Steve Harvey correctly announced Zozibini Tunzi as 2019’s Miss Universe on Sunday night. However, just like four years ago, when Harvey mixed up Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines, this year’s contest wasn’t without confusion. While getting ready to reveal the National Costume Contest winner, Harvey announced the winner as Miss Philippines while standing next to Miss Malaysia.
Harvey announced that Gazini Ganados was the winner of the category while Shweta Sekhon, who hails from Malaysia, was standing on stage with the Family Feud star, but Sekhon didn’t take the mix-up sitting down. She grabbed the microphone and corrected the host, according to People.
“It’s not Philippines, it’s Malaysia,” she said.
Harvey stood there in shock for a beat before revealing that — this time — it wasn’t his fault that he had said the wrong contestant. He told the audience that the mixup was a result of the teleprompter showing the wrong name.
“Okay, well, let me explain something to you. I just read that in the teleprompter. Y’all got to quit doing this to me,” he said. “I can read, they said now, they’re trying to fix it now. See, this what they did to me back in 2015. Played me short like that. This is Malaysia. I really love this national costume of Malaysia. This is crazy.”
Miss Malaysia went on to talk about her outfit, explaining that her bridal costume was a mix between the wedding traditions of the Malays and the Chinese.
“Whatever you said, yes,” Harvey said in response. “I’m scared to say your name again ’cause I don’t know what the hell this teleprompter [is doing]. Thank you, Malaysia.”
Miss Philippines still got her crown and the Miss Universe Organization confirmed that the mistake wasn’t Harvey’s fault, nor a mistake made by the prompter or producer. But despite that fact, the incident echoed four years ago, when Harvey crowned Miss Columbia Ariadna Gutierrez as 2015’s Miss Universe before realizing that the crown should go to Miss Philippines, Alonzo Wurtzbach.
At the time, Harvey apologized for the mishap. When Gutierrez appeared at the contest in 2017, he joked that he had eye surgery in the interim so that he wouldn’t make the same mistake this time.
When it came to announcing the winner of the 3-hour contest, Harvey didn’t have any trouble. He read the correct name when announcing Tunzi, a notable victory as she was the first woman to win the competition while rocking her natural afro-textured hair.
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Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it. May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine. I proudly state my name Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019!