LAS VEGAS—The Miss Universe contestant from the Philippines is this year’s winner but for one brief moment yesterday evening, it appeared as if it might be a repeat win for Colombia.
Colombia contestant Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo already was wearing the crown as this year’s Miss Universe winner when host Steve Harvey returned to apologize.
Harvey said it was his mistake and that he would take responsibility for not reading the card correctly that named contestant Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach this year’s winner and Colombia the first runner-up.
Talking with members of the press afterward, Harvey and an executive for pageant owner WME-IMG called it human error.
“Nobody feels worse about this than me,” Harvey said.
A mystified Wurtzbach appeared stunned as she walked to the front of the stage alongside the crown-wearing Arevalo before last year’s Miss Universe from Colombia removed the crown and placed it on Wurtzbach’s head instead.
The competition started with women representing 80 countries between the ages of 19 and 27.
For the first time, viewers at home weighed in, with their votes being tallied in addition to four in-person celebrity judges.
It’s the third time a contestant from the Philippines has won the title.
It could have been the second win in a row for Colombia.