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I love comedy episodes, and this is probably one of my real favourites. Just reading the synopsis in a magazine made me laugh; Salmoneus running a Miss Known World beauty pageant! Seeing the brilliant Robert Trebor again is great. Salmoneus is a wonderful character, and lifts just about every Hercules or Xena episode he is in. Remember his theme song for Xena in The Gauntlet? Here he sings a couple of times - surely they have to get him and Lucy Lawless to duet sometime. His comic timing is impeccable, as always, as he MCs the pageant and has to deal with the largely brainless and talentless contestants. Lucy Lawless is a former Mrs New Zealand herself and certainly seems to have fun sending it up, effecting a convincing brainless bimbo act. She dons a blonde wig here that is quite fetching on her. Also enjoying herself, Renee O`Connor finally gets to do an accent too - some sort of European I think. Look out for Miss Artifyce; the very funny no-talent show; Xena`s impromtu dress redesigning; the contestants attempts at a choreographed number and a very `The Graduate` scene with Lucy Lawless` legs doing a Mrs Robinson. About the only bit that doesn`t ring true is when Xena and Gabrielle are getting desperate trying to think of what Xena can do in the talent show - after all, she has many skills - but I think that is yet another of the little comic touches in the episode. This is also another episode that shows the series is prepared to go beyond stereotypes. The transvestite drag queen Karen Dior/Geoff Gann is inspired casting, and once again it is refreshing to see that the producers of beauty is not limited to white, blonde girls.
A good giggle.
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