Steve Harvey Crowns the Wrong Winner at Miss Universe

UPDATED with responses from Donald Trump and IMG

Steve Harvey has made a mistake — a very big mistake.

During Sunday night’s Miss Universe competition in Las Vegas, the host called out Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner of the highly publicized competition. Except Gutierrez wasn’t the winner. Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was.

“OK folks,” he said. “I have to apologize. The first runner-up is Colombia.”

Harvey then announced that Wurtzbach was, in fact, the winner, and the camera then panned to the contestant, who looked visibly shocked after seeing Gutierrez’s celebration. The awkward moment was broadcast live on Fox and around the world, as the global pageant is broadly distributed in more than 190 international territories.

“This is exactly what’s on the card,” Harvey said, holding it up, clearly distraught. “I will take responsibility for this. It was my mistake. It was on the card. … Please don’t hold it against the ladies.”

Harvey went on to say sorry on his Twitter, writing, “I’d like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible. Secondly, I’d like to apologize to the viewers at that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake.

“I don’t want to take away from this amazing night and pageant,” he went on. “As well as the wonderful contestants. They were all amazing.”

He tweeted a similar apology earlier, but misspelled the names of both countries, so the message was quickly deleted.

The official Miss Universe pageant also posted on Twitter, apologizing to the two contestants, citing “human error” during the live telecast.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter exploded almost immediately with viewers taking jabs at Harvey’s expense. Some, however, defended him. Earvin Magic Johnson tweeted, “Steve Harvey made a mistake tonight, we’ve all made mistakes in our careers & lives. @IAmSteveHarvey keep the faith and keep going strong!”

The attention comes after Miss Universe went through some big changes earlier this year. Donald Trump and NBCUniversal owned the competition, but they parted ways after Trump’s presidential campaign garnered controversy, and WME/IMG took control of Miss Universe. Trump took time to revel in Harvey’s mistake, retweeting someone who wrote, “Where’s @RealDonaldTrump when you need em?”

UPDATE: On Monday morning, Donald Trump weighed in again via Twitter, reminding people that he sold the franchise earlier this year “for a record price” and claiming under his ownership, “This would never have happened!”

On Sunday night, before Harvey’s gaffe, Trump tweeted that his “friend,” WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel, bought the pageant from him. “Great people, great new owner @IMG. WATCH.” he wrote.

Meanwhile, IMG issued another mea culpa on Monday morning:

“The excitement of live TV was evident last night on the Miss Universe stage with more than 10 million live fan votes tabulated. Unfortunately, a live telecast means that human error can come into play. We witnessed that when the wrong winner was initially announced. Our sincerest apologies to Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez Arévalo, Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, their families and fans. We congratulate Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach as Miss Universe 2015,” the company said in a statement.

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  1. Tim says:

    “Please don’t hold it against the lades.” Huh? No one was about to, Steve. This mask to deflect a little criticism from you onto the ladies. is so silly. YOU and yo9u alkone take the fall. “Please don’t hold it against the ladies”–get out of here!

  2. Trump2016 says:

    Disgraceful! Steve you messed up big TIME! Go home. Get another person to do better. This is disgusting. Loser. Weak. You blew it Steve. Sorry, but time for you to find another job.

  3. That is a TV Director problem. I work in live TV News for 31 years. You got People on the stage
    that would have stop Steve Harvey before he Crown the wrong girl.

  4. Occultology says:

    “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

  5. Charlotte says:

    I never have liked Steve Harvey, think he is over-rated. Now he has publicly proven that he is an Idiot!

  6. Jacques Strappe says:

    Harvey is a straight up guy who made a mistake and took full accountability for his very public error. The winner of the Flaming A$$hole crown is Miss Donald Trump

  7. Arcan says:

    Hei.. Harvey.. we have free-travelling-ticket for your funniest trip in Comlobia, are u interested in getting it ?

  8. They weren’t using a teleprompter. At least not for announcing the winner. Because if they HAD been, then ANYONE on stage could’ve seen the name of the winner on the teleprompter screen! Duh! Steve was reading off the cards, and ONLY the cards. The Snapchat video in question is so inaudible it’s completely useless – NO words can be understood, but it sure doesn’t sound like the word “teleprompter” is being said at ALL. So there goes that little theory….

  9. ChrisM says:

    Millions of people who had no idea that the “Miss Universe Pagent” was on TV last night now know, not only that it was on but the winner and 1st runner-up. Harvey made an honest mistake and, unlike a lot of public figures, owned it and made an immediate and sincere apology. An uncomfortable moment for Steve but you can’t buy this much publicity.

  10. Mallorie says:

    I LOVE Steve Harvey. He owned up to it immediately, graciously, and quite apologetically.

  11. Alex says:

    I feel sorry for Harvey, he seems like a really nice guy, but that was funnier then an SNL skit…then again Herpes is funnier then an SNL skit these days.

  12. Frank says:

    Steve might be funny- but he’s an idiot, he can’t speak, read or spell correctly. Stick to stand up!

  13. MZLYDIA says:

    @sanman$ seem as though you’re the only one making comment…..but then again, an empty barrel makes the loudest noise!!!

  14. Steve Harvey my name is Geraldine Powell Major iam sorry for what happened but it is not your is the judges fault they are the one who makes the call..You should have called each one of those damned judges upfront with you and ask them why did they put this on this paper for me to read.When you said you going to take the responsibility of what happened they took it and ran with it all day!!!!! all i known something don`t smell right!!!!!!!!!!!! Steve HARVEY YOU WII BE ALL RIGHT GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE.

  15. I smell a rat. This is a setup. Would we even be seeing anything about this if it had gone as planned.

  16. RozAtl says:

    Why crown a queen on Dec. 20, 2015 as Miss.Universe of 2015 and not 2016. It’s like being last years queen while touring and carrying out your duties for 2016. Football teams play in 2015 to go to the super bowl in January.

  17. Sanman$ says:

    Crowns the wrong winner ! Maybe he needs to wear glasses.

  18. Marie says:

    If that were true then he couldn’t be a host of two shows. Go away troll.

  19. Sanman$ says:

    You just kind of know there’s going to be a Steve Harvey Miss Universe skit on Saturday Night Live. And late night talk shows. And in my stand up comedy act.

  20. Sanman$ says:

    Let’s see, what show will Steve Harvey host next, the academy awards show ? Or the lottery show ? Or the Presidental race ? Or a horse race ?

  21. Kate says:

    Yes, Steve Harvey made a mistake, but I also place blame on the producers that, instead of going to a black screen (with a message ‘we’ll be right back’) as soon as the mistake was discovered, decided to ride it out and milk it all for shock value and publicity. That allowed us to see Miss Colombia so happy and waving her flag and stunned at the announcement that she was dethroned. Poor Miss Thailand had to stand by while they had to take the crown from Miss Colombia and place it one her head almost as an afterthought! Shame on the producers for allowing this travesty to be aired!!

    • Sanman$ says:

      Please everybody stop making excuses the big dummy. Send him back to school so he can learn how to read. And make sure he stays awake this time around !

      • Cherijah 1993 says:

        It wasn’t Miss. Thailand who won but Miss. Philippines. You are making the same mistake as Harvey in announcing the wrong winner.

  22. May Lavinia says:

    Harvey may be a multi millionaire (billionaire) and in great demand but he often shows great ignorance. He wrote a tweet apologizing to all the Philapinians. really?

  23. Sanman$ says:

    Send Steve Harvey back to school so he can learn how to read and speak like everybody else !

  24. Sanman$ says:

    Steve Harvey crowns the wrong winner at Miss Universe pageant ! You can’t make this stuff up !

  25. Mjkbk says:

    The winners announcements: NOT the time for a show’s host to get distracted. Not really playing apologist here, but obviously Steve Harvey can read. Yet sometimes all it takes is a moment of distraction at a critical juncture……

    As for his Twitter misspellings of “Philippines” and “Colombia”? Raise your hands if you’ve witnessed well-educated people who can’t spell worth beans.

    I see it every single day, in the news media alone. And they get PAID for being “professional” wordsmiths.

  26. My question : How do you confuse two names so extraordinary distinctive if said name is actually written in full on a card? Harvey is looking at “Mary” but utters “Jane”. Bull! Who’s lying…and why?

  27. Sanman$ says:

    Trump says: Steve Harvey: Your fired ! And learn to read !!!

  28. Clark says:

    Steve Harvey is a buffoon and he always plays a stupid, old Amos and Andy character. It’s demeaning to any black people that he’s on national TV saying,” What you done did?” or “You ain’t even right” He’s trash.

  29. scottwilkins says:

    To err is human…. WAIT!!! you mean Steve is human?!?!? Holy Cow!

    Hey, at least he owned up to his mistake and corrected it. Not too many folks in his shoes would have done even that. And the two girls were very nice in the videos after the show, so everyone seems good. Everyone, except for negative commenters on the internet, of course.

  30. Betty says:

    A mistake was made… deal with it. The right one was crowned and the other had a moment..

  31. markguszak says:

    If he was reading what was written on the card, how was it his fault? They should have just gone with it. Seriously, it is subjective nonsense anyway.

    • Lonnie says:

      He is saying that it was printed CORRECTLY on the card and he misread it. It was his mistake. Shoudl have just gone with it? Really? That is the silliest thing I have ever heard. So if the foreperson on a jury accidentally puts guilty rather than not guilty and the poll the jury and they all VOTED not guilty but the wrong thing was written down, you’d just GO WITH IT?! No, the card was correct…Steve, goofed. That is exactly what he says…listen to it again.

      • When he said, “That is exactly what is on the card,” he was saying that they did not change it so that Philippines was the winner, it was written that way on the card in the first place and he misread it.

  32. L Gaal says:

    It takes a person with a lot of character to own their mistakes with humility. STEVE harvey, you rock!

  33. John Zimmer says:

    It was definitely an epic mistake and it was entirely avoidable. there are some lessons that can be learned from it.

  34. All of you who was easy to judge, remember you may be judged too. Be honest & let the ” perfect” person throw the first stone. Let us all forget this & move on. There are more bigger mistakes we have to deal with right now!

  35. Geri313 says:

    Please STOP looking for ways to mention Donald Trump in every story. His tweet is of NO importance to this story.

  36. Lisa true says:

    It was a mistake geez ! Still love Steve harvey

  37. Je vizzusi says:

    Typical show host, blame the stage hands! Get rid of this “meat market” mentality unbelievable in 2015 exploitation of women. None are winners…

  38. Jason says:

    I thought Ms. Colombia was hotter anyway.

  39. D says:

    Steve is illiterate … everyone knows that

    • Cole says:

      He’s not illiterate, he just plays that dumb slave character with the bottom lip poked out. Even when he was a “teacher” on his sitcom he said things like “Ced, what you done did now!” It’s demeaning to black people. Steve Harvey is an embarrassment.

    • Joy Karen says:

      Hey “D”. You say Steve is illiterate but he always speaks so well of you. Do you even know the definition of “illiterate”? I think not. Steve has apologized for his mistake. What more do you want? Blood? (Guess I’ll just check which of his 17 shows I’ll watch right now–unless you’re on tv, of course. Then I’ll watch you instead.

      • Frank says:

        Joy, it’s nice you can choose to watch TV all day however, like most people, I don’t have time to watch Steve on one of his many shows, I’m usually working during the day and doing something productive. He may be slapstick funny but he has limited ability and he proved it while attempting to host the Miss Universe Program.

  40. Rich Glidden says:

    Steve is a great HUMAN being who made an honest mistake so please don’t be so hard on the man. I WATCH THE STEVE HARVEY SHOW ALL THE TIME and the man is one of the most honest, loving humans out there and if you watched his show you would know he is going to feel horrible already without you all taking shots at the man. I love you Steve Harvey you are a great human being.

  41. It is incomprehensible and inconceivable that someone with as much media experience as Steve Harvey wouldnt be able to comprehend the difference between “1st runner up” and “Ms Universe”. He will NEVER host another pageant and needs to stay put where he belongs — Family Feud’s host permanently.

    • scottwilkins says:

      Your lack of comprehension of the human condition is more of a problem…
      To err is human, to forgive is divine. You apparently are not very forgiving. The contestants were forgiving, so what’s your problem?

    • Joy Karen says:

      Surprised that you’re so filled with hatred since each time your name has come up, Steve (along with all of his buddies) has always spoken so well of you.

  42. Bess says:

    Keep strong Steve we all have made mistakes. I still love all you do for people.

  43. But says:

    Steve Harvey is so full of himself and this comes as no surprise. Just listen to how poorly he speaks. Could he read the card? If he reads as poorly as he speaks, he probably could not read the card.

  44. Shari Williams says:

    I watched as it happened. I felt bad for both ladies. But, Miss Philippines, who didn’t get a chance to revel in her win ~ since all the crowning, flowers & crying were courtesy of Miss Columbia ~ was cheated. For all the money that Mr. Harvey makes, he should have better grammar skills ~ in speech, reading & spelling. I had to stop watching FAMILY FEUD because I didn’t understand his pronunciation of the words “still” and “steal” ~ he pronounces them EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. And, after reading tonight that he couldn’t spell COLUMBIA, EVEN WITH SPELL-CHECK, I think perhaps he needs a quickie English grammar refresher course. I’m sure he can afford it!

  45. Jim says:

    Steve Harvey just showed the Universe how overrated and under-educated he really is. I do not understand how this country bumpkin is giving advice on relationships when he has failed in many. He will now invoke his religion to go and hide behind. What a self righteous piece of ****,

  46. Lac Will says:

    As humans, we will make mistakes. Upon noticing the mistake, he apologized and corrected it. Listen up folks! This is a beauty pageant! There have been mistakes made by others in the past and there will be mistakes made in the future – sometimes with more at stake than the winner or 1st runner up in a beauty pageant. For those who are using this incident as an opportunity to demonize a particular race – with references to a teleprompter or specifically highlighting misspelled words, etc., it is my sincere hope that you mature and develop a true sense of self worth, self love and realize that you can make a positive contribution to society and be an example for others eventually and not temporarily “lift yourself up” by continually and consistently putting someone else down under the cloak of anonymity via the internet each and every time a “mistake” is made by others!

  47. Selena Smith says:

    Which Donald Trump and when is it that “you need him”?

  48. mary says:

    I would Not Pay steve Harvey for a Job He Couldn’t Do and the chaos he created outside of Planet Hollywood. I would make him pay and take him off of TV because he is incompetent/

    • Mary, Steve made a horrible mistake; however, this mistake does not make him incompetent to continue with TV programming. He is more than competent as host of Family Feud and is in his 4th season of his TV show. Obviously, the ratings state and his producers believe him to be competent; otherwise, his show would have been cut after the first season.

  49. Steve says:

    Steve Harvey did both ladies a favour. This is trending world wide and they will be even MORE famous for it. I had no idea, nor did I care that this pageant was on….Low and behold the power of becoming viral. Great job Steve Harvey!

    • HollywoodStar says:

      Yep, it’s kind of obvious that a host with as much on-camera experience as Harvey would never make a “mistake” like that, and it must have been intentional. He’s said the card had the right name on it. He practiced in rehersal. He was already familiar with how the finale would go. Now, his goof up is viral and eveyone who checks a news feed today will see this story. Harvey might play a down-home, unsophisticated character but this “mistake” was brilliant.

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