New York – Veteran journalist Geraldo Rivera channeled Donald Trump for his Monday night performance on “Dancing With the Stars.”
The 72-year-old Rivera – sporting a bouffant blond wig, a colorful shirt and a spray tan – played the Republican presidential candidate while his pro partner Edyta Sliwinska took on the role of Trump’s wife, Melania.
Speaking to Fox News Latino on Tuesday morning in New York, Rivera said he thought it would be fun to do a parody of Trump because Sliwinska looks so much like Melania. As the feud between the GOP presidential front-runner and his closest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, about their wives escalated, Rivera thought it was a perfect time.
“It was happening in real time as we were practicing,” Rivera said. “So that’s where I got the idea of a President Trump with a red phone talking to Vladimir Putin, and all of a sudden Melania comes in.”
“It evolved, and I thought it was a funny bit. I haven’t heard from Donald Trump yet, but I’m sure I will,” he added.
While the judges were unimpressed with Rivera’s salsa for Latin night, the Fox News senior correspondent said he thought it was “pretty good.”
“I forgot a couple of the steps in the routine in the middle, but, really, there are some great dancers (on the show),” Rivera added.
However, he was not surprised that he was eliminated and even quipped at the end of the show, “If I didn’t get eliminated tonight, I would have demanded a recount.”
With a laugh, Rivera told FNL that it’s cruel to hear the reviews and that he remains, as he's always insisted, the only Puerto Rican who can’t dance.
“Unless I’m drunk at a wedding,” he joked.
Rivera’s journey to the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom started years before he actually joined. He said he had been asked several times before, but stayed away because his daughter told him not to because of all the “soap opera” drama that used to surround the show.
“Now it’s become more of a straight dance competition,” he said. He finally said yes, he told FNL, despite knowing it would be difficult balancing his duties on the East Coast with rehearsals in Los Angeles.
“It’s been a crazy time. It’s been a busy time," Rivera said. "I’m sorry I didn’t do better, but it was a lot of fun.”
"Dancing with the Stars" airs Monday nights on ABC.