Miss Universe

by (@hallekiefer)

What’s More Embarrassing? LeAnn Rimes’ X Factor Performance Or Miss Venezuela’s Pageant Answer?

Oh boy! Rarely do we get two embarrassing videos in one day, so obviously we’re required to pit them against each other for in a cringe-off royale! First up is LeAnn Rimes‘ baffling X Factor performance with contestant Carly Rose Sonenclar last night. LeAnn’s rendition of “How Do I Live?” still makes us want to fall in love with a Southern convict who looks like Nicolas Cage, but her delivery was…well, let’s just say befuddling. LeAnn’s still got them pipes, but seems to have lost both her balance and her ability to retain the lyrics to her most famous song. “I mean are some people for real….what a joke,” LeAnn Twitter-scoffed at critics this morning. The cut to Britney Spears‘ face during their duet, however…well, her terrified eyes speak for us all.

Read more…

by (@shalapitcher)

5 Reasons It’s Cool To Like Miss Universe Olivia Culpo

Rhode Islander Olivia Culpo named Miss Universe 2012

Naturally, we have all sorts of reservations about embracing the Miss Universe pageant and all it represents — Donald Trump runs it, it sets a bad example for little girls about beauty mattering more than brains, and all that stuff. But today we’re putting those aside, because we really feel OK embracing the newly crowned Olivia Culpo, who came up from the ranks of Miss Rhode Island and Miss USA, actually seems like a pretty cool girl … in addition to being drop-dead gorgeous in a bikini and an evening gown, of course, and maybe possibly winning the heart of one Mr. Ryan Lochte. Here’s our logic:

1) She’s the first Miss USA to earn the title since 1997 and the first Miss Rhode Island to win it ever. We think New England deserves some good news this week.

2) She’s a music geek. She’s played the cello since age 6, performed at Carnegie Hall with a youth orchestra at age 12, and went to the same music camp (Brevard, in North Carolina) as some of our own friends. Watch her play a bit here.

3) Miss Rhode Island was the Boston University student’s first-ever pageant, and she entered it wearing a dress she rented for $20 on Rent the Runway.

4) She’s not fancy. She told Shape that her biggest craving during the Miss USA contest was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

5) She believes transgender women deserve to compete in the contest too. “I feel like in America, we all have the right to be happy and the right to live freely, so that’s how I stand on it,” she told BU Today. “It all goes back to the foundation of this country and freedom of choice.”

So, congrats, girl! We fully encourage you to celebrate your victory with a certain Olympic gold medalist soon — just ’cause we’d love to see those photos.

by (@shalapitcher)

Jenna Talackova Makes Us Wonder: What Counts As “Natural Born” To Miss Universe?

Jenna Talackova, the woman disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition because she was born a man, held a press conference today with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred to fight for her right to compete. And Allred lived up to her reputation with this amazing quote, directed at Miss Universe organization owner Donald Trump: “She did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally born man, or to see the photos of his birth, to view his anatomy to prove that he was male.”

As the organization says it will allow Talackova to compete if she meets the “legal gender recognition requirements” of Canada, but Allred declared that her client wants the “natural born” rule to be eliminated altogether. Come to think of it, this other statement from Allred brings up a very good question: “She did not think for one moment that what she might have looked like at birth would be relevant.” Read more…