I'm going to attempt to liveblog the pageant (on the off chance that Ms. Sunshine can't find a good webcast on her portion of the globe) (webcast found! but I'll continue to hit the highlights). Please to join in the comments, if you like. I make no promises as to how long I can keep this up, but I'll try to get through to crowntime.
Updates will begin here in 39 minutes and counting. Behind the cut to avoid spoilers, OF COURSE.
9 p.m. – WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS. "The most exciting desert on Earth…" Fire, cowboy hats, sashes! Miss Universe 2009 has an enormous necklace!
Albania going with a paranormal romance bad angel theme, red and black wings and goth eyeliner…
9:03 – The national costume is what this is all about, my friends. Following Albania's lead, Angola goes for Tropical Satan.
National embarrasment? Argentina; she's wearing a DRESS.
(The universe is too large to mention all the costumes, but maybe a few more.)
Belgium, secret tennis champs. Who knew?
9:05 – Editing possibly causes seizures in young children.
British Virgin Islands is gorgeous, but, alas, probably going nowhere.
Canada, auditioning for next round of Narnia movies.
Czech Republic – Has a floral arrangement coming out of the back of her dress.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC is always a fave, because they do great costume. Giant headdress.
Is it just me or are the national costumes a bit muted this year? The recession has hit the galactic dreamtime.
Random snippet of hairspraying and girls smiling backstage–if I wanted to know what they did between sections of the show… well, I don't, director, not on pageant night.
I think Sunshine's right about Haiti. She could go all the way.
OH YAY! Sunshine and Jeremy found a webcast. So I will only liveblog the important bits from here on out. NEW RULE: Drink for bandana changes!
9:10 – I love Italy's enormous knife. Or smallish sword?
(Yes, I'm pausing.)
Netherlands has set Eliza Doolittle's cause back a hundred years with that costume.
This may be controversial, but wearing a crown as part of your national costume? Cheeky.
Is USA's costume embarrassing? But I kind of love it.
Venezuela looks like a bizarro world superhero.
Lots of weapons and paranormal romance-ish costumes this year.
Dance number! Whew, let's get to some finalists.
Brett Michaels is a host? I hate celebrity.
9:20 – How much do we have to drink if Brett Michaels is hit by a rocket? I will drink as much as it takes to make it happen.
Actual comment I just made to Christopher: "Don't objectify Miss Mexico."
Top fifteen a bit surprising — MISS USA shutout! And no Venezuela!
Christopher's top three are: France, Jamaica and Czech Republic.
Mine are: Puerto Rico, Russia, Albania.
9:25 – Yes, the co-host did just elbow Brett Michaels to alert him the break was over.
9:30 – OH MY GOD. Brett Michaels introduces guest judges. He is THE WORST.
They include: International entrepreneur with low-cut dress, a lesser Baldwin brother, Chynna Phillips (oh, sweetie), Evan Lysacek (YAY!), Jane Seymour, Criss Angel (oh dear), and SHEILA E.
This is someone's dream dinner party. Not sure who.
SOMEONE PLEASE PUNCH BRETT MICHAELS IN THE FACE NEXT TIME HE SAYS THE WORD HOT.
9:40 – Painful and boring: swimsuit competition. Let's get to evening already.
Oh dear. Ireland has the bad ANTM walk. And South Africa has caved in bits. The swimsuit competition makes me sad.
9:48 – This particular iteration of the swimsuit competition is like a childhood nightmare where my Barbies have come to life, and have been kidnapped by Elvis.
9:55 – Bring on the dresses! Which may not be impressive, since none of these countries (except perhaps Russia and Columbia?) could really have expected to get this far. But I'm hoping.
Next cut: I love the interests. Who doesn't like boat rides and nature?
Of my picks: Puerto Rico and Albania are left. Still. Craziest pageant finalists ever.
10 – Tacky montages. YAWN. Or at least, too lazy to type the snark. Comments section.
10:07 – Evening!
The one shoulder is big this year.
Australia… Too surfer casual with the hair?
10:30 – FINAL QUESTION APPROACHETH!
10:32 – But first, top five: Mexico, Australia (even though she didn't do her hair!), Jamaica (pets Sunshine–you're still in this!), Ukraine, and… Philippines. So, all my girls are toast. I'm going with Australia, I guess, since this is the night of crazycakes.
10:35 – Q: What effect is unsupervised internet use having on today's youth?
Why does a figure skater care about this?
The translator seems drunk.
Australia: Swimsuits are freedom! (Okay, so this actually makes sense — see Sunshine's comment below at 21:50.)
Jamaica's dress is gorgeous. She got the death penalty question. Believes that only aliens can be justified in taking lives, not humans, which is fitting for Miss Universe.
Ukraine — out on a limb, is for saving the lives of people.
William Baldwin asks idiot question to Philippines about mistake in her life (don't bring your own baggage to the pageant!). Response: Her family is better than yours. She doesn't have the problems you have.
(Can I just say I really miss "what kind of household appliance would you be and why?" ACTUAL question at county fair beauty pageant back home.)
10:55 – The man with the shellacked hair has brought the results…
Australia, second runner up…
Mexico and Jamaica grip hands and wish sudden death on the victor. Or maybe they really are this nice. The winner is: Mexico!
Mr. Cavin wins this year. Bravo, sir. (And Sunshine gets the glory too, because she stayed up into the tiny dark hours to watch.)
Until next year's pageant, fiends and fiendettes.