Australia's Jesinta Campbell claims that one of her Miss Universe competitors "booby-trapped an outfit by sticking pins in delicate places." To add insult to injury, it was her "National Dress" costume!
Says Campbell, who was second runner-up in the pageant, to the Herald Sun,
I put it on just before I was due to go out on parade but I felt these sharp pains when something stuck into my back...I took the top off and found all these pins had been stuck into it. I didn't have any injuries or marks, but I didn't have much time to take them out and get it back on because I had to be out there.
While Campbell, now working as an entertainment reporter, said that "you have to laugh at these things" and "wasn't pointing fingers", she was totally pointing fingers.
She did admit the contestants from Mexico, Central and South American countries plus the Philippines were extremely competitive."Winning is so important for those girls because they become queens in their country and are worshipped if they win - and it changes everything forever for them," she said."But there were 82 other girls there and I can't narrow it down, so it's a mystery to me."But I know who didn't do it - my best friends were the girls from Ireland, Belgium, Great Britain and Guam and I know they wouldn't have done that to me."
Some — okay, a news.co.au commenter named "BitchyButch" — were skeptical. "Truth is incidents like that are reported to the organization....which she didn't.....which means she's just making up stories to grab media attention and future commercial endorsements," observed this anonymous person with great authority.
More to the point is the fact that this was one outfit that, to put it tactfully, didn't really need any more sabotaging. It must be said that the getup in question was, as the Herald Sun gently puts it, "widely derided." One of the more adventurous national costumes seen in Vegas that day, Campbell's "outback-inspired" ensemble consisted of "high-heeled ugg-boots, an aboriginal-art styled one piece swim suit and rainbow flamenco dress." And let's not forget the Mad Max-esque sheepskin bolero shrug!
But it's no secret that pageants can indeed be rife with betrayal. In 2007, a contestant in the Miss Puerto Rico Universe pageant had her clothes and makeup doused with pepper spray. And the question becomes, did this affect Campbell's performance? In footage of the event, she soldiers on with admirable grit. And really, considering the getup, she was already brazening out a lot - which we're guessing had already earned her a spot in the top 3.
Jesinta Campbell Claims Sabotage [BigPondNews]
Backstabbing At Pageant All Too Real, Says Jesinta Campbell [PerthNow]
Beauty Pageant Turns Ugly [Newser]
Miss Universe Pageant A World Of Bitchiness, Jesinta Campbell Reveals [News.com.au]