Photo by Heidi Gutman
This past weekend Donald Trump once again mounted the annual Miss USA Pageant. Bravo’s Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic from E! hosted the event, which was broadcast live from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas! Although they were both new to NBC and the competition, they each have experience with The Donald. In a recent conference call interview they discussed their connections to the real estate mogul and what pageant they’d create if they could make their own.
Cohen is not only Bravo’s main programming executive, but he’s become an on air personality in his own right. He moderates the Real Housewives franchise reunion shows and his own live series Watch What Happens: Live, which airs on his network twice a week.
He recalled what impressed him most when he met Mr. Trump. The host, known for asking the hard questions of his stable of reality TV stars said, “I hosted a Q&A with him in Vegas a few years ago. And the thing that I found amusing and that I liked about him was that I found that you really can ask him anything and he’ll answer it. So I found that quite entertaining.”
Rancic has an even more personal connection to The Donald. She remarked, “My husband [Bill Rancic] was the first Apprentice. Donald hired him. And so if it wasn’t for Donald I would, gosh, who was the runner-up, Kwame Jackson? I would be Mrs. Kwame Jackson. So I owe Donald basically my marriage and my future children. I owe him everything.”
Thanks to her hubby, Rancic has come in contact with Trump and his third wife Melania. She recounted, “I have met Donald several times throughout the years. And what I love most about him is he is such a fan of pop culture. He knows everything going on in entertainment news and so does Melania. And I just think it is hilarious. So I’m a big fan. And I’m very excited that he asked me to do this with Andy.”
So what would these two pop culture gurus come up with if they could create their own pageants? Rancic had an idea to incorporate all of her entertainment network co-stars. She suggested, “I will do Miss E! We’ll put all the E! people into one pageant and just kind of see where it goes, men and women.” The name of her show might be a little misleading but the idea is money in the bank with a list of competitors that could include Joel McHale, Kim Kardashian and Ryan Seacrest among so many others.
Andy, being the programming genius that he is, came up with a surefire hit on the spot. He brainstormed, “I would like to do maybe The Ultimate Housewife Pageant. I think that would be fun. Just throw all the housewives up on a stage and whittle it down.” Even he seemed impressed with his ability to be able to come up with something so marketable without any forethought adding, “I think we just spit-balled ourselves into a great idea. It might be a little shark jumpy but I like it. I’m going to think about it.”
And if he does decide he likes the idea, he can just go ahead and give himself a green light. Cohen talked about balancing his time between being Bravo’s programming head and one of its biggest on-screen talents. He confessed, “It’s not easy…. I’m lucky, because I love live TV. And my show is live. And so I really just spend a few hours after work, after my day job is over, doing my live duties.”
Andy seemed to have a very clear delineation of his dual roles, saying, “From morning until night, I’m focused on Bravo programming. And then after hours is when I have a little fun in the Bravo Clubhouse. The reunion shows really only wind up being seven or eight days out of the year.”
And despite a little bit of added pressure, he seems to be taking it all stride. He admitted, “So far it’s okay. It can get a little hairy and a little stressful. But it’s all fun. And I happen to have two great jobs that I love very much. So I am very lucky.” Mazel, Andy!
Catch Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens: Live every Thursday and Sunday night at 11 p.m. PST/10 p.m. Central on Bravo and Giuliana on the Fashion Police at 10:30 p.m. EST/9:30 p.m. Central on E!
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