From Alderaan to the Crab Nebula, if there is one thing that holds all God's species together it is our faith that the selection of Miss Universe is impartial and free of favoritism. Now that may be in doubt.
Information obtained by the Guanabee blog, in an exclusive interview with Michael Schwandt, choreographer of the last four pageants, tells that far from a purely scientific study of the looks, talents and poise of each contestant, one man's preferences may be guiding the outcome of the race.
According to Schwandt, the dark hand of Miss Universe owner Donald Trump is in fact at work,behind the curtains, secretly culling the field of pageant thoroughbreds. Apparently, the winnowing of the contest down to its 15 finalists happens not just in the meticulous parading and exhibiting skills viewers across the galaxies watch on TV, but in an Extra Special Private Judging Round in which contestants display themselves for Trump alone.
Explaining about Trump's hands-on presence during the rehearsal Schwandt says in the Guanabee interview:
Then he does do something that's a bit odd. At all the shows, he pops in the day before the telecast and we line up all the girls in alphabetical order behind microphones. And they say their name, age and country. Then we line them up in alphabetical order in one single file line across the stage. And he basically walks by and has an assistant that takes notes on all the girls. And it's just kind of common knowledge that he picks six of the top fifteen single-handedly. So, the other nine of the top fifteen are judged in a preliminary show the week before and picked by those judges, but he picks six of the top fifteen.
The Miss Universe rules however, fail to note the Extra Special Private Judging Round and its impact on the race. They state, in the website's FAQ section:
HOW ARE THE SEMI-FINALISTS CHOSEN? In 1997, a dual-paneled judging system was introduced. One panel judges the preliminary rounds; the other panel judges the live telecast. All contestants are judged in three areas of preliminary competition which are not always televised due to time constraints: 1. Interviews - Judges spend time with each delegate to learn about her successes, goals and ambitions. 2. Swimsuit Competition - Each delegate wears one of a variety of swimsuit styles provided by a sponsor. 3. Evening Gown Competition - Each delegate wears a gown she has chosen for herself. All scores are tallied in each of the three categories. The contestants with the highest aggregate scores are named the semi-finalists. The competition is narrowed twice more to produce the winner.
HOW ARE THE TITLEHOLDERS AND RUNNERS-UP SELECTED? Once the finalists are named, their scores are discarded, and they begin competing anew. In the final competition, the same three areas (Interview, Swimsuit and Evening Gown) are judged. The judges' scores in these categories are tallied and the winners are named live on the air.
Further, according to the Guanabee interview, Trump instituted the Extra Special Private Round after he had raised concerns that the official judges had failed to adequately reward prettiness. The interview reads:
Q: So, he's orchestrating at least a portion of the results? A: Right. And, his reason for doing so, as he told me and he's told the girls before, is that he left it all up to preliminary judging in the past and some of the most beautiful women, in his opinion, were not in the top fifteen and he was kind of upset about that. And he decided that he would pick a certain number and let the judges pick a certain number.
If there were one man fit to decide which of the Universe's beauties is fit to reign over us all, that man would no doubt be Donald Trump. However, without laws and regulations to govern even the most powerful of us, the Universe would be in chaos. Donald Trump, give this competition back to your people!