Miss World 2006?
Here’s the 7 minute video on YouTube. How outrageous! It has to be seen to be believed.
Here’s the expose by one of the judges Jake Rudnitsky . Apparently the whole event was crazy and dehumanizing to begin with:
In a slimy Hollywood twist, the American producers, who included Jeff Androsky, a producer from a show on the new Fox Reality network Reality Remix, announced that that contest was going to be a reality show just three days before the pageant started. All the preceding contests were just a fodder for the reality show, not competitions they’d be judged on. It was even rumored that he was thrilled after the screw-up, because it’d make for better TV. As it was, the reality TV angle was mimicking Miss America’s attempt to stay relevant, which it announced it was going reality TV this year. But, like everything else in this contest, it was done in a Mickey Mouse way.
For example, there was one part where they tried to pressure the women into voting one off their fellow contestants off, although Mrs. Australia told me that the women refused to take part.
This didn’t stop the Americans. They simply pretended that the contestants played along. With 11 contestants left, Thicke said that the contestants had voted either Mrs. Ukraine or Mrs. Thailand off — a lie — and brought them both to the mike. The suspense was undermined by the fact that Mrs. Ukraine didn’t understand him when he asked who would want to vote her off, so she answered in a non sequitur. It got uglier when Mrs. Thailand gave a teary answer that she hadn’t signed up for a reality TV show and that everyone was a winner in her eyes. Her words went untranslated for the Russian audience, but the entire hall burst into the loudest cheers of the night. And Mrs. Ukraine got the boot.
On another note, I thought the seven minute clip (which apparently was put together for a news feature) was deftly done and conveyed the chaos of the gaffe and its aftermath. And the child/angel coming from the rafters was one of the tragically surreal moments I had witnessed.
See also the outstanding American comedy, Smile (directed by Michael Ritchie). One of the best (and funniest) films I saw last year. But once again, reality trumps fiction. Actually, come to think of it, I think the presentation of the scandal would make for better drama and ratings.
I have a soft spot for beauty contests, especially the recent American incarnations. These contests are hard, and the women are supremely talented; the changed format of the contest leaves them no choice. How interesting that we’ve never had a notable beauty contest for males (although perhaps sporting events serve the same purposes).
Update: Wait, there’s a fair chance all this was a “reality show hoax” perpetrated by the producers to play up ratings. Okay, maybe not. Rather than trying to paper over the scandal, the show decided (wisely) to show the unfolding events in reality show style. As I think about it, I’ve come to the conclusion they had little other choice. The producers wanted to convey the illusion of events occurring in real time, but actually the show itself was stitched together later on (with warts and all). The use of impromptu footage conveyed the illusion that the situation was out-of-control, but in fact you could easily have edited the footage in a way to hide the scandal altogether. Scandals are profitable even if they throw egg in your face.