Here she is, folks…Miss Universe 2011, the breathtaking Leila Lopes of Angola.
I definitely have to say that I had expected a Latina to win – Puerto Rico was my personal favorite, and the pageant industry in Latin America is just that…they make Misses. Still, the Philippines!, USA, France, and Venezuela all represented well. Brazil? Meh. The buzz down here is surprisingly positive, though; people feel the judges (which included Connie Chung and Vivica A. Fox, both looking good!) were fair in their scoring.
Unfortunately, I was relegated to the press tent behind the auditorium (aka WiFi Central) and couldn’t see the goings-on live and in person, but it was fun chilling with journalists from around the globe (including the boisterous team from Colombia’s Caracol network). I did, however, get to line up along the red carpet and snap this photo of outgoing Miss U, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.
The coup of the night, though, was my one-question interview with Judge Fox as she glided into the auditorium. Obsoive:
(I swear, y’all…I wasn’t trying to cut off La Fox! Her media escort said I could only ask one question, was giving the ‘wrap it up’ and was tugging on her elbow. I got nuuuuurvus.)
On the whole, it was a good, good night.