Miss Universe host announces wrong winner before Miss Philippines crowned

Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:40am EST
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By Joseph Ax and David Bailey

(Reuters) - The host of the Miss Universe pageant mistakenly announced the wrong winner on Sunday, who then had to give up the crown and hand it over to a 26-year-old actress and model from the Philippines.

It was the first edition of the annual beauty show since it was thrust into controversy when then co-owner and U.S. presidential candidate, Donald Trump, made disparaging remarks about immigrants.

Host Steve Harvey incorrectly announced that Miss Colombia had won the 64th edition of the contest, broadcast live on the Fox television network.

The eventual winner, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, a Filipino-German actress and model born in Stuttgart and raised in Cagayan de Oro, was initially runner-up.

But them Harvey announced to the audience that he had made a gaffe.

Ariadna Gutierrez Arévalo, 21, of Sincelejo, Colombia, had already been crowned by Miss Universe of 2014, Paulina Vega of Barranquilla, Colombia, who was forced to remove the crown and give it to Miss Philippines. Olivia Jordan, 27, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, finished third.

"I'd like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines for my huge mistake," Harvey said on Twitter. "I feel terrible."

Wurtzbach appeared to take the blunder in her stride.   Continued...

Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach waves after winning the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 20, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus