Annie Barrett
August 23, 2010 AT 08:15 PM EDT

Image Credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty ImagesI used to watch pageants all the time — we’d time our junior high sleepovers around them and just rip on the contestants all night even though we were the ones wearing overall-shorts. It doesn’t count if you’re a Mean Girl to the TV. Keep telling yourself that!

But now I’m older, “wiser,” and have better things to do with my Monday night, like watch Dating in the Dark. I need a push, PopWatchers! Let’s convince each other to just nut up and watch Miss Universe tonight (NBC, 9 p.m. ET). I’ll start.

–Bikinis! I just don’t feel quite fat enough today. I’d love to feel fatter!

–Bret Michaels is hosting with Natalie Morales. Bret Michaels!

–Potential for Hidden Gems (literal/facial/metaphorical) = damn near staggering.

–Speaking of staggering, someone might fall! It happens. It happened to Miss U.S.A. in ’07! This year, I’d like to nominate Miss Canada. Everything is Canada’s fault.

–I have extra takeout from Sunday and big plans to “cook” extra-garlicky bread.

–You gotta dream bigger, Barrett! This is why you’re not Miss Anything.

–Could be a culturally enlightening experience, not in that I might learn about other cultures but in that I’ve watched nearly every episode of Toddlers & Tiaras and seeing dead-in-the-eyes pageantface on a female above the age of 12 just might blow my mind.

Early predictions? (Slezak says El Salvador has it in the bag.) Will you watch with me? Are you watching me right now? Weirdo.

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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