For the first time this year, the annual Miss. Universe contest is being held outside?
SV Contestants leave pavilion and towards beach
SV Contestants down steps
SV Misses Austria, Australia & Belgium
SV PAN Photographers TO Miss Australia posing (2 shots)
SCU Miss Congo with child on beach
SV Competitors posing
SV Contestants parading along jetty led by Miss Korea being filmed by cameramen (3 shots)
SCU Competitors posing
CU ZOOM OUT Miss Israel & others seated (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT Misses Canada, USA & Panama posing
SV People look on & CU Cameraman (2 shots)
GV Contestants lined up waving
Initials SGM/1242 SGM/AE/15.37
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: For the first time this year, the annual Miss. Universe contest is being held outside the United States. Athens, home of classical beauty, is the venue -- and this week 64 beauties from an equivalent number of countries have started 10 days of rehearsals for the competition.
On Wednesday (July 11th), the contestants displayed their charms at a beach outside Athens during a press preview. Greek newspapers have already singled out their favourites to take the 1973 title -- among them Miss. Australia, Miss. Israel, Miss. Denmark, Miss. Colombia and Miss. Philippines.
SYNOPSIS: Greece, the home of classical beauty, is currently host to some of the world's top contemporary beauties. For the first time in the history of the Miss. Universe contest, the event is being held outside the United States. Sixty-four twentieth-century Aphrodites from the equivalent number of countries arrived in Athens this week to start ten-days of rehearsals. On Wednesday they showed off their charms at a beach near Athens.
Miss. Australia has already won a following among local journalists covering the contest. They tip ??? as one of the favourites to win the title.
The African challenge is represented by Miss. Congo.
Past Miss. Universe contests have always been staged against the ultramodern backdrop of Miami, Florida. But this year the organisers have persuaded the Greek authorities to make full use of the ancient heritage of Athens. The final judging will be in the immense Herodes Atticus theatre on the Acropolis -- a building dating back to the second century. It's a hallowed spot in Athens, and there have been reports that the Miss. Universe contestants will have to sacrifice their traditional bathing suits for ancient Greek-style draped costumes.
Another entrant tipped as a possible winner next week is Miss. Israel.
But she faces strong competition from this trio of American entries: Miss. USA, Miss. Canada and Miss. Panama.
Local followers of form have the rest of the week to speculate on the likely winner before the judging on July the twenty-first.