Cup of the Americas/Copa de las Americas 2007
U.S. Prevents Border Takeover!
The "anti-Bonniephiles" thought they finally had done it. After five years, they had found a woman with Super-Hair incredible enough to defeat the invincible Bonnie Bernstein head-to-head. But the final round of the 2007 Cup of the Americas proved Bernstein's carefully-prepared hair is still too tough for one person to conquer. She led the United States to its second Cup triumph in a row!
Most Hair Fans figured the 12-nation tournament would come down to Bernstein and Mexican actress Jacki Bracamontes. The Mexican entered the Championship Final with a higher winning percentage of more than 200 points. So we expected a matchup of epic proportions -- and on opening day Bracamontes seized a 60-percent lead. But Bernstein battled back as athletically and tough as ever, taking the lead on day two and never surrendering it. The U.S. entry prevailed with 64 percent of the vote.
"It's close, but Bonnie's hair looks fuller and better," wrote one U.S. backer. But another voter argued if Bernstein's "product" was removed, "Jacki wins by a landslide." "Jacki has better color, shine, silkiness, waves, and style!" still another declared. And several people made the now-familiar complaint that Bernstein was getting votes more for being a favorite personality, than for her hair.
The Consolation Final understandably may have been overlooked by some voters. A matchup of former Miss Universes turned into a rout for Puerto Rico's Zuleyka Rivera, who won 94 percent of the votes over Amelia Vega of the Dominican Republic. Because the U.S. has an automatic bid to Super-Hair World Cup III as defending champion, both the third and fourth-place countries will qualify as a result of this tournament.
After open nominations, we drew for groups live in our chat room 10 April. Then came six weeks of group play with contenders from 12 nations. Here's how it turned out, with the top styles from the top four advancing to the playoffs:
RED GROUP/GRUPO ROJO
PUERTO RICO - ZULEYKA RIVERA.
Miss Universe 2006 had to hand over her crown in the final week, but she continued a national tradition by dominating her group from start to finish.
Puerto Rico 12 points, Colombia (Elizabeth Loiaza) 4, Brazil (Gisele Bundchen) 2, Argentina (Noelia Furno) 0.
BLUE GROUP/GRUPO AZUL
MEXICO - JACKI BRACAMONTES.
A newcomer from the world of "telenovelas" put some Hair Fans' jaws in their laps. She even left a World Cup II semifinalist mussed beyond measure.
Mexico 13 points, Canada (Avril Lavigne) 5, Bolivia (Ana Maria Ortiz Rodal) 5, Peru (Mary Gamarra) 0.
GREEN GROUP/GRUPO VERDE
UNITED STATES - BONNIE BERNSTEIN.
The ESPN sports reporter didn't let health problems with her legs stop her -- beating Alexandra Steele in national qualifying, then rolling through her group (but surprisingly dropping a point along the way).
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - AMELIA VEGA.
A Miss Universe-turned-actress took the "wild card" playoff spot, thanks to a strong win over Antigua and Barbuda.
United States 14 points, Dominican Republic 6, Cuba (Teresa Rodriguez) 5, Antigua and Barbuda (Sharon Tazewell) 0.
For a complete match schedule, scores and standings, click here.
OVERALL NATIONAL SUPER-HAIR RANKINGS, AFTER CUP OF THE AMERICAS:
1. United States 2. Russia 3. Australia 4. Japan 5. Mexico
6. India 7. South Africa 8. Puerto Rico 9. Albania 10. Dominican Republic
11. Canada 12. Bolivia 13. Wales 14. Cuba 15. England
Review the 2003 Cup of the Americas
PHOTO CREDITS: Rivera courtesy Miss Universe ; Vega courtesy IMDB ; Bernstein courtesy Prevent DVT
Some flags courtesy ITA's Flags of All Countries; used with permission
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