Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was last night declared the winner of the 2015 Miss Universe pageant but only after an unprecedented blunder by host, comedian Steve Harvey led to Miss Colombia Ariadna Guiterrez being crowned the queen.
Moments after the declaration of Colombia on the Fox network, Harvey returned to offer apologies for naming Colombia as the winner when she was the first runner-up.
In the meanwhile, the stunned Miss Colombia who had already taken her walk as queen and Miss Philippines looked around awkwardly as the drama was playing out. Miss USA Olivia Jordan who had been named second runner-up and who had been next to Miss Philippines then congratulated the winner and Wurtzbach then moved towards the centre of the stage where Miss Colombia crown and all stood.
It was left to the 2014 Queen, Colombia’s Pauline Vega to ease the tension. She moved towards both women and gave a comforting pat on the back to her fellow countrywoman while seeming to confirm the blunder made by Harvey. Guiterrez then carefully removed her crown while fixing her hair and Vega then crowned Wurtzbach. Fox’s telecast ended seconds after Wurtzbach was crowned and after a further attempt by Harvey to quell audible discontent in the audience.
If Gutierrez had won it would have been a historic back-to-back win for Colombia. Wurtzbach on the other hand won after her third attempt to represent the Philippines at the Miss Universe pageant.
Shauna Ramdyhan represented Guyana at the pageant.
The pageant had hoped for a controversy-free event after an international furore this year when its former co-owner Donald Trump disparaged immigrants.
Trump’s remarks about Mexicans in announcing his candidacy in June drew sharp criticism, and the Spanish-language network Univision pulled out of a deal to televise the pageant.
Trump, who has sued Univision for $500 million, bought out NBC’s stake in the Miss Universe Organization, which produces both yesterday’s pageant and the Miss USA contest. He sold the company in September.