On December 20, Steve Harvey, the MC for the Miss Universe competition, incorrectly named Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner of the pageant, which was founded in 1952. In an unlikely twist, Steve Harvey admitted his mistake proclaimed Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, as the winner and Miss Colombia as the first runner-up.
The MC has apologised on Twitter and Facebook, although that attracted him with more criticisms when he wrongly spelled the names of the two countries. A mistake he soon corrected.
On Tuesday, it was Miss Universe’s turn to take to Instagram and thank “the whole entire world” for its support. Graciously, the first runner-up congratulated Miss Philippines by saying that “the happiness” the Miss Universe “must be feeling must be incredible.”
The only one who brought a sour note to the ceremony was Miss Germany, Sarah-Lorraine Riek, who expressed her shock and anger at the decision.
“I really couldn’t believe it. I was so upset… I was very happy for Colombia actually. She really deserved it and I’m really not happy with the result and neither are the other girls.”
A statement later appeared on Miss Germany’s Facebook in which she congratulated Pia Alonzo. “Congratulations to our friend of Philippines for winning the crown after all,” the statement read.
However, many are wondering if the blunder wasn’t fabricated to garner more viewers for a program that has seen its number of viewers wane in recent years. The cynics might be giving weight to that theory, especially as 2 million more viewers caught the morning-after headlines. About a hundred other media did the recap.
For Fox, the network that bought the rights to host the pageant off NBC–which ended its business relation with Donald Trump in the wake of the tycoon’s comment about illegal immigrants from Mexico–it has been a coup.
Miss universe is a competition that no longer attracts much interest. Initially held over a month-long period in the 1970s through to the 1990s, it is now held over just a two-week period in the month of December.
It’s unknown whether the stunt was pulled by the network. Nevertheless, people have started talking about the beauty pageant again, and the network has boosted its own ratings, especially in this tricky run-up to Christmas where TV networks fight each other for ratings. But, it might be too much of a push to say that the stunt would make viewers clamor for the next edition of the contest.