Pageant judges have crowned a new winner of Zimbabwe's 4th annual "Mister Ugly" contest, upsetting supporters of the crowd favorite and prompting rioting at the event.
Judges on Saturday chose 42-year-old Mison 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 that 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.
... They should just accept that I am uglier than them," [Sere] said. "I hope to get a TV contract. I already moved around schools performing and showcasing my ugliness so this is a chance to make it on TV."
The complaints of Masvinu and the other contestants may have a degree of validity. Organizers had previously announced that disabilities or enhancements would not be accepted in the competition which should focus on "natural ugliness."
This year's competition drew a record 36 candidates. The contestants participated in three rounds of modeling, with individual and group struts down a nightclub catwalk.
"Sere made tremendous effort to enhance his ugliness by pulling facial stunts," said judge Abigail Mataranyika. "Masvinu thought he is so ugly that he didn't need to try hard. That cost him the crown."