NEW YORK (CBS) Alexandra Mills was crowned Miss World over the weekend, making the 18-year-old the third American to take the title. But should the crown have gone to Norway instead?
Reports are speculating that Miss Norway Mariann Birkedal was cheated out of the title because of political tensions between her home country and China.
Britain's Daily Mail suggests that judges may have been pressured by Beijing to give Birkedal low scores. China is said to be furious that the Oslo-based Nobel Peace Prize committee awarded the honor to the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo last month.
According to the paper, insiders were shocked that the 23-year-old Norwegian beauty, who was favored to win before the competition started, didn't even make it to the top five.
Birkedal was reportedly cautious when asked about whether she was cheated out of the crown.
"I have been very careful with speculating about that myself," she said, according to the Daily Mail. "It is kind of stupid to start thinking that if this or that had not occurred I would perhaps have been Miss World 2010. I do believe everything happens out of a reason."