Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rachel Smith is no Tara Conner

For a week last December, then-Miss USA Tara Conner shocked and entertained America with tales of her not-so innocent big city adventures. Pageant owner Donald Trump generously allowed the disgraced beauty queen from Kentucky a second chance, providing she pay for her wicked ways by crying on TV, waxing poetic about The Donald's greatness, and spending time in some sort of rehabilitation facility.

In the end, everybody won. Especially the Miss USA Pageant, which hadn't received this much attention since that time it was discovered one of its winners had previously done work as a nude model.

Unfortunately Miss USA only reigns for a year, and two months ago Tara relinquished her crown to Rachel Smith, a statuesque beauty from Tennessee.

Sadly, Smith has eased into her crown by wallowing in anonymity and producing absolutely no buzz. The new Miss USA was given her big chance to break out yesterday at the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico and failed miserably. Or should I say felled miserably, as Smith tripped and went down in a heap during her walk across the stage.

She actually recovered quite nicely, and even had the good sense to draw, in the question-from-a-judge portion of the contest, Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo -- who has had his own problems blowing extraordinary rudimentary and well-practiced tasks in important moments.

Still that wasn't enough for the Mexican crowd, who booed Smith lustily throughout. Many believe her rough treatment is a reflection of the current state of Mexican/American affairs. Others could speculate it had something to do with long-lingering bitterness from a war the United States was memorializing on the same day.

Personally I think the Mexicans felt cheated and insulted. Mexico is a perfectly good place to be photographed puking in a trash can or found in bed with a judge. And, after Tara Conner, why would Mexican pageant fans expect anything less from an American beauty queen?

Smith should have at least thrown the crowd a bone by gracefully playing her fall into a R-rated wardrobe malfunction.

Rachel Smith is no diplomat. And she is certainly no Tara Conner.

There may have been an idle threat in there somewhere, but the panel was off for the holiday and I'm not allowed to pick them myself. Union rules. Idle Threat of the Week will return next Monday.

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