Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach, wrote a heartfelt Facebook post to Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, on Thursday, December 24, with a sympathetic nod to the fact that Steve Harvey mixed up the results on the show’s live TV broadcast on Sunday, December 20, Us Weekly reported.
“Words can’t describe how grateful I am for this,” Wurtzbach, 26, wrote on Facebook. “Now, I finally got the best Christmas gift ever — and not just for me, for my country. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who believed in my potential and those who supported me from the beginning. To Ariadna, you are an amazing woman and we are now bonded together forever by a unique experience.”
During the live broadcast, host Steve Harvey first announced that Miss Colombia was Miss Universe 2015. Guitierrez was crowned and made her celebratory victory walk in front of an audience of cheering fans. However, Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, was the actual winner, a fact that was confirmed when Harvey revealed the card displaying the actual pageant results. What resulted was the most awkward Miss Universe announcement in recent memory. The crown was then unceremoniously removed from Miss Colombia’s head and placed on Pia Wurtzbach
As Business Insider reports, there’s a theory that the teleprompter said that Miss Colombia was the winner of Miss Universe Pageant 2015.
Apparently, there’s a Snapchat video posted by the Miss Universe Pageant’s account which captures Steve Harvey saying that the teleprompter said Miss Colombia had won. But that account was refuted by Miss Australia, Monika Radulovic, who maintains that the teleprompter said that Miss Philippines won the pageant.
“I really feel for Philippines, obviously it was a complete mistake. We saw the prompter say Philippines so we knew something was wrong,” she said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “We couldn’t believe what had happened.”
“It was so awkward,” the 25-year-old pageant contestant also said. “It was honestly like a movie.”
To his credit, Steve Harvey owned up to the mistake and wrote an official apology for the Miss Universe flub on his Facebook page that night.
“I know how much pride many countries, fans and most importantly, the contestants take in preparing for this night. I hope that you can forgive me,” he wrote “All contestants were amazing but I want to specifically apologize to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines again and wholeheartedly. You both represented well for your countries, families and yourselves.”
He even poked fun at himself on Christmas morning, referencing all of the jokes and memes that people had been sharing about the incident via social media.
Harvey posted a picture of himself on Twitter with the caption “Merry Easter.”
Merry Easter y’all! 🎄🎄🎄 pic.twitter.com/Z6Xjj5Ehqg
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 25, 2015
But we’re not sure whether Miss Colombia, Ariadna Guitierrez, and her fellow countrymen are ready to make jokes about the incident just yet.
After the crowning, on the night of the Miss Universe 2015 pageant, Guitierez burst into tears backstage but said graciously, “Everything happens for a reason.”
But some of the people in her circle weren’t so ready to give up the the crown without a fight, as an article in Time reports.
“They stole the crown from us and destroyed the dreams of a country,” Gutiérrez’s cousin, Álvaro Arévalo, said to the Bogotá newspaper El Tiempo. “They exposed her to public humiliation.”
Others came up with conspiracy theories that made Steve Harvey out to be a villain.
According to Time, California-based newspaper El Pais ran a headline which read, “Mistake or Fraud.” There was also an image on Twitter which depicted a Pablo Escobar doppelganger asking for the name of the Miss Universe 2015 host.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]