Beauty pageants are places where grace and poise are meant to rule, but a decidedly awkward moment stole the show Sunday.
Miss Universe 2015 host Steve Harvey wrongfully declared Miss Colombia the winner when she was the first runner-up. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, the contestant from the Philippines, had won.
A contrite Harvey was forced to fix his mistake.
"OK folks ... I have to apologize," he told a confused crowd in Las Vegas. "Let me just take control of this. This is exactly what’s on the card. I will take responsibility for this. It was my mistake. It was on the card."
Moments before, he’d announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner, and she was crowned. Waving a Colombian flag and smiling broadly, she blew kisses at the audience.
When Harvey returned to the stage, Wurtzbach appeared at a loss of what to do. Stunned, she walked to the front of the stage, where the coveted crown was taken off the head of Miss Colombia and put on hers.
Harvey later took to Twitter to apologize, but he made another misstep when he misspelled both Colombia and the Philippines in an initial tweet. That message was deleted.
"I don’t want to take away from this amazing night and pageant. As well as the wonderful contestants. They were all amazing," Harvey wrote.
I’d like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible. — Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 21, 2015
Secondly, I’d like to apologize to the viewers at that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake. — Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 21, 2015
I don’t want to take away from this amazing night and pageant. As well as the wonderful contestants. They were all amazing. — Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 21, 2015