In an effort to let viewers get to know the 89 Miss Universe 2011 contestants a bit better, they each shot a web interview that was then posted online. Each clip consists of the same three questions: Do you believe in life on other planets? What advantage do women have over men? If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
The first question appeared to confuse several of the young women, although the ones who weren’t gave some hilarious answers. (Hey, Miss Canada, you don’t even have difficulties with English to fall back on for that “plantation” answer.) The second established that childbirth and the fairer sex’s ability to multitask are unparalleled. But it was the third that the contestants really seemed to get into.
Korea (oyster) and Thailand (plankton) get points for originality, while the Bahamas (phoenix), Mexico (unicorn) and the US Virgin Islands (mermaid) didn’t let themselves be limited to real animals.
“You didn’t say it couldn’t be a fictional sea creature,” US Virgin Islands’ Alexandrya Evans says.
Dolphins and birds were also popular choices (especially penguins seeing as how they mate for life), but nearly half said that they wanted to be some kind of cat, lions and tigers more specifically.
“If I was an animal, I would be a lion,” says Egypt’s Sara El Khouly. “For two reasons. Because of Simba in ‘Lion King.’ He was the cutest lion ever. And then because I would eat all the animals in the jungle and no one would eat me so I don’t have to be scared of being eaten by other animals.”
Really, though, it might have been so they show off their wildcat impressions since last we checked that’s not one of the Miss Universe events.
One thing learned from watching all the videos: The folklore about cats having nine lives is not a worldwide thing. Some have to settle for six or seven.
The Miss Universe 2011 pageant airs at 9 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 12 on NBC.