USMagazine, Thursday, August 16, 2012, 9:30am (PDT)
Even in heels, pint-size Olympian Gabby Douglas barely reached Howard Stern's shoulder Wednesday night.
Before her guest-hosting gig at America's Got Talent, the gold medal winner, 16, posed for pics on the red carpet alongside judge Stern -- who, at 6-foot-5, towered over the 4-foot-11 gymnastics champ.
During the results show, the audience went crazy as Douglas took to the stage to co-host alongside the program's regular host, Nick Cannon.
Following her history-making performance in London at the Individual All-Arounds, many folks seemed preoccupied with Douglas' slicked back ponytail -- which they saw as a rejection of her African-American heritage -- rather than her athletic prowess. So, for her post-Games media tour, her team was determined to silence critics of her coif once and for all, enlisting celeb hair pro Ted Gibson to give Douglas a chic, A-list worthy style that would help her shine even brighter during interviews and TV appearances.
"I couldn't believe it and still can't," Gibson, who has worked with Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Kate Gosselin and Ashley Greene, told The Daily Beast about the brouhaha over the hairstyle Douglas rocked during her routine. "You have this young girl doing amazing things, and the conversation becomes about her hair? It was ridiculous and shameful."
Douglas, for her part, couldn't believe the hype, either.
"They have no idea what they're talking about," she told Us Weekly earlier this month. "We rotate from event to event, so there's no time for them to say, 'Representing the USA, Gabrielle Douglas,' and me to say, 'Yeah, thanks!' as I'm brushing my hair. It's so disrespectful! I'm not thinking about that. I'm thinking about bringing a gold medal home."