The Lingering Questions About Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe Disaster

The Lingering Questions About Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe Disaster

Originally published on

It’s been a couple of days since Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez was awkwardly forced to remove her Miss Universe crown and give it to Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach, because emcee Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner. Yet the Internet is still buzzing about the incident, largely because it was one of the more mortifying moments in TV history. But there are some legitimate questions in the aftermath:

  1. Seriously, was it a publicity stunt?

That was the common assumption after that too-perfect viral moment. Viewers weren’t the only ones to instantly think it was all a conspiracy. “When we found out that there was a mistake, I was like, ‘They did this on purpose for publicity!'” Miss Universe judge Perez Hilton said on Good Morning America. “That’s how my mind works.”

Predictably, WME/IMG Chief Content Officer Mark Shapiro (the company bought the pageant from Donald Trump this year) shot down that idea. “That’s just humorous. All I can do is just laugh that off,” he told Jim Rome on CBS Sports.

screen shot 2015-12-23 at 15.46.22

  1. How will this impact Steve Harvey?

Maybe not at all! Except for being a laughingstock. Still, Shapiro insists he’ll be welcomed back again to host the pageant next year. “I definitely want him back, and I would hate to see him not come back. He’s going to want a shot to redeem himself,” Shapiro said.

Looks like damage control is already happening: Although some are pointing to a TMZ report that shows Harvey gambling in Vegas before the pageant, “sources” tell E! News that Harvey was very responsible over the weekend and showed up to every rehearsal.

  1. Did the teleprompter really say Miss Colombia was the winner?

After the incident, Harvey was shown on the Miss Universe Snapchat complaining that the teleprompter read “Miss Universe – Colombia,” even though his card said Miss Philippines was the winner. The snap was quickly deleted, so people pounced on this tidbit as more evidence that the mistake was planned. Hilton said that just wasn’t true: “Well, there is a prompter, but the moment where he crowns the winner isn’t on the prompter, because that moment, they don’t want the other girls to know,” he explained. “So it was just on his card, and he read it incorrectly.”

Miss Australia Monika Radulovic appeared to back this up: “All the girls saw on the prompter, ‘Philippines, you may now take your first walk as Miss Universe,’ ” she told ABC News.

  1. What happens now?

Well, other than everyone involved becoming a lot more famous than they would have been without the mix-up, it might just be a moment that lives in Internet lore. Although people in Colombia are furious, and the Miami Herald reports one Colombian law firm is planning to sue the Miss Universe pageant because “The crown is an acquired right that cannot be taken away from us.”

  1. How is Miss Colombia doing?

Perhaps a little traumatized? Actually, she’s doing OK, People reports. The magazine says Gutierrez is flying down to Miami to spend Christmas with her family before going to Colombia, where she will address the media about the aftermath.

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  1. KryxxX
    December 24, 07:11 Reply


    Miss Colombia can like to fall hand shaa! Chic just dull groove like kilode! If it was that Miss Nigeria that looked like a wilderness or xmas tree I’m very sure the headlines would be screaming ” Nigerian girl flees with the Crown after been crowned wrongly!”. Ah! Naija no dey carry last oh!

      • KryxxX
        December 24, 07:36 Reply


        I talk it like that bcos I go so drag that crown eh i.e. After collapsing on stage, waking up and fleeing! Onye ara ogbete would have nothing on me that day!

        You dont give me sugar or a good D and ask me to vomit or give it back!
        Na obodo ebe? In which village?
        Definitely not mine oh!

  2. ambivalentone
    December 24, 07:17 Reply

    All I saw was a lengthy pause between crowning d Phillipino and announcing the Colombian. It smacks of some of degree of insincerity on their part. Perhaps the Colombian drug lords didn’t do their homework. Oh well, what do I know?

    • Pink Panther
      December 24, 07:19 Reply

      While watching the video after the fact, knowing what was coming made that long pause for me very excruciating. Kai! I was so sad for Miss Colombia’s happiness.

      • ambivalentone
        December 24, 07:23 Reply

        It was embarrassing. Very embarrassing. Who makes those girls paste smiles on when something dey chook dem sef??? I would av thrown a correct tantrum. Miss Congeniality style

  3. KryxxX
    December 24, 07:24 Reply

    But seriously though, this could be a huge publicity stunt and all the notable parties were in d know!

    Watching E! Nd one of d judges sorta implied that Steve might goof big time but still make a comeback. So, she is now Nostradamus, no? Eziokwu!

    Like they r all defending Steve as if he didnt make a costly and traumatizing mistake(I would be in d trauma section of a hospital screaming “give me my crown” if I was that poor Miss Colombia)! Mbanu! There is more to this than we know or they want to divulge.

    **settles down for morning devotion** Dear lawd, any spirit of near success syndrome, any spirit of o nonso eruaka chasing my destiny like Miss Colombia, die by fire! Die by fire!

    • Pink Panther
      December 24, 07:26 Reply

      AMEN OOOO!!! *casting and binding right next to Kryxxx*
      Near success syndrome… Chai. lol

    • sidney
      December 25, 10:57 Reply

      You are just hilarious mehn.

  4. Dennis Macaulay
    December 24, 07:33 Reply

    I felt so sorry for Ms Colombia, she would have removed the tiara by herself rather than wait for them to yank it off her head, it would have been less awkward.

    Plus they back rub by the other Queen? That just rubbed it in

    • Lothario
      December 24, 09:46 Reply

      That back rub was everything…. Seriously! Her sorority sister jump when she was going to crown her sister was very funny to see…. And Colombians are there saying that the Crown can’t be taken from them…. See wahala o!

  5. Mandy
    December 24, 07:56 Reply

    I don’t think it was a publicity stunt. I mean, if it was, what exactly would be the accomplishment targeted at? All such kind of publicity this kind of stunt would get is a lawsuit.

  6. Valunois
    December 24, 08:45 Reply

    That was so terrible and can shut anyone into trauma.

  7. Masked Man
    December 24, 08:48 Reply

    I would have removed everything; crown, bouquet and sash, and sashayed away shaping my fingers in the air, while screaming ‘fuck you bitches’.

  8. Dickson Clement
    December 24, 08:51 Reply

    It’s a publicity stunt. Since the incidence, the Internet is talking about it, I don’t know how the ratings of that show has been but with this publicity, someone is definitely gaining from it! Miss Colombia is hooooot

  9. Lothario
    December 24, 09:50 Reply

    Is it only me that’s seeing that comment by the Colombian law firm up there? They’re really looking to get messy.

    I believe Steve Harvey made a mistake, you could even see it on his face and hear his voice shake a little when he was taking responsibility for his actions, but it was a really costly mistake. That Miss Colombia will be beyond traumatized, and I hear a lawsuit has been filed, just as expected. Really though, everyone is more famous at the end of the day.

  10. Lothario
    December 24, 09:54 Reply

    I didn’t even know that the Miss Universe rights had been bought from Trump, now there’s no way these new owners will want to make this kind of colossal mistake on their first outing, it will make them lose credibility.

    Biko I’m even further convinced that it was an honest, expensive mistake.

  11. Delle
    December 24, 10:30 Reply

    I didn’t even watch the show but I felt the vibes from all angles (coupled with the fact that our Nigerian representative ‘represented’ us well in the clothe department), I think this is the most controversial pageantry in a long time.
    How would someone say it’s a publicity stunt sef? Does that make sense? Why would someone want to intentionally dampen the spirit of a contestant, except of course something happened between her and Steve or some other official behind closed doors.
    Oh well, I really can’t be bothered. Miss Nigeria was so beautiful and stunningly so, for her not to have gone farther than she did just wrote this pageant off for me.
    I’m indifferent about it.

    Did Columbia actually say it’s their acquired right? Well, but for the love I have for Shakira (who incidentally comes from Columbia), I would have washed them down. I’m done.

    • Pink Panther
      December 24, 10:49 Reply

      *sigh* Colombia, Delle. Colombia.
      You’re making the same mistake Steve Harvey did when he went on Twitter to apologize. Dude finished de-repping Colombia on stage, and went to twitter to apologize to ‘Columbia’. lol

      • Delle
        December 24, 13:14 Reply

        Oh, it’s Colombia? I guess the other is the Record Label then. Anyhow, thanks for the correction PP, you can now move forward! Lol

  12. Chizzie
    December 24, 12:14 Reply

    I don’t think it was staged cause he looked genuinely embarrassed plus the card he was given was very confusing, anyone could’ve easily mixed the names up. But as they say in showbiz especially in this internet savvy age, no publicity is bad publicity. The organizers really should thank Steve because it really was a ratings boost. Everyone is talking about the pageant and it seems like it has overtaken its rival, Miss World in terms of popularity

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