A mistake at a Miss Universe pageant, or any competition involving gowns, heels and unrehearsed questions, generally involves a beaming lady slipping up on a marble riser, or a contestant winging an answer and completely massacring her words in a blender of gobbledygook. We all remember Miss South Carolina, who in 2007 hit ignominious viral shame for her “US Americans don’t have maps but South Africa and the Iraq and the Asian countries can help build up our future.” Or something like that.
That quip garnered 64 million views. Steve Harvey’s gaffe last night is already up to close to five million. The rundown: Host Steve Harvey, whose only significant job is to read the winner’s name from a card, messed up, and crowned the wrong winner.
Writes ABC News on Dec. 20: “The Miss Universe contestant from the Philippines is this year’s winner, but for one brief moment Sunday evening, it appeared as if it might be a repeat win for Colombia. Colombia contestant Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo was already wearing the crown as this year’s Miss Universe winner when host Steve Harvey returned to apologize.”
The actual winner was Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines, and if you needed proof, a very repentant Steve Harvey, host and joke-maker on The Family Feud, held up the card for the entire world to see.
As a teary-eyed Miss Columbia stood solo on center stage, flowers in hand and crown atop her locks, a slumping Harvey walked back out with his announcement. “Okay folks, uh, there’s…I have to apologize. The first runner up is Columbia.”
The camera cut to a wide-eyed Wurtzbach, who looked to Miss USA beside her for some help. Harvey announces the right winner, and Miss Philippines walks out to join the first runner up. One of the assistants comes out and puts her arms around both girls, giving Ariadna Arevalo an encouraging rub on her back.
The crown in transferred, and all is right again in the universe.
“Listen folks, let me take control of this,” Harvey says. “This is exactly what is on the card. I will take responsibility for this. It was my mistake. Horrible mistake.” Harvey then holds up the card. “Please don’t hold it against the ladies.”
Adds ABC News: “Harvey also apologized on Twitter, but at first misspelled the home countries of both contestants before also fixing that.”
“I’d like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake,” he tweeted. “I feel terrible.”
Philippines presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda was mum about the gaffe, but spoke of the win for Miss Philippines. “In bagging this victory, Ms. Wurtzbach not only serves as a tremendous source of pride for our people, but also holds up the banner of our women and of our country-as a true representative of what the Filipina can achieve.”
Donald Trump, who used to own the rights to Miss Universe, tweeted today that “this never would have happened” if he was still at the pageant helm. He also called Harvey a “great guy” and suggested that they should’ve made both girls co-winners.
“Things happen. It’s live television,” Trump added.
Leave your thoughts below on the Miss Universe mistake.