UPDATED AT 10:07PM PACIFIC: A Miss Universe pageant insider rushed to Steve Harvey’s defense Sunday night after Miss Malaysia, Shweta Sekhon [shown above], corrected the comedian on live TV, saying he had announced the wrong winner of the 2019 National Costume category.
“Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is the winner of the Miss Universe 2019 National Costume contest. As part of the broadcast, we also featured Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon’s national costume,” the insider said. “Miss Sekhon wasn’t aware we’d be announcing Philippines first, so she jumped the gun when Mr. Harvey started with that news. Mr. Harvey made a joke of it, but no mistakes regarding the national costume winner were made by him, the prompter or production.”
Steve Harvey suffered another Miss Universe flub Sunday night, but it wasn’t completely his fault.
Four years after he caused jaws to drop with a bizarre Miss Universe blunder, Harvey accidentally declared the wrong winner of the National Costume category in the 2019 pageant.
Video posted on social media showed the snafu as it unfolded on live TV.
“Earlier this week, all the contestants competed in the National Costume contest. Here’s the look at the winner, Philippines,” Harvey said as a picture of a contestant in a white gown appeared on screen. The problem is Miss Philippines didn’t win the category, Miss Malaysia did and her gown wasn’t white.
The real winner — wearing an elaborately decorated, multi-colored costume — then asked Harvey if she could have the microphone.
“Can I say something? It’s not Philippines,” contestant Shweta Sekhon told Harvey. “It’s Malaysia.”
A frustrated Harvey responded, “Okay. Well, let me explain something to you. I just read that in the teleprompter. Y’all got to quit doing this to me. I can read… They’re trying to fix it now. See? This is what they did to me back in 2015 – played me short like that.”
Miss Malaysia then started to chuckle as Harvey tried to clear up the confusion.
“This is Malaysia. I really love this national costume Malaysia,” he said. “This is crazy.”
The mix-up followed the comedian’s 2015 flub, when he announced the wrong winner of the Miss Universe pageant. The comedian made fun in the past mix-up on Sunday night’s show.
Misreading the finalists four years ago, Harvey said Miss Colombia was the winner but she was actually the first runner-up and Miss Philippines walked away with the crown.
Harvey joked about the mix-up on tonight’s broadcast.
“I’m hosting again. Fifth time. Can you believe it? I can’t,” he said. “Ya’ll never really did let go of that Miss Colombia thing. … I survived it all. When you fall, get up.”
Jokes aside, Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe 2019.
According to her bio on the pageant website, the 26 year old is an advocate for natural beauty, and an activist fighting gender based violence. The pageant aired live from Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
Women representing more than 90 countries competed in this year’s competition.