Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shoulda Been Miss Universe: 1982 (Odette Scrooby)


As with most pageant fans, yours truly has witnessed some victories in the Miss Universe pageant that have truly beggared belief. Not just a case of, "Oh, that was an interesting choice", but rather, "WTF just happened?!" In some instances a mind-boggling victory has been the result of a lack of a clear and/or deserving winner, in which case it's just luck of the draw and who the celebrity panel of judges favours on the night. In others, there is indeed a contestant who should've taken the crown but has been denied by some inexplicable reason, at least to this observer.

So, in an effort to make the pageant world right, and to possibly stir up some controversy and heated debate along the way, here's a look at my series of "Shoulda Been Miss Universe" contestants from the past 30 years. Comments most welcome, so long as they're polite - I'm more than happy to read people disagreeing with me, so long as it's in good spirits :)

There are 14 entries coming up, starting with 1982:

The infamous swimsuit score that kept SA out of the Top 5

1982 - South Africa (Odette Scrooby)
In possibly the biggest injustice in Miss Universe history, an apparent computer glitch prevented Miss South Africa from reaching the Top 5 and likely cruising to the 1982 crown in Lima. Scrooby, a stunning blonde who lived on a farm outside of Johannesburg, qualified for the Top 12 semifinals in first place, a full 0.285 points ahead of second-placed Miss USA, Terri Utley.

On finals night Scrooby finished second in interview and first in evening gown, but a mysteriously low 10th place in swimsuit (7.225) put her in sixth place overall, just 0.009 points behind Utley, who snared the final spot in the Top 5. Even more mind-boggling is the fact that Scrooby finished first in the preliminary swimsuit competition, a full 0.809 points ahead of eventual winner, Miss Canada, Karen Baldwin.

Baldwin can indeed count herself lucky as she became her country's first Miss Universe in Scrooby's absence. In turn, we can be considered unlucky for subsequently being subjected to her wretched turn as interviewer during the disastrous 1989 pageant in Cancun.

In the lead-up to its Miss Universe shutout over its apartheid policy, South Africa was somewhat unlucky in the early 1980s, with their strong 1983 delegate Leanne Hosking missing out on the semifinals and the well-spoken Leticia Snyman finishing first runner-up in 1984 to a beautiful, if rather dull, Miss Sweden, Yvonne Ryding.

11 comments:

  1. The real Miss Universe 1982, Odette Scrooby from South Africa... What a beauty!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally agree! One can only wonder how different her life would've been had she won the title...

    ReplyDelete
  3. it still astounds me that Odette did not make the final 5. I do not believe it was a computer glitch as the auditors would have caught it, I beleive there was a judge on the panel that had it in for South Africa over apartheid.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think maybe one of the judge might have keyed in 1.XXX instead of 8.XXX

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think it was a keying error by the one of judges as well. Judges make mistakes all the time. In subsequent years' Miss Universe pagents finals, many judges did not enter their scores fast enough that it ended up no scores were given the contestants. Also in 1990, Miss Norway got a 6.00 (??!) from one of the judges in her evening gown competition. Had that score been counted, she might have failed to make it to the top 3.

    ReplyDelete
  6. No fue un error de un juez, recuerden que el puntaje mas alto y el mas bajo de cada juez se elimina, y se promedia el resto, es fácil que la propia organización haya manipulado las cifras, Sudáfrica merecía ganar de lejos, como lo fue por ejemplo Venezuela en 1981

    ReplyDelete
  7. That was an injustice. I saw the finalist and certainly Odette and Sari Karina Aspholm were far better than Karen Balwin, Miss Brazil and Guam.

    To me Odette was indeed the real Miss Universe of this year. Here natural beauty is far behind others....

    ReplyDelete
  8. There was also a scoring glitch in the 1982 Miss USA Pageant (same year as the 1982 Miss Universe scoring glitch here). Miss Virginia, should have been 5th instead of 6th going into the Top 5 according to the posted scores.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree, South Africa or Italy should have won, I cant comprehend how Guam got first runner up and Canada was a bad choice

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm literally stunned at some of these really nasty comments, along with the review. While there is no doubt that Miss South Africa should have made the top 5, to say that Miss Canada also didn't deserve to be there and was still a very respectable choice as Miss Universe is just not right. Karen Baldwin was a beautiful girl, and not every single Miss Universe who is ahead in the preliminaries goes on to win Miss Universe. If that were the case, there would be no need for a final pageant night to be held.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree...Karen Baldwin was a wonderful choice for Miss Universe. I'm not saying that Miss South Africa shouldn't have made it to the top five because she most certainly deserved it. It was Miss Italy who did not deserve to place because she had a nasty attitude, according to Pageant Historians who have related that after she lost she pitched a big fit. Talk about being a sore loser. Miss Canada was certainly no slouch as Miss Universe.

    ReplyDelete