Miss Universe Odds Make First Transgender Contestant A Favorite

Kim MacCormack

Monday, November 26, 2018 11:33 AM UTC

Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 11:33 AM UTC

Barring a late entry from Mars or Tatooine, someone from Earth -- perhaps a crazy pretty Asian -- will be crowned Miss Universe on Dec. 16. Bet confidently with SBRpicks.com

Miss UniverseDec. 16, 7 p.m. ET (Fox)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

In a first for the Miss Universe pageant, a transgender contestant will compete to wear the crown.

In June, Angela Ponce was named Miss Universe Spain, and in Thailand, she’ll compete against more than 90 contestants for the other-worldly beauty honor. The current Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa, will crown the new Miss Universe during the contest that will air at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 on Fox.

Early odds had Ponce as a longshot to win the crown but with the contest in less than two weeks, the race has tightened on some sportsbooks with another not even putting Ponce on the list.

Odds for Ponce to win are +600 on MyBookie, +800 on BetOnline, +5000 on Bovada and not-on-the-list at Pinnacle. The favorites on those same sites respectively are Brazil at +850, Miss Philippines at +700, Miss Philippines at +500 and Miss Philippines, again, at +397. Are you sensing a trend?

Early favorite, Miss Colombia (+2000), seems to have lost some ground. Moving up on all books is Miss USA, Miss Thailand and Miss Puerto Rico.

And while winning is the goal, Ponce says she’ll be just as happy to stand as a role model for trans children around the world.

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Inspirational & Confidently Beautiful... @demileighnp#missuniverse #missuniverso #roadtomissuniverse pic.twitter.com/gndcBGayji

— ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceof) December 3, 2018
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“If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me,” Ponce told The Associated Press.

Ponce’s participation in the Miss Universe contest has prompted its own prop bet. The bet is “Winner’s Gender (at birth)” with Male at +5000 odds.

Ponce, who said she has received messages of both support and criticism following her win in Spain, says transphobia is still an issue, despite strides made around the globe. One of her critics is the frontrunner, Miss Colombia, Valeria Morales.

“I believe that a beauty pageant like Miss Universe is for women who are born women,” Morales said during a TV gaggle a week after winning her country’s contest. “And I believe that for her it will also be a disadvantage, and so we’ll have to respect it but not agree with it.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the saying goes, and in this contest of beautiful women with subjective swimsuit/athletic wear and evening gown showcases, the beauty of their brain may tip the scale for judges. During the interview/question round, competitors will be asked about various social, cultural and political issues, and will be judged on how well-informed the response is and their ability to articulate themselves under pressure.

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We're loving that Japan's National Costume for #MissUniverse2018 is #SailorMoon! Also, check out the Miss Vietnam and Miss Malaysia costumes...! pic.twitter.com/9t2vQzYXwB

— fancydress∙com (@fancydresscom) November 21, 2018
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Unfortunately, our favorite portion of the contest, when the women wear costumes representing their country, doesn’t play a direct role in judging – but it can win the hearts and minds of the audience. Miss Japan is reportedly going to walk in wearing a kimono and will transform into iconic Japanese anime character Sailor Moon. Alas, rumors of Miss Poland wearing kielbasa are likely greatly exaggerated.

Bettors also can place wagers on:

  • Winner’s Country (by Region) – Americas/Caribbean +130, Asia Pacific/Africa +160 and Europe +180. Asia Pacific/Africa was represented with last year’s winner, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa. We are still looking east for this year's winner - Philippines, Vietnam or Thailand. (Bovada)
  • Will A Contestant Fall Down During the Competition? +500 Yes, -900 No (My Bookie)
  • Winner’s Height – Over or Under 175 cm (5-foot-7), both at -120. (Bovada)
  • Winner’s Age – Over or Under 23½, both at -120 (Bovada)
  • Will host Steve Harvey announce the wrong winner again? Yes has odds of +5000. Harvey famously bungled the announcement of the winner in 2015, naming Miss Colombia as the victor, when Miss Philippines was the actual winner. His mistake was corrected on stage quickly, but not quickly enough. They actually had to take the crown off Miss Colombia's head -- ouch! Harvey will forever be known for that gaff, but since then we bet there has been a staff in charge to ensure it doesn't happen again. (Bovada)

On Dec. 16, we’ll learn if Ponce’s trailblazing path leads her to victory. We are eager to see she will wear the crown or a polite smile at the end of the pageant.

We think Miss Spain should put some extra polish on her pageant face and make room for a crazy beautiful Asian, uh, Miss Philippines? But also consider Miss Vietnam or host country Thailand.

“We can’t be hypocritical,” Ponce told USA Today, calling her wins a success for all transgender people. “Beauty is used to sell everything around us, and beauty can also help us spread a message of equality.”

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