Crown swiftly removed from Miss Colombia and given to Miss Philippines after host realises his mistake at the end of the ceremony in Las Vegas
The Miss Universe 2015 tournament has ended in confusion and disarray after the host mistakenly named the wrong woman as the winner.
Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo from Colombia had already been crowned and was standing on stage to cheers from the Las Vegas audience when mortified host Steve Harvey returned to announce the error.
OK, folks, um, I have to apologise, he told, strolling back on stage while Arevalo was proudly waving to fans, holding the wins bouquet and wearing the Miss Universe sash. The first runner-up is Colombia, he went on, Miss Universe 2015 is Philippines.
The camera panned straight to a stunned Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who started slowly strolling to the front of the stage. For a few awkward moments the two women stood side by side, in front of a TV audience of millions from around the world, before Harvey explained that he read the card naming the winner and runner-up in the wrong order.
I will take responsibility for this, it was my misstep, he told the crowd. Its on the card … horrible misstep, but I can show it to you right here, he told, holding up the card.
It is my misstep, but its still a great night.
Please dont hold it against the dames, please dont. I feel so badly but its still a great night.
As he spoke, a former Miss Universe winner promptly removed the crown from Arevalo and placed it on Wurtzbach. The broadcast aimed moments later.
The reaction on social media was swift, with viewers carrying consternation at the fail of the decade.
Later, Wurtzbach told reporters that she wished Arevalo well.
Im very sorry. I did not take the crown from her, she told. None of this was done on purpose. It was an honest mistake.
Harveys mistake is not the first time the wrong woman has been named the winner of a high-profile beauty pageantry. In 2010 during a live television broadcast, Australian host Sarah Murdoch read out the wrong namein the finale of Australias Next Top Model.
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.
NBC Universal and Donald Trump co-owned the Miss Universe Organization until earlier this year. The real-estate developer offended Latin Americans in June when he made anti-immigrant statements in announcing his Republican presidential running.
That led Spanish-language network Univision to pull out of the broadcast for what would have been the first of five years airing the pageantries and NBC to cut business ties with Trump.
The former starring of the Celebrity Apprentice reality show sued both companies, resolving with NBC in September, which included buying the networks stake in the pageantries.
That same month, Trump sold the organisation that includes the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageantries to entertainment company WME-IMG.
Associated Press contributed to this report
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