Lara Dutta Explains Why Harnaaz Sandhu Was Asked To ‘Meow’ On Miss Universe 2021 Stage

India rejoiced when Punjab’s Harnaaz Sandhu brought home the ‘Miss Universe 2021’ crown after 21 years. The 21-year-old actor and model from Chandigarh became the third Indian, after Sushmita Sen (1994) and Lara Dutta, to own the title at the 70th Miss Universe 2021, held in Israel.

However, people were irked when the beauty queen was told to perform an animal impersonation on the world stage. The host of Miss Universe 2021, Steve Harvey, who asked her to meow like a cat also faced a lot of flack.

Well, days after the event, former Miss Universe and actor Lara Dutta clarified why Harnaaz was asked the bizarre question when the other contestants were asked about their aspirations and future.

In a recent interview, the ‘Andaaz’ actor explained that before entering the pageant, the contestants are handed over a 15-page long questionnaire. Going back in time, Dutta recalled that when she was contesting for the title she had written in her questionnaire that she was a trained dancer in both Bharatnatyam and Kathak. That’s why she was asked to show them a few steps.


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But, Dutta told them she could not do it in her gown as it would be disrespectful to the art. However, Dutta showed them a few mudras. The Bollywood actor further divulged that the idea of that round is to keep things light. “It’s a bit to see the lighter side of your personality,” Hindustan Times quoted her saying.

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She added, “Every question does not have to be about saving the world or being Mother Teresa or ending world hunger. So, in Harnaaz’s form, one of the things she had written is that she used to enjoy mimicking animal sounds which is why that’s what they picked up. That’s why Steve Harvey asked her that question. So the question came from what she had written in the form.”

“The idea of it was not to put her down or ask India a bizarre question. It’s just to see how you would perform when something like that is thrown at you and life is going to put you in so many situations along the way.”


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Dutta also said that it’s about understanding how she would react to something. “I think Harnaaz handled it very well she was very nonchalant about it. She didn’t give it any gehra (deep) thought that ‘Oh my god now I have to mimic a cat’, she just went with it and had fun.”

“I think that’s the most important thing is a lot of time you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously. Being Miss Universe or being Miss World is not about wearing the crown and having the perfect wave. It’s about being yourself, being the young wonderful girl that Harnaaz is. She’s very genuine, she’s a little goofy, she’s real she’s comfortable about who she is and how she is. I think that’s very refreshing to have.”

Earlier, when Harnaaz was asked what did she think of Steve asking her that question, she had responded, “If you think beauty pageants are all about perfections, then I am sorry to say, it is not like that. I am happy that Steve, such a spontaneous and wonderful personality (one of my favourite personalities as well) asked me such a question that I could be myself on the stage and I got to showcase one of my big talents.”

Well, even we think Harnaaz handled it pretty well. The very question is probably one of the reasons why Harnaaz is today the proud owner of the crown.

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