‘It’s very 2015’: Miss Philippines, Miss Colombia respond to Miss Universe flub

Posted at 1:06 PM, Dec 21, 2015

LAS VEGAS — Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez thought she had won the Miss Universe pageant. But then the host Steve Harvey said he’d made a terrible mistake.

“Okay, folks,” he said. “I have to apologize.”

Miss Colombia was the first runner-up, he said, holding up the card that contained the official results.

The real winner was Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who looked astonished by the sudden turn of events.

The almost unbelievable ending to the pageant was televised live in many countries, including on the Fox network in the United States on Sunday night.

Wurtzbach covered her mouth in shock when Harvey announced the correction. Then she walked out to the front of the stage and waited for Gutierrez to hand over the crown.

Harvey stood to the side, visibly embarrassed, while the crowd cheered. On the card he was holding, both the winner and first runner-up’s names were printed in small type.

Harvey took responsibility and called it a “horrible mistake.”

The awkwardness and drama didn’t end when the show did.

Entertainment Tonight reports that their reporter, Nischelle Turner, was there. She said “everyone was stunned and no one knew what to do.”

The second runner-up, Miss USA Olivia Jordan told Entertainment Tonight she thought Harvey was joking when the error occurred. Pageant judge Niecy Nash said that after the mistake was corrected, the contestants were consoling Miss Colombia and not congratulating Miss Philippines, adding to the uncomfortable situation.

When the show wrapped up, ET reports that the crowd became upset, booed and refused to leave despite orders made over the loudspeakers.

Producers showed them the cards with the winners’ names, but they were still angry.

Miss Philippines told ET after the snafu that she was confused during the entire ordeal.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on,” she told ET. “I didn’t expect that to happen at all.”

She said it was “very 2015” in a video tweeted by the Miss Universe handle.

Meanwhile, Miss Colombia said after the mix-up “everything happens for a reason.”

Social networking sites lit up with instant reaction. ESPN’s Darren Rovell called it “the worst mistake in TV awards show history.”

Harvey is a beloved comedian best known for hosting the game show “Family Feud” and daily talk shows on radio and TV.

Observers immediately pointed out that he has much more experience with taped shows than with live TV.

After the pageant snafu, he tweeted the following:

Secondly, I’d like to apologize to the viewers at that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake. — Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 21, 2015

I don’t want to take away from this amazing night and pageant. As well as the wonderful contestants. They were all amazing.

— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 21, 2015

Some people quickly came to the host’s defense; Earvin Magic Johnson tweeted, “we’ve all made mistakes in our careers & lives.” He encouraged Harvey to “keep the faith and keep going strong!”

Charles M. Blow, an op-ed columnist at the New York Times, cautioned people not to be too hard on Harvey. “Ok, @IAmSteveHarvey made a huge mistake. BUT, how many have we all made?! Seriously, don’t laugh too loud. Karma might hear you…,” Blow tweeted.

But others made plenty of jokes at Harvey’s expense. The screw-up happened at an important moment of transition for Miss Universe. The pageant was owned by Donald Trump and NBCUniversal until earlier this year.

When the business partners split up in the midst of a Trump campaign controversy, the giant talent agency WME/IMG took control of the pageant. If nothing else, the mistake provided the pageant with a sudden jolt of attention.

Vulture’s Joe Adalian, a veteran television industry reporter, said it “wouldn’t shock me” if the crown switcheroo was actually a planned stunt. “Everybody wins here,” he said.

Trump, through his Twitter account, had been touting the pageant’s new owners earlier in the evening. After the error, he retweeted a fan who asked, “Where’s @realDonaldTrump when you need em?” He also Tweeted a response:

Pageant organizers issued a statement in which they apologized to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines, as well as their fans.

“Unfortunately, a live telecast means that human error can come into play,” the organizers said. “We witnessed that tonight when the wrong winner was initially announced.”

Read more here.