A painfully awkward and heartbreaking moment for the contestants and the audience members. Trump says this never would have happened if he still owned the pageant…
LAS VEGAS — 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 when host Steve Harvey returned to apologize.
Harvey said it was his mistake and that he would take responsibility for not correctly reading the card, which said that contestant Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines was this year’s winner and Colombia was actually the first runner-up.
He held up the card for Fox network cameras to see up close afterward. Talking with reporters afterward, Harvey and an executive for pageant owner WME-IMG called it human error.
“Nobody feels worse about this than me,” he said.
A mystified Wurtzbach appeared stunned as she walked to the front of the stage alongside the crown-wearing Gutierrez before last year’s Miss Universe from Colombia removed the crown and placed it on Wurtzbach’s head.
Wurtzbach later said she felt conflicting emotions as the mistake happened: joy when she was told she had indeed won, concern for Gutierrez and confusion at the whole situation.
Wurtzbach said she tried to approach Gutierrez onstage afterward but the Colombian was crying and surrounded by a crowd of women. She said she realized it was “probably bad timing.”
“I did not take the crown from her,” Wurtzbach told reporters after the pageant concluded, saying she wished the contestant from Colombia well and hoped the Latin American community understands that “none of this was my fault.”
“None of this was done on purpose. It was an honest mistake,” she said, apologizing on behalf of the organization she now represents. She said Harvey told her afterward that she “should just enjoy the moment.”
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 wrote. “I feel terrible.”
NBCUniversal and Trump co-owned the Miss Universe Organization until earlier this year. The real estate developer offended Hispanics in June when he made anti-immigrant remarks in announcing his Republican presidential run.
That led Spanish-language network Univision to pull out of the broadcast for what would have been the first of five years airing the pageants and NBC to cut business ties with Trump.
The former star of the “Celebrity Apprentice” reality show sued both companies, settling with NBC in September, which included buying the network’s stake in the pageants.
That same month, Trump sold the organization that includes the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants to entertainment company WME-IMG. Via: NY Post