Mondo Guerra was picked as the frontrunner to win Lifetime’s season eight of Project Runway. Gozamos spoke with him the day after the finale to show even in second place he is still a winner in our book!
Gozamos: Hey, Mondo. So this is a big day for you!
Mondo Guerra: It is a new day for sure.
Gozamos: This season was such a return to greatness for the show.
MG: Yes, I think that this season has been very hard. It had the most talent and most diverse group of people for the competition.
Gozamos: Your episode where you came out about being HIV positive was the only time I have cried during all the seasons of Project Runway.
MG: I want to say that episode in particular was when I spoke out about something I had been hiding and scared to talk about for years. Beyond that I don’t think it has to be an issue about HIV or AIDS. It can be about anything you are struggling with or afraid to talk about. I hope it will encourage people to open up communication and live their life to the fullest.
Gozamos: How was your family’s reaction? Did you tell them ahead of time?
MG: I told them a couple of days before the show aired. They handled it very well. They are super proud of me for sharing such a personal side of myself and inspiring people on such a large scale.
Gozamos: You are Mexican, were you born there?
MG: No, I was born in Denver, Colorado.
Gozamos: The finale was a shocker. What is your reaction to it?
MG: It has been crazy through the whole season, especially the last couple of weeks going into it. I was one of the favorites to win the whole thing and it put a lot of pressure on me. Not only that, but we taped a month and a half ago so keeping the secret and being under contract was so scary.
Gozamos: You were still very humble at the end when you said you were happy to make it past the first challenge. You were not catty on the show.
MG: I didn’t go there to be a bitch (both laugh)! I went there to work and to grow. I did that.
Gozamos: I watched it happen every week.
MG: Even in my designs I grew. When you see them up to the end I think I really refined what I want to show and present myself as. It was an amazing experience. I never thought I would be put through so much crap, I guess you could say for lack of a better word. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.
Gozamos: So what are you working on now?
MG: I have had opportunities that are opening up for me and I know I am going to continue to be a creative person. Immediately I am going to start talking on the subject of HIV/AIDS education and what needs to be done. I want to give people hope and strength. I will encourage them to talk about it more so that we can tackle this epidemic.