Alexandria Mills, the American teenager who was named the winner of the 60th Miss World pageant amidst intense controversy in 2010, will crown her successor in London this week.
According to the UK's Daily Mail, 23-year-old Norwegian university graduate Mariann Birkedal was the heavily tipped odds on favourite to win the contest last year, but failed to even make the Top 5, with Mills instead taking the glory. Insiders speculated the judges bowed to pressure from Beijing, who were involved in a bitter international dispute with Norway at the time. China was furious after the Nobel Peace Prize committee, based in Oslo, awarded the coveted prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Birkedal had been the shortest priced contestant in Miss World history, with some bookmakers offering odds of 6/5 - Miss Usa was available at an outside price of 7/1. This year's contest is due to take place on Sunday (6th November 2011) at London's Earls Court, with Mills crowning her successor. Miss Venezuela, Irene Esser, is the big favourite to triumph at the ceremony, although Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Sweden are also favoured.
Alyssa Campanella, Alexandria Mills' successor as Miss Usa, is priced at around 12/1.