Miss Universe judge Perez Hilton may have slammed host Steve Harvey after the comedian botched announcing the winner during the pageant’s live telecast on Sunday, December 20, but after a little more time to reflect, he wants to give the Family Feud host another shot.
One thing he hasn’t changed his mind about, however? Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, who was incorrectly revealed as the winner before the crown was rightfully given to Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. The gossip blogger, 37, still insists that Gutierrez, 21, didn’t deserve to win, he tells Us Weekly’s Entertainment Director Ian Drew in an exclusive interview.
Read on for our one-on-one Q&A with Hilton to find out what he thinks of the whole situation — from how the judges voted to Harvey’s blunder and more:
Us Weekly: What went through your mind when the wrong winner’s name was announced?
Perez Hilton: My initial reaction was that it was rigged. I was like, ‘How is this possible?’ Because I knew how I voted and I knew that all the other judges voted for Miss Philippines to win. And then I started to really do the math and that was four. … So how is this possible? And then when Steve Harvey came out I thought, ‘Oh, my God, they totally did this on purpose.’ But the more I thought about it … it was truly just a mistake on Steve Harvey’s part.
Us: Although Miss Colombia must be pissed …
PH: She didn’t win and she didn’t deserve to win. We didn’t vote for her and one of the reasons why I didn’t was because she didn’t answer the questions as well and also, to me, she gave off this arrogant vibe. Yes, you need to be confident and own it. … But Colombia did it almost too much. Even now in defeat and the wake of everything happened, on her social media, Miss Colombia has not been handling it well. She’s putting these Instagram posts up about how she’s the real winner, but she’s not! We didn’t vote for her! She didn’t win! … What she is doing on Instagram is indicative of who she is as a person.
Us: Were the other judges (Olivia Culpo, Emmitt Smith and Niecy Nash) totally shocked when Colombia was crowned?
PH: Everybody was. We were like, ‘What is going on? This is crazy.’
Us: What did you think of Steve Harvey’s mess-up?
PH: At first, honestly, I didn’t think it was his fault. Just because the way he came out, he didn’t say, ‘It was my fault, I read it wrong.’ He said, ‘I will take responsibility for this’ or something like that. So to me, I was inferring in the moment that it was somehow the pageant’s fault. But in the subsequent days, it seems to be his fault.
Us: How did Steve know he made the mistake? Did the producers tell him?
PH: I don’t know that bit, but he disappeared, so I’m assuming that’s when they told him. Or I assumed he had an earpiece on, as well. That’s the thing that confuses me too. If you’re a live TV host, almost all of them are wearing earpieces. So as soon as he announced the wrong name, why didn’t they then and there tell him something? But they didn’t. I understand how he messed it up because of how it was printed. Maybe he looked at the card too quickly and just assumed the second runner-up was the first or … I don’t know. To me it seems real simple, like how could you mess that up? But he did.
Us: What was your takeaway from the whole experience?
PH: They need to bring Steve Harvey back again next year. And bring me back as a special backstage correspondent. I was a little bummed he stole my thunder because I had a good [Donald] Trump moment earlier in the telecast that nobody remembers now because of everything that happened. … [Cohost] Roselyn Sanchez asked me what the difference was between judging Miss USA and now Miss Universe. I said the difference is 1) There’s a lot more people watching Miss Universe. And 2) Thankfully, Donald Trump no longer owns this pageant. Everybody in the theater started applauding and it was fabulous and I had my shine. And then everybody forgot about it after Steve Harvey f—-d up big time.
Us: Did you see how Trump said if he was still running it, we’d have two Miss Universes and they would reign together?
PH: I don’t know if that’s possible, just because I’m sure there are rules written for instances like this. Every situation and scenario is discussed ahead of time. I don’t think he could have changed it like that.
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