One of the judges in the Miss Universe 2015 pageant broke his silence following the controversial mix-up where the wrong winner was initially announced.
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton spent nearly 50 minutes sharing his thoughts about the recently concluded pageant in his latest podcast, reiterating that Philippine bet Pia Wurtzbach “won fair and square.”
Host Steve Harvey mistakenly declared Colombia’s Ariadna Gutierrez as Miss Universe 2015, only to return on stage minutes later to say that Wurtzbach – who was initially named first runner-up – is the real winner.
WATCH: Host says sorry to Pia Wurtzbach over mix-up
Reacting to social media comments he has been receiving from Colombian users, Hilton said: “I would go on record right now and state: Miss Colombia is the most beautiful contestant, without question. But I don’t think she deserves to win the title. And she didn’t win the title.”
He went on to say that all of the judges in the pageant voted for Wurtzbach.
“I went with my gut and voted for Miss Philippines… Actually, I found out afterwards, it was unanimous – everyone, every single judge in that panel, all four of us – voted for Miss Philippines to be number one,” he said.
“So when Steve Harvey announced that Colombia won, I couldn’t even speak because I was shocked… I think we were all in shock, like we kind of all knew that something was off,” he added.
Perez went as far as saying that he thought the pageant was “rigged” when Harvey announced Miss Colombia as the winner.
But he quickly took his statement back. “My initial thought when Steve Harvey announced that Colombia won was, this is rigged… No, no, not rigged… What I was trying to get at was… it all happened so quickly, right? I didn’t think it was rigged. I was like, how is this possible?”
“But then it became clear – or allegedly clear – when Steve comes out and says that he made a mistake.”
‘Miss PH surprised me’
While he now is very vocal about his support for Wurtzbach, Hilton admitted that he didn’t think that the Philippine bet would win Miss Universe, saying that he has always considered Colombia’s Gutierrez as a frontrunner in terms of physical beauty.
But he said Wurtzbach “surprised” him with her fierceness and elegance during the pageant’s swimsuit portion, making him an instant fan.
“I wasn’t expecting much of Miss Philippines from her swimsuit portion so I already had in my mind that she was not going to be that good. And then, she came out and like, boom! She gave me fierceness!” he said. “I was like, wow! She was rocking this!”
He added: “So I was originally, like, going to score her way lower and I ended up scoring her way higher… She really surprised me. I didn’t expect her to be so fierce and fabulous in the swimsuit pageant.”
“By then, my favorites were Colombia, Philippines, France, USA and Japan.”
Hilton said he still was having a hard time deciding when the contestants were narrowed down to three – the Philippines’ Wurtzbach, Colombia’s Gutierrez and USA’s Olivia Jordan.
But in the end he chose Wurtzbach, saying that she is “perfect for Miss Universe.”
“Here’s the difference between Miss Philippines and Miss Colombia. Miss Philippines came to win, and Miss Colombia came to lose. Colombia came there as if she had already won – and that’s sexy also and it’s intoxicating to have that confidence – but I think that she truly believes that she was going to win, whereas Miss Philippines came with something to prove.
“So then when it was the interview portion, I thought that Colombia gave a great answer and the Philippines gave a great answer. And then I was starting to be a bit uncertain but I was still favoring Colombia at that point. And then it was the time for the advocating [question], why should I be Miss Universe? That’s when it became certain for me.
“Because also at that point, oh my God, I didn’t know if the people at home could see this, but Miss Colombia was being straight-up diva rude to her translator. Oh my God. She was like giving the most awful side eye and 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, but it’s not just because of that moment,” he explained.
He continued: “It wasn’t just that she (Colombia) didn’t give the best answer and it wasn’t just that she came across – to not just me but several of the other judges – bitchy and arrogant. It was that Miss Philippines gave a better answer. So it was the second time that she gave a great answer – actually, a better answer.
“And at that point I just felt that, wow, she really brought her A-game and was super competitive, but also almost like she deserved it. There’s to me, a real beauty and grace and elegance and she is Miss Universe, whereas Miss Colombia, you are Sofia Vergara. You are not Miss Universe, you look so much like Sofia Vergara… She (Philippines) was just being herself and not trying to emulate anybody else. I felt she really earned it fair and square.”
Both Wurtzbach and Gutierrez have reacted to the Miss Universe 2015 mix-up. Wurtzbach joked and said that the incident is very “non-traditional” and “so 2015,” while Gutierrez said she believes “everything happens for a reason.”
WATCH: Miss Philippines, Colombia react to Miss Universe mix-up
‘Mix-up will benefit Miss Colombia’
Despite what happened, Hilton said he sees something good in the controversial and drama-filled mix-up during the Miss Universe 2015 pageant.
The celebrity blogger believes that the blunder will help Miss Colombia “have a more successful career after Miss Universe than Miss Philippines will.”
“People are rooting for her now instead of thinking, ‘oh she’s so perfect,’ this and that… Miss Philippines is perfect for Miss Universe but I really think that Miss Colombia can go the likes of Sofia Vergara and be a crossover success in the US,” he said. “I mean, she’s smokin’!”