In a major live TV blunder, host Steve Harvey inadvertently announced the wrong winner of the Miss Universe pageant tonight in Las Vegas. Misreading the finalists, Harvey said Miss Colombia was the winner but she was actually the first runner-up and Miss Philippines was the real winner.
Harvey took responsibility on stage after the snafu. “Folks let me take control of this,” Harvey said, showing the card with the correct winner on camera. Still, it is unclear why the producers allowed the ceremony to continue for two minutes after the wrong name was read by Harvey, with Miss Colombia being crowned. The above video shows Harvey announcing the correction and a stunned Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, taking her victory lap after learning that she is the new Miss Universe. The error was not edited out for the West Coast airing and, sources close to the production say, it will not be altered for broadcast in international markets where the pageant doesn’t air live. (The West Coast Fox telecast was edited slightly for time because the original broadcast ran over by two minutes due to the error but the ending aired as is.)
Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, thought she had won but a chagrined Harvey held up the card with official results showing that Gutierrez was first runner-up. Wurtzbach, covered her mouth in shock when Harvey corrected his mistake.
Then Wurtzbach walked out to the front of the stage and waited for Gutierrez to hand over the crown. Awkward.
The Miss Universe organization has issued the following statement:
“The excitement of live TV was evident tonight on the Miss Universe stage with over 10 million live fan votes tabulated. Unfortunately, a live telecast means that human error can come into play. We witnessed that tonight when the wrong winner was initially announced. Our sincerest apologies to Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, their families and fans. We congratulate Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach as Miss Universe 2015.”
The Miss Universe contest has endured its share of controversy this year. WME|IMG acquired the Miss Universe Organization earlier this year after former owners Donald Trump and NBCUniversal parted ways over controversial remarks by Trump about Mexican immigrants. Along with the pageant’s long-time English-language US network hime, NBC, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision also dropped the event, triggering a lawsuit by Trump.
This was the first Miss Universe pageant broadcast without Trump. The Presidential candidate has not personally commented on the blunder but reposted the following tweet by David Doucette:
Earlier in the evening, Trump tweeted support for the show and its new owners.