You know how people who like to do pageants always say things like, “It’s not just about beauty. It’s about poise, speaking ability, and talent!” Well, that’s not exactly the case at the Miss Universe Pageant, which crowned Miss Venezuela last week. One of the show’s choreographers said shortly thereafter that, before the competition even begins, Donald Trump selects the top 15 contestants based on … looks. “At all the shows, [Trump] pops up the day before the telecast and we line up all the girls in alphabetical order,” Schwandt said. “[Trump] basically walks by and has an assistant who takes notes on all the girls. And it’s just kind of common knowledge that he picks six of the top 15 single-handedly. His reason for doing so, as he told me and he’s told the girls before, is that he left it all up to preliminary judging in the past, and some of the most beautiful women, in his opinion, were not in the top 15, and he was kind of upset about that.” [NY Post]
It seemed like a dirty little behind-the-scenes secret had been revealed. Only, now Trump is saying it’s not actually a secret. In an email statement, the Miss Universe Pageant acknowledged that the top 15 are selected before the competition. But the statement says that Trump is only personally responsible for six of the picks—the other nine are made by the members of the Miss Universe Organization. The statement says, “A separate panel of judges, introduced live at the Finals telecast, is solely responsible for the selection of the Top 10, Top 5 and the ultimate winner of the pageant. This system has been in place since 2005 and has always been fully disclosed.” [CNN]
The Donald, of course, just had to put in his two cents. “When I bought Miss Universe 12 years ago, it was a sick puppy,” he said. “Now the Miss Universe contest is seen in over 180 countries around the world and the ratings are through the roof, and that’s because of beautiful women. I’m not changing a thing.” [NY Post]
Hey, if he really wanted ratings, he should’ve just scrapped the contestants altogether and made Heidi Montag the winner.