Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mister Switzerland/Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera is Crowned

If you've lived in Switzerland long enough, you've no doubt heard of the beauty pageants Mister Switzerland and Miss Switzerland. They are really popular events here. Mr. Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera just concluded this weekend, and involved running commentary in the papers weeks before the actual jury on everything from how much chest hair is reasonable to if a sense of humor is important in the winner.

It's pretty amazing, actually, how hyped it all is, but then again, you can only read so much about Paris Hilton before going overboard, and these pageants appear to be developed to channel some of the attention away from Brangelina and Lindsay Lohan and onto a few good farm boys from Aargau.

This year, I even got wrapped up in the Mister Switzerland thing. It was stupid, I know, but when you're stuck on a train with people coughing in your face, sometimes the freebie paper, "20 Minuten", is your only defense so you read it out of protecting yourself from infection more than anything.

But then, in the middle of blocking yet another Swiss sneeze, it happens. You start following Switzerland's attempt at celebrity making.

I watched the whole Mister Switzerland pageant myself on Saturday night. I was amazed by a few things:
1. The event was actually run in Italian since usually the Swiss seem to ignore that part of the country.
2. Christa Rigozzi, hostess and former Miss Switzerland, spoke Italian and German together like they were one language.
3. The entire audience sang "Happy Birthday" to Christa in English (it was her 26th, in case you cared).

But mostly, I was disappointed by the whole event because the entire broadcast was more like one big informercial for Turkey than a beauty pageant. All we saw in between the guys posing in various suits were clips of them on vacation in Turkey. There was no live talent show. There was no bathing suit competition. Just clips and clips of the guys in Turkey. It got old. There was no drama, unless you count pre-filmed footage of a Swiss farm boy falling off water skis off the Turkish coast drama.

Anyhow, the winner of the whole letdown event was Andre Reithebuch, maybe because he didn't fall off his water skis while in Turkey. Either way, I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of him in the year ahead. Like it or not.


JuanitaTortilla said...

Oh, this is so funny! I have NEVER heard of these pageants! But then again, when was the last time I picked up a Swiss newspaper? Never.

Chantal said...

Well, it takes awhile to really start noticing the finer parts of Swiss culture. It took me almost three years to watch my first Mister Switzerland. You'll get there too if you stay here long enough :)

Anonymous said...

Mister Switzerland ?! That is news to me too. And what a wacky sounding pageant that was. A new cultural education every day here, nein? JA ! :)

Chantal said...

Ja, wirklich. Ich lerne jeden Tag ein bisschen!

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