As many of you will have seen, the media has been inundated with theatrical headlines about the Miss Universe mix up last Sunday, when TV host Steve Harvey read out the wrong name while announcing the winner of the international beauty pageant.
Straight after the announcement was made, the trophy crown was placed on the head of Ariadna Gutierrez, Miss Colombia, and she commenced that cliché pageant winning performance of blowing kisses to her fans and thanking the audience while fighting back tears (think Miss Congeniality!) But her glory was only short lived…
Because not long after the crown had hit Miss Colombia’s perfectly preened hairdo, host Steve Harvey returned to the stage to announce that he had mistakenly read out the wrong name and that it was, in fact, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Philippines, who had won the Miss Universe 2015 title. People all over the world watched in horror as Miss Colombia was forced to bend down to have the $30,000 blue diamond and topaz crown removed from her head so that it could be placed on the rightful winner, Miss Philippines – all on live television.
During and after the disaster, Harvey stuck to the golden rules of crisis management by taking full blame for the mistake and instantly posting on social media to apologise.
“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 that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake.”
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 21, 2015
But (unsurprisingly) this did nothing to stop the media circus that had erupted as a result of his mistaken announcement. Immediately after the show, a video of the pageant footage made its way around the world, press headlines exploded, and the hashtag #MissUniverse2015 was the number one trending topic on Twitter.
Considering the amount of press attention and social media engagement that Miss Universe has received since Steve’s slip of the tongue, that good old PR saying ‘There is no such thing as bad publicity’ couldn’t be truer! Which leads me to question – was the Miss Universe mix-up a mistake or a deliberate ploy, plotted in advance, to gain publicity and extra ratings for a fading franchise?
Whatever the answer, Steve Harvey’s error will definitely live in TV pageant infamy!