Being a new father — and a single one at that — doesn’t allow Perez Hilton much down time. But he’s decided to leave his son (via surrogate) in Los Angeles for a good cause: co judging the Ultimate Miami Drag Queen contest at Magic City Casino Saturday night. We spoke to the 35-year-old celebrity blogger, also known to his hometown of Miami as Mario Lavandeira Jr.
How does one judge a drag queen contest?
I’ll be looking at the total package. It’s hard to describe, but the It factor will be apparent once she shows herself. I personally love a drag queen who is funny and sings live over one who is superglam and just lip syncs and dances.
So are you excited to come home?
It gives me an opportunity to see people and have some fun. Everyone’s kind of spread out, near my old high school [Belen], and others are by Davie. So I’m just going to have them come to me! It’ll be a short trip. I’m not bringing my son. I don’t want to take him out of his routine and his time zone. I’ll be gone approximately 30 hours.
You look very trim. What are you doing?
I’ve been working five plus years on my health and wellness and fitness. The secret is really 75 percent healthy eating, 20 percent working out and 5 percent genetics. You can go to the gym, but if you’re overeating or not eating well, you’re not going to get the results you need. During the week I try to be super strict, but I allow myself weekends to have that frozen yogurt or a drink. Luckily there’s no good Cuban food in L.A.! I actually would love to open a restaurant in Miami one day — with somebody else’s money.
So what stages is Mario in ?
He’s just wanting to be upright as much as possible to look at everything. He’s drooling a ton, sticking his hand in his mouth, discovering his feet. I try to make him smile and laugh. He’s an easy, happy baby. He knows he’s safe and going to be fed and played with. The universe gave me what I needed.
Do you have help?
My mom lives a block away but I made the decision to have this baby on my own; I didn’t want to have to rely on her. Grandparents shouldn’t be co-parents. If I had a partner, I would say, ‘OK, it’s your turn,’ but I don’t. Thankfully, I have the resources to have full-time help. I work from home; I’m not the insane workaholic putting in 18-hour days anymore.
Does being a parent give you a different perspective on stars who have kids?
Everyone does what they want to do. I want to be more like a Jennifer Garner, who has taken a step back in her career to be hands on. Celebrities say they want balance. I don’t want balance. My child is my priority. I’ve always wanted to have a family, and I want more children. I waited until I was ready and comfortable in my career.
What is your opinion on some of the stars on the hot seat right now?
I think Paula Deen will make a comeback. People are very forgiving. Corporate America are a bunch of wusses and it was like the domino effect. They all wanted to disassociate from her. With Amanda Bynes, there are a lot of things at play: Probable mental and drug issues and a transparent, desperate need for attention. The fact that she hasn’t worked in years may have exacerbated her condition. Now with social media, it’s broadcast to the world publicly and quickly. And Alec Baldwin? Twitter don’t like quitters! Stay off! I’m not too bothered by him, though. I think he’s smart and talented and does a lot of good. He just clearly has anger management issues.
What of Justin Bieber’s recent antics: public urination and insulting Bill Clinton?
I am 99 percent sure Justin is doing drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd. He’s letting fame get to his head. Part of it is him just being young and making poor decisions.
Tickets at www.magiccitycasino.com or 305-460-6579. $40 includes a drink and hors d’oeuvres the first hour.