Miss Congo Dorcas Kasinde only got a few seconds to enjoy her Miss Africa pageant win before things got heated.
As a viral video showed, just seconds after the 24-year-old pageant contestant was crowned the winner of the continent-wide competition, celebratory fireworks were set off and her wig caught fire from a stray spark. As Yahoo News noted, the hair caught fire quickly and led to shrieks from the crowd as flames quickly engulfed the wig.
Dorcas Kasinde got high marks for how she handled the situation, standing calmly as the show’s host rushed to her help with fire extinguishers.
“People immediately started posting videos of the incident to Twitter to show just how quickly it all happened. Some even praised the show’s host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, for jumping on stage and efficiently handling the situation,” the report noted.
Though the ensuing action took place off camera — which instead showed the shocked runner-up watching the fire be put out — a Twitter user reassured people that there was no lasting damage to Miss Congo.
“For those asking, She is fine… the fire was put out immediately, she wore her crown and carried on like a true queen,” the user wrote.
The runner-up was identified as Nigeria’s Chiamaka Nnaemeka, with Zambia’s Gladys Kayumba coming in third place. As People magazine reported, the competition included more than 30 women from 25 countries competing in the event, which was held in Nigeria.
— Daily Post Nigeria (@DailyPostNGR) December 28, 2018
— Joseph Friks (@JFriks) December 28, 2018
This was not the only beauty pageant finish to have a viral mishap at the ending. At the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, host Steve Harvey accidentally named Miss Columbia the winner, but several minutes later stopped to correct himself and say that Miss Philippines was actually the winner. Harvey blamed a poorly designed winning envelope for the mishap, which became a viral moment on social media.
As CNN noted, the moment led to widespread ridicule on social media, with ESPN’s Darren Rovell calling it “the worst mistake in TV awards show history.”
Steve Harvey apologized profusely for the incident, posting a message on Twitter apologizing to both of the finalists.
“I’d like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible,” he said.
But Miss Columbia had a sense of humor about it, telling Harvey the next year that “people hate you” in Columbia, though she said she still loves him.
While it may have been a difficult finish for Miss Congo, she will have plenty of compensation to make up for it. She was awarded $35,000 and a car for winning the competition.