Beauty pageants have been big business for over 60 years now, and one of the industry’s “Big Four” will be on display this Sunday when Miss Universe 2017 is crowned at Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. A record 92 women are competing in this year’s contest; at press time, Miss Thailand is the +400 favorite to win, just ahead of Miss South Africa (+450) and Miss Colombia (+500).
As history has shown, anything can happen at Miss Universe, and the field is favored over any one participant on the odds list at +300. Miss United States (+1200) has won this contest a record eight times, followed by Miss Venezuela (+1000). The pageant has changed formats multiple times over the years; a panel of six judges will decide who wins Miss Universe 2017.
Miss Thailand in this case is Maria Lynn Ehren, a 25-year-old Swedish-Thai model and singer who stands six feet tall and earned her master’s degree in international business commerce at Stockholm University. Ehren has advocated for gender equality and care for the homeless; her presentation on Sunday is expected to feature traditional Thai dance and Hun Kra Bok puppetry.