Show must go on for Navarro's co-hosts
MANILA - The hosts of "It's Showtime" turned emotional during the noontime program's live telecast on Tuesday, as Jhong Hilario failed to contain his tears amid the controversy involving co-host Vhong Navarro, who is now engaged in a legal battle after being attacked last week.
Hilario, who was one of the judges in the "That's My Tomboy" segment of the program, was asked for his thoughts on the four contestants, who each gave a speech relating a personal experience leading up to the grand finals on Saturday.
Praising all the competitors for their "sincerity," Hilario went on to single out contestant No. 10, April Mariz Herher, who he said moved him with her story about friendship.
Herher, in her speech, recalled the death of her best friend, who she credited for instilling humility in her despite her accomplishments. She also thanked "It's Showtime" for giving her a chance to perform on television, with her best friend getting a "front seat."
"Talagang kayong apat ay deserving na nandito sa stage," Hilario said, after all four contestants had taken the stage. "Pero 'yung talagang pumukaw talaga... 'yung hindi ko mapigilang umiyak ay iyong istorya nung pangalawa (Herher), kasi napag-usapan 'yung kaibigan."
Pausing as he appeared to contain his emotions, Hilario's voice was then heard breaking as he said, "Gusto ko lang sabihin na hindi madali 'yung ginagawa namin dito sa 'Showtime.'"
"Sorry, direk, sorry," Hilario added, before walking out.
Anne Curtis, Vice Ganda, Karylle, and Billy Crawford, who were co-hosting "That's My Tomboy," also appeared to be emotional, but went on with their spiels in wrapping up before a commercial break.
The program then resumed with the remaining "That's My Tomboy" grand finalists taking the stage, with co-hosts Jugs Jugueta and Teddy Corpuz replacing Hilario as one of the three scorers.
The emotional episode of Hilario, a long-time friend of Navarro and fellow Streetboys member, came amid news of the actor-host's legal battle as he continues to recover from a mauling incident last week.
Navarro accused businessman Cedric Lee, model Deniece Cornejo, and five others of attacking him inside a condominium unit in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, leaving him with serious injuries including a broken nose that required reconstructive surgery.
The actor-host is set to file cases against Lee's group for serious physical injuries, illegal detention, grave threats, unlawful arrest , grave coercion and blackmail.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lee accused Navarro of "twisting the facts," saying the host's account of the incident is an exaggeration. Cornejo, meanwhile, maintained that Navarro attempted to rape her and will file the appropriate legal case against him.