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Pia backs Steve Harvey as Miss Universe host in PH

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Days after President Rodrigo Duterte said that he does not want Steve Harvey to host the Miss Universe pageant in Manila, reigning Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach hinted that Steve Harvey should host the prestigious beauty contest in Manila on January 30, 2017.

“#TBT to the night that changed my life. @iamsteveharveytv let’s do it again and change someone else’s life,” said Wurtzbach, in an Instagram post of a picture that showed her being interviewed by Harvey during the question-and-answer portion of the 2015 Miss Universe contest.

The Filipino-German beauty queen, now based in New York during her entire reign, has campaigned for the staging of the Miss Universe contest in the Philippines.

This will be the third time that the pageant will be held in Manila. The previous years were in 1974 and 1994.

It would be recalled that Harvey made the mistake of announcing the winner of the beauty pageant in December 2015.

Harvey said that Miss Colombia won when in fact it was Miss Philippines. Harvey has repeatedly apologized for the fiasco. He even described Wurtzbach “an absolute class-act.”

But the old issue was revived when Duterte said that he wanted Harvey out of the Miss Universe contest in Manila, according to Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, during a press conference in Malacañang recently.

“Actually under contract siya (Harvey) for five years, I believe. Definitely he’s again going to host the Miss Universe. When I told the President about that, medyo negative agad ang sabi niya. ‘Hindi puwede,’ that was what he said. And he said, ‘I’m going to talk to the Miss Universe na dapat hindi siya.’ That’s my problem,” said Teo.

In an effort to appease the President, Teo said she is planning to have a Filipino co-host for the show which will be aired via satellite from the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“Siguro that’s what I‘m going to do para hindi talaga magagalit ang Presidente. Siguro maglalagay ako ng girl from the Philippines who will co-host. Wala pa [kaming naiisip], probably one from the media,” she said.

Harvey, 59, a Christian who is also an author, actor, and a radio personality, hosts “The Steve Harvey Show” and “Family Feud.”

Reports said that the candidates for the Miss Universe contest will start arriving on January 13, 2017. As of September 2, 60 candidates have confirmed participation in the beauty pageant. Nearly 100 delegates are expected to take part in the contest, organizers said.

Maxine Medina of Quezon City will represent the Philippines in the beauty pageant. She will try to be the fourth Filipina to become Miss Universe. Aside from Wurtzbach, the two other titleholders are Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margie Moran (1973).