The Super-Hair EuroCup 2004

France Doesn't Surrender!

It may be the most brilliant of bobs; the most indestructible of helmets. French singer Mireille Mathieu has displayed a crisp, short style for decades - one which can act skin-tight when trimmed, or soft and eternally bouncy with only about an extra inch of length. Mathieu's unbeatable 'do outlasted 15 other contenders, to win our first Super-Hair EuroCup!

One voter called Mathieu's final-round showdown with Albanian beauty queen Danisa Kola "the toughest choice of all" - yet the French star kept building a lead, and finished with a 71-percent majority. Several writers expressed a desire "to play with that bob" -- and we can't help but agree.

The Consolation Final was claimed by the long hair of Ireland's Mary Duff -- who survived a late rally by Wales's Gwenan Edwards for a 60-percent win. That means a World Cup spot for Ireland in 2006, while the Welsh must wait awhile.

The EuroCup began in March and April with open nominations, followed by an online announcement of contenders and draw for groups. After six weeks of pool play among 16 nations, four group winners advanced to the semifinals:


ALBANIA - Danisa Kola. The country's 2003 Miss Universe contestant won the toughest fight of all in the opening match, then took off from there. Only one more vote for Russia's entry would have won her the group, via a tiebreaker.

Kola 12 points, Russia (Maria Sharapova) 10, Hungary (Julia Sebestyen) 4, Netherlands (Janke de Haan) 0.


FRANCE - Mireille Mathieu. Voters chose a timeless look here -- a singer whose experience and bouncy beauty with a bob goes back decades. Her breakthrough came with a win over a popular U.S. TV news anchor.

Mathieu 12 points, Spain (Marian de la Fuente) 7, Belgium (Justine Henin-Hardenne) 3, England (Rosemarie Ford) 0.


IRELAND - Mary Duff. The ballad singer needed a record 15 days to win a national qualifying showdown, but then her long locks dominated what we considered the toughest group.

Duff 15 points, Turkey (Tansu Ciller) 10, Italy (Monica Bellucci) 4, Sweden (Petra Nordlund) 0.


WALES - Gwenan Edwards. In what we call a major surprise, the BBC travel host first qualified over Catherine Zeta-Jones -- then conquered a field which included two supermodels.

Edwards 13 points, Bulgaria (Albena Denkova) 7, Czech Republic (Paulina Porizkova) 5, Germany (Heidi Klum) 0.

Check full results and final standings by clicking here.

The Super-Hair EuroCup was open to natives of the "European zone," as defined by FIFA. This includes the British isles, the continent of Europe extending east to Russia and several former Soviet republics, as well as Israel. Each country was represented by only one woman in the tournament.

To comment on the EuroCup, write: .

Flags courtesy ITA's Flags of All Countries; used with permission

OTHER SUPER-HAIR CUPS: World Cup 2002 Cup of the Americas 2003

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