'Mister Ugly' Gets Really Ugly Amid Shoving, Alleged Cheating

The darnedest things can stoke controversy, like a contest to be the ugliest
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2015 8:40 AM CST
'Mister Ugly' Gets Really Ugly Amid Shoving, Alleged Cheating
Milton Sere smiles after winning the 2015 edition of the Mr Ugly competition, in Harare, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015.   (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Pageant judges have crowned a new winner of Zimbabwe's 4th annual "Mister Ugly" contest, upsetting supporters of the crowd favorite and prompting rioting. Judges on Saturday chose 42-year-old Milton Sere, citing his numerous missing front teeth and a wide range of grotesque facial expressions, over William Masvinu, who had held the title since 2012. Masvinu and his supporters mobbed the judges upon hearing their decision, claiming Sere was "too handsome" to win and his ugliness wasn't natural since it was based on missing teeth. "I am naturally ugly. He is not. He is ugly only when he opens his mouth," maintained Masvinu, gesturing at his rival. "Do we have to lose our teeth to win? This is cheating," shouted another contestant, Patrick Mupereki.

While no one was injured, there was a great deal of pushing and shoving as the results were announced and insults were hurled at the judges. Sere dismissed critics as "sore losers" as he pocketed $500 in winnings. "They should just accept that I am uglier than them," he said, adding that he makes his living showcasing his ugliness to local schoolchildren. The complaints of Masvinu and the other contestants may have a degree of validity. Organizers had previously said the competition would focus on "natural ugliness." "Sere made tremendous effort to enhance his ugliness by pulling facial stunts," said one judge. "Masvinu thought he is so ugly that he didn't need to try hard. That cost him the crown." Pageant organizer David Machowa said he began the contest to remove the stigma of ugliness. "Looks are God given. We should all be proud of who we are." (More strange stuff stories.)

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