Las Vegas, NV (AP) The newly crowned Miss Universe from the Philippines is apologizing on behalf of the Miss Universe organization for the mistake that led a contestant from Colombia to first believe that she had won the crown.
Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach told reporters after the Miss Universe pageant that she had conflicting emotions when the mistake happened: joy when she was told she was indeed the winner and not first runner-up, concern for Colombia contestant Ariadna Gutierrez Aravelo, who had previously been mistakenly crowned, and confusion at the whole situation.
Wurtzbach says she tried to approach Aravelo onstage afterward but the Colombian was crying and surrounded by a crowd of women. She says she realized it was, “probably bad timing.”
Saying she’s now the voice of Miss Universe she apologized for what happened on behalf of the organization.
She says the mistake wasn’t done purposely and “it was an honest mistake.”
Miss Universe host Steve Harvey says no one feels worse than he does about his mistake awarding Colombia the crown before Miss Universe.
Harvey spoke to reporters assembled at the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino where the pageant concluded with him awarding the crown to the wrong person.
Mark Shapiro of the pageant’s new owner, WME ` IMG, says Harvey corrected the mistake on his own when he realized the error on air.
Both say it was human error.
The beauty pageant ended Sunday night with the contestant from Colombia having the crown removed from her head and placed on the contestant from the Philippines after Harvey mistakenly read that she had won when really she was the first runner-up.
Harvey says he hasn’t spoken with Miss Colombia.