Confusion reigned at the crowning of the Miss Universe 2015 contest in Las Vegas, as the host named the wrong woman as the winner.
Miss Colombia had already been crowned and was standing centre-stage to cheers when host Steve Harvey, returned to announce he had made a mistake.
“OK, folks, um, I have to apologize,” he said, coming back on stage while Miss Colombia waved to fans holding the winner’s bouquet and wearing the winner’s sash.
“The first runner-up is Colombia,” he said.”Miss Universe 2015 is Philippines.”
The stunned Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was then seen walking to the front of the stage and the two women stood side by side, before of a million-strong TV audience in embarrassed silence.
Harvey then stammered that he had read the card naming the winner and runner-up in the wrong order.
“It is my mistake, but it’s still a great night. Please don’t hold it against the ladies, please don’t. I feel so badly but it’s still a great night.”
As he fumbled on what to do next, a former Miss Universe winner came to his rescue: she removed the crown from Miss Colombia and placed it on Miss Philippines’s head.
The social media called the error the “fail of the decade”.
Miss Wurtzbach was then heard to tell reporters that she wished Miss Arevalo well.
“I’m very sorry, I did not take the crown from her and I wish her well in whatever she wants to pursue after this pageant,” she said.
This was not the first time such a mistake had been made: the wrong woman has been named the winner of a high-profile beauty pageant. In 2010 Australian host Sarah Murdoch read out the wrong name of the winner in the finale of ‘Australia’s Next Top Model’.
That would have been small recompense to the slighted Miss Columbia, Ariadna Gutierrez, but she took it with as much grace as she could.
On NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning, Matt Lauer asked Trump what his solution would have been.
“I’ll tell you what I think I’d do. I think I’d make ’em a co-winner. It’d be very cool,” Trump said.
Trump also suggested on Twitter that the Harvey’s screw-up wouldn’t have happened if he was still involved.
“Very sad what happened last night at the Miss Universe Pageant”, he wrote. “I sold it 6 months ago for a record price”, he gloated.