Pia Wurtzbach tears up after Shugart calls her 'a hard act to follow'


Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach reacts as she was announced as the new Miss Universe at the Miss Universe pageant. Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez was incorrectly named as Miss Universe before her crown was taken away. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The outgoing Miss Universe queen Pia Wurtzbach was reduced to tears when she learned that the Miss Universe organization President Paula Shugart believes she was one of a kind.

In an interview with Boy Abunda at “Bottomline” Saturday evening, the Philippines bet that won the Miss Universe title in 2015 tried to fight back tears when Abunda told her what Shugart had said about her.

“Pia is a hard act to follow, because she defined this. She made it her own, and I’m definitely going to miss her. I will be crying,” Abunda quoted Shugart as saying.

“I’ll be crying too,” Wurtzbach said, trying to dab away her tears.

“Oh my gosh, I told myself I wasn’t going to cry!”

Wurtzbach won the most controversial Miss Universe title after host Steve Harvey wrongly crowned Miss Colombia as the queen, only to correct himself after and announce that the Philippines’ bet won the crown.

Wurtzbach has led an advocacy for HIV awareness during her one-year reign as the queen who ended the 42-year title drought for the Philippines.

She said Shugart’s words were the best compliments she has ever heard since she won the crown, and it made her feel that she has done her part as the Miss Universe.

“That’s the best compliment for me, because that’s exactly what I wanted to do during my reign,” Wurtzbach said.

She said she wanted to be her own instead of copying the footsteps of other queens before her.

“I didn’t want to copy any former Miss Universe title holder. I just want to be myself,” Wurtzbach said.

She said she did not want to be remembered as the typical beauty queen, and that she wanted to make her personality shine during her reign.

“I want to be remembered as a different kind of beauty queen, na hindi very rehearsed and robotic. I just want to be myself. And to hear that … it’s really the best thing,” Wurtzbach said between sniffs.

“I”m going to miss them, too. And I’m so happy and grateful, that they took care of me,” she added.

Wurtzbach said she wanted to return the favor to the Miss Universe organization by doing her best even after she turns over the crown.

“I’m going to make them proud. I feel like that’s the best gift I can give back to them,” Wurtzbach said.

“The way I can think of giving back is just continuing her legacy that she taught me,” she said of Shugart.

After her reign, Wurtzbach would be serving as a Miss Universe ambassador, and was also set to appear as special guest in the fifth cycle of the model search “Asia’s Next Top Model.”  JE/rga – Philippine Daily Inquirer

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