On Sunday, June 3, the 2012 Miss USA Pageant is going to broadcast on NBC live from the great city of Las Vegas — and there will be two people front and center for all the action in Giuliana Rancic and Andy Cohen. After years of the event not drawing as many headlines, these two infused a great sense of fun and energy in 2011 — and thanks to that (along with their status of two of TV’s best personalities), pageant head Donald Trump invited them each back for another go as co-hosts this year.
On Wednesday afternoon, we had a chance to talk with each of them about some of the work that is put into this spectacle behind the scenes — and just how involved Mr. Trump is with what they do.
Cartermatt.com – How do you both approach hosting a show like this? Do you handle the contestants in the same way as you would on “Watch What Happens Live!” or a red-carpet special, or do you have to change your style in any way?
Giuliana Rancic – Not really. I treat them like they’re Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep coming at me. I treat them just like they are any celebrity on the red carpet.
This is their moment! This is going to be one of the biggest moments of their lives to be live on NBC with millions of people watching them. Basically, it’s an event that they work their whole loves to get to. It’s such an exciting time for them, and I want them to feel like we are so excited for them and we are! We realize how incredible a moment this is for them, so I try to treat them just like they are any A-list celebrity that I’m interviewing.
Andy Cohen – And I [treat them] like any ‘Real Housewife’ or anyone that I’m welcoming into the clubhouse. One thing that both Giuliana and I have that is part of our approach is that when we did this together last year, we had so much fun with a capital F. We both love pageants — I think it was surreal for both of us [last year] that we were actually in the middle of a pageant and hosting it. You could tell watching the show that we were having a blast.
It’s fun — it’s just good fun.
So how involved is Donald Trump with this pageant when it comes to the show? Does he give you guys any sort of specific feedback or tips, or just say that you’re the experts and allow you to handle it?
Cohen – I didn’t get any feedback from him, but I trust he’s very involved. It’s his organization, the Miss Universe organization.
Rancic – I actually was a judge years ago for Miss USA, and I got a chance to spend some time with Donald there and last year [we also spent] a little bit of time [together]. He’s very involved. He loves this pageant. He’s a true pro. Donald wants everything to go off without a hitch, but at the same time he hires the right people to do the job. It’s not an easy job to get — you have to get Donald’s approval and blessing, and that is not easy. We’re very flattered that he trusts us, and he is always there, front-row center.
Afterwards Andy, I don’t know if you remember this, but they did call us and said that Donald was so happy with what we did and loved our energy. That was flattering because he’s a true pro and a perfectionist.
Check back on June 3 when the pageant airs, as we’ll have full coverage of Andy and Giuliana along with the pageant itself!
Are you excited to watch this year’s show?