Organisers of tonight's Miss Universe New Zealand final were deeply concerned this week when half the contestants were struck down with a stomach bug.
Five of the 10 finalists took ill on Thursday while doing promotional work for the pageant in Wellington.
"It was a bit worrying having so many of the contestants fall sick at the same time so close to the finale," said the event's director, Val Lott. "Fortunately they are a pretty tough bunch and it was a case of the show must go on."
The girls were in luck when judge, Wayne Morris, a doctor from Dunedin, arrived at the pageant base at the Museum Art Hotel and diagnosed a stomach virus. "Wayne ended up doing house calls, going around the girls' rooms and handing out prescriptions," Lott explained. "I played nurse and dispensed medication and fluids.
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"It was fortunate one of our judges is a doctor but I don't think he was expecting to be so busy. Thank goodness it turned out to be a 24-hour bug the girls had."
One of the judges, May Davis, was also confined to bed after she tripped on a pothole and sprained her ankle. Davis even conducted interviews with contestants from her hotel sick bed.
"May's left leg was raised up and we set up a row of seats in her room for the girls," Lott said. "It was the most unusual interview session I have seen in my six years at the pageant."
Tonight's finale is at Wellington's Amora Hotel. The final 10 from around New Zealand will battle for a place in the Miss Universe final in December.