The 2015 edition of the Miss Universe Pageant was bookended by two moments that were fascinating for very different reasons.
Judge Perez Hilton, sporting a fabulous Christmas suit, opened Sunday night’s festivities by declaring: “Thankfully, Donald Trump no longer owns this pageant.”
If you recall, Trump’s crazy train to the White House began back in June with his announcement that he was throwing his elaborate coif into the race—in a terribly xenophobic speech where he blanket-labeled Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and drug mules.
First, Univision announced they wouldn’t air the Miss USA or Miss Universe pageants because of Trump’s statements, then NBCUniversal severed all ties with Trump—including dumping the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and canning Trump from Celebrity Apprentice. Trump threatened to sue, and in September, just before his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he settled his suits with NBC over Miss USA and Miss Universe, buying out NBC’s stake before selling the Miss Universe Organization to WME/IMG. Miss USA ultimately aired July 12 on Reelz, where it received its lowest numbers ever, and Miss Universe aired Sunday night on Fox.
Which brings us to Steve Harvey.
The sharp-suited host of the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant crowned Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, as the winner—with Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach as first runner-up. Then, something truly strange happened: as Miss Colombia sported her crown and flowers, smiling wide and blowing kisses to the crowd, Harvey announced that he’d misread the cue cards, and that Gutierrez was supposed to be crowned the first runner-up, with Wurtzbach as the winner.
“There’s… I have to apologize,” said Harvey. “The first runner-up is Colombia.”
The camera then cut to Wurtzbach, who looked completely stunned. A crestfallen Gutierrez was then de-crowned, and Wurtzbach was crowned the winner.
Harvey elaborated further on his major screw-up: “I will take responsibility for this. It was my mistake. It was on the card. Horrible mistake, but the right thing—I can show it to you right here. The first runner-up is Colombia. It was my mistake. Still a great night. Please don’t hold it against the ladies. Please don’t. We feel so badly, but it’s still a great night. Thank you all.”
Then, to add insult to injury, Harvey fired off, and then deleted, the following tweet (note the spellings of “Philippines” and “Colombia”):
What a time to be alive.