Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oh, Is Donald Trump's Miss Universe Pageant Rigged?

A statement from The Miss Universe Organization supports Trump's response and suggests another reason for Monnin's withdrawal:

In an email to state pageant organizers, [Monnin] cited the Miss Universe Organization's policy regarding transgendered contestants, implemented two months ago, as the reason for her resignation. Today she has changed her story by publicly making false accusations claiming that the pageant was fixed, however the contestant she privately sourced as her reference has vehemently refuted her most recent claim."

The statement refers to Jenna Talackova, a transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant who was initially disqualified because she was born a male. Talackova was reinstated in the competition shortly after when Trump overruled the disqualification.

Regardless of Monnin's motivations, The Donald is threatening legal action. "We're going to be suing her now. She made a very false charge and she knows it's a false charge."

If you've ever braved watching more than five minutes of Toddlers and Tiaras, then you know the pageant world is full of drama. Today, though, it's the adults who are at the center of controversy. Sheena Monnin, the Miss Pennsylvania representative in the Miss Universe USA pageant, has resigned her title on grounds that the entire Miss Universe competition is fixed.

In a Facebook post, Monnin reveals that another contestant learned the names of the top five finishers hours before the live show was broadcast last Sunday evening. According to Monnin's claims, the other contestant spotted the names of the top five on a planning sheet entitled "Final Show Telecast, June 3, 2012." When those same five names were announced during the broadcast, Monnin decided the pageant was rigged and stepped down as Miss Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump, who heads the Miss Universe Organization, went on Good Morning, America to refute Monnin's claims, calling them "totally ridiculous" and implying that her motivation was a vindictive grab for attention. "I think the primary issue is that she lost, and she's angry about losing," Trump said.

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