Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who was also a judge at the recently concluded, controversial Miss Universe pageant, released a podcast talking about his experience and thoughts about the whole debacle (a debacle Pinoys are magnanimous about because we are pageant-thirsty no more—that crown is ours!)
Hilton expressed his disappointment; he already had a question prepared for the contestants but he discovered that judges would not be asking questions this time around, just one of the many plot twists that the show sprung on viewers this year.
“The reason why we weren’t gonna get to ask questions this year was that they knew going into Sunday night who the top 15 were, so the pageant themselves already came up with questions for all 15 even though there weren’t 15 at the interview stage…they said they specifically chose questions relevant to their home countries.”
Hilton’s question that never made it was about gun rights and the role of international leaders in regulating gun ownership.
His thoughts on the pageant, Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, and Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez:
“We go down to the stage, they show us in person how to work the tabulating machine; there was a standards and practices person from Fox, there was a lawyer there, these people really take their jobs seriously.”
“They brief us not just about the procedure, how to vote, we vote Olympic scoring, meaning decimal points, from 1 to 9.99, there is no perfect 10. The judges typically agree on a number as the lowest, we all agreed that the lowest score we’d give somebody was a 7.0, so that’s the bar.”
On Miss Colombia:
“We knew who the chosen 15 was before we started voting…you have instantly your favorites in mind for a variety of reasons and they explain to you that it is a beauty pageant and you really are looking for a beautiful girl. But, it’s not just beauty, and I think that’s really important to clarify, because a lot of people, especially judging from the comments on my social media from Colombians, they’re really upset Miss Colombia did not win. I’ll go on record and state: Miss Colombia was the most beautiful contestant, but I don’t think she deserved to win the title. She didn’t win the title for a variety of reasons and I’ll get to them all…”
On Miss Philippines vs. Miss Colombia:
“Going into the swimsuit portion…I hope I don’t get into trouble for this…for me I really took everything into consideration, not just how they look in a bikini, for me, at that point already, I was thinking about them as a person and not as an object because you got to hear them speak. Having said that, Miss Philippines….”
Hilton’s podcast partner, Chris Booker interjects, “Miss Philippines was not sexy.”
Hilton: “Here’s the difference between Miss Philippines and Miss Colombia: Miss Philippines came to win, Miss Colombia came to lose. Colombia came as if she had already won, and that’s sexy also, to have that confidence but I think she truly believed that she was going to win. Whereas Miss Philippines came with something to prove, so before they switched in their swimsuits, I saw them all and I didn’t think Philippines would rock the swimsuit competition, you literally had 20 seconds to vote in the swimsuit pageant, for me, I would pre-judge the girls so to me, I would give them a 9 if I wanted them to go through, and then an 8 for a maybe or yes, and a 7 if I didn’t want them to go through and then I would fine-tune it.
For me Colombia was always a frontrunner, I gave her a 9. A girl can sometimes perform and surprise. I wasn’t expecting much of Philippines from her swimsuit portion, so I already thought she was not going to be that good, and then she came out, and ‘Boom!’ she gave me fierceness, then I saw her big ol’—probably fake—t*tties jigglin’, she owned it, and I was like, ‘Wow, she is rocking this.’ I was originally gonna score her way lower, ended up scoring her way higher.
I’m looking for someone that would surprise me, for that sparkle, for that ‘It’ factor, she really surprised me, I wasn’t expecting her to be so fierce and fabulous in that swimsuit pageant. By then my favorites were Colombia, Philippines, France, USA, Japan, Venezuela, and Dominican Republic.”
“When the evening gown competition happened, I thought that for sure Miss Colombia was going to win. In my mind Colombia won the evening gown portion.”
“What also made this pageant different was they introduced a second question, it was really a second opportunity for the contestants to be seen, not just visually, it’s really who’s deserving of being Miss Universe. During the interview portion, I thought that Colombia gave a great answer and the Philippines gave a great answer, and then I became a little uncertain, but I was still favoring Colombia at that point. And then, when it was time for advocating, ‘Why I should be Miss Universe,’ that’s when it became certain for me.
Because at that point, I don’t know if the people at home could see this, Miss Colombia was being straight-up diva bitch rude to her translator, did you see this? She was giving the most awful side-eye, throwing major shade because Colombia was not happy with the pace or the way that the translator was translating. It was a major turn-off.”
“Miss Philippines gave a better answer. It was the second time she gave a great answer and actually a better answer and by that point, I thought, ‘Wow, she really brought her A game,’ and was super competitive but also deserved it. She deserves it. There was a real beauty, grace, and elegance and she is Miss Universe. She really earned it and won fair and square.”
“I voted for Miss Philippines, and I found out afterwards that it was unanimous. Every single judge in that panel, all four of us, voted for Miss Philippines to be number one. So then, when Steve Harvey announced that Miss Colombia had won, I was in shock. I couldn’t even speak.”
Chris Booker: “When Steve Harvey had read the name, did all the judges look at one another?”
Hilton: “We didn’t look at each other because we were all in shock, we knew something was off. When Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia had won, I thought, ’This is rigged.’” But then it became clear then Steve comes out and announces that a mistake was made.