Last night, legendary Cuban talk show host, Cristina Saralegui signed off as the host of El Show de Cristina after 21 years on the air with her eponymous Univision show.
As promised, Cristina, who was surrounded by her friends and family, didn’t cry—but she did make a bold, unexpected (and some might say, shocking) declaration to her fans: “I cannot put into words how much I will miss all of you,” she said, her voice breaking up. “But I’m not retiring,” she added while giving the camera a stern look. She also pledged to continue her show elsewhere. "There's going to be Cristina for a while."
The final installment of El Show de Cristina played more like an event than it did an episode. Mexican actor Fernando Colunga served as the special host of the final program and announced special surprise guests who came to pay tribute to Cristina.
Fellow TV personality Don Francisco, who gave Cristina her very first break on TV, stressed the contributions she has brought to Spanish language television in the United States.
"You went far and beyond what I imagined,” he said. “You were able to break molds, to break out a type of show that did not exist in Spanish language television.”
Univision newscasters Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas also had kind words for Cristina and thanked her for her friendship, and support.
"You're one of those wise souls who doesn't judge," said Ramos, "and that's why people trust you and share things with you.” The well-known anchor, who wasn’t able to be at the show in person, added via a video recording that Cristina always spoke up for those who didn’t have a voice. “When no one wanted to talk about homosexuality, you were doing it; when no one wanted to talk about undocumented immigrants or injustices, your show was the forum to say things.”
"I know this is not a 'goodbye' but a 'see you soon,' and just like you say, 'Pa'lante' [moving forward]," added María Elena Salinas. Clearly, moving forward is exactly what Cristina plans to do, sans Univison of course.