Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Last night I stayed up late just to watch the end of the “Miss Italia” competition. Of course it was very interesting (not just because of all the women- it’s a cultural thing). The system is very different from the USA. The most important difference is that all the voting is done by “televote”. People call in at 0.60 cents per call. Now this may not seem that radical but there are many rounds of voting. The contest is 2 nights and they start with 101 contestants. Keep in mind there are 20 regions of Italy so even with 2 from every region that should be only 40 to start with. I’m not sure how they came up with 101. I didn’t see the first night but I think it was 2 large groups and they whittled it down to about 50 in several rounds of voting and interviews. I turned it on at 10:30 of the second night and they still had 30 contestants. There was no specific swimsuit or evening gown or talent competition. As they wore all of those outfits in just the 2 hours I saw. While the public is voting by telephone there would be dance numbers or interviews. So the women were interviewed many times and I think it was a test on how they could take the pressure. The most interesting round to me was when they went from 10 to 5. They would pick one woman at random and she would pick one other girl in the 10 to go head to head with. That meant the public had to choose between her and the other to be in the next round. I found it interesting to see who picked whom to go against. One definitely chose poorly, I think if she would have picked anyone else she could have moved on. They went down to 3 with no special challenge. When they were at 3 I thought “ok, this it” but then they went down to 2 and had another round of voting (remember all these rounds are $0.60 a vote). So the final round of voting was between two, Edelfa Maria from Piemonte and Anna Manafro from Sicily. I thought the Sicilian girl had in the bag. She definitely had the classic Italian looks. The other woman was not that different but I thought Italians would vote for the one with more Italian looks. I was wrong (or maybe the people in the North just voted more – a common complaint). In the end Edelfa won. On a side note, last year’s winner was there and she was blonde but this year there wasn’t a blond in the top 30 from what I remember. Interesting, there’s always a blonde in the Miss USA top 10.