For two whole minutes on Sunday night, Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez celebrated what she believed to be her victory at the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant. With tears in her eyes and a gleaming crown on her head, she waved and smiled at the crowd, her national flag gripped in her hand.
But Gutierrez’s celebration was suddenly, and awkwardly, interrupted by pageant host Steve Harvey. Harvey, it turned out, had announced the wrong contestant. Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach had, in fact, won the crown.
“Uh, I have to apologize,” a visibly-unsettled Harvey told the still-cheering crowd. “The first runner-up is Colombia. Miss Universe 2015 is Philippines.”
As footage of the event showed, the moments following Harvey’s clarification were marked by utter confusion and shock.
A visibly-stunned Wurtzbach walked to the front of the stage, her eyes wide in disbelief. Once more in the spotlight, she stood for several awkward seconds next to the still-crowned Gutierrez, both seemingly at a loss as to what to do next.
“Listen folks, let me just take control of this,” Harvey told the audience after a long pause. “This is exactly what’s on the card. I will take responsibility for this. It was my mistake. A horrible mistake.”
The crown was then lifted from Miss Colombia's head and given to Miss Philippines.
Twitter was immediately deluged with reactions from people around the world:
Harvey also took to Twitter to apologize for his error, calling it a “huge mistake.”
“I feel terrible,” he wrote.
As Twitter users quickly noted, however, the host misspelled Colombia and Philippines in his original apology tweet.
Harvey has since replaced the erroneous tweet, and apologized to fans as well.
Many social media users leapt to Harvey's defense in the wake of the TV gaffe.
“Mistakes happen,” wrote makeup artist Alexys Fleming.
Mario Lopez, a former host of Miss Universe, also expressed his support.
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