Miss Universe Pageant Says Steve Harvey Did Not Announce Wrong National Costume Winner

After it appeared that Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner during Miss Universe's National Costume category, the pageant tweeted a correction Sunday night, claiming that Harvey and their teleprompter were, in fact, correct when Harvey declared Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados the winner of National Costume.

The organization confirmed that the host was correct and congratulated Ganados in a tweet shared in the early hours of Monday morning.

However, the tweet did not explain why Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekhon was on stage with Harvey to accept the honor. Nor did the organization explain a previous, since-deleted tweet congratulating Sekhon for winning.

Initially, it appeared as if Harvey, 62, had inadvertently announced the wrong contestant as the winner, and was corrected by Miss Malaysia, who took the stage in a jaw-dropping ornate gown that represented the culture and traditions of her country.

Sekhon asked Harvey for the mic and explained, "It's not Philippines, it's Malaysia."

Harvey was quick to explain that the mishap — reminiscent to when he announced the wrong Miss Universe in 2015 — was not his fault this time around, slamming a teleprompter mistake.

"Well, let me explain something, I just read that in the teleprompter," Harvey said, before turning to the producers in the control booth. "Y'all gotta quit doin' this to me. I can read! They are trying to fix it now, but this is what they did to me back in 2015."

"This is Malaysia," Harvey added. "I really love this national costume of Malaysia."

After Sekhon explained the significance behind her costume, Harvey joked that he was "scared to say your name," presumably fearing yet another mixup.

But as it turns out, Harvey was correct in announcing Ganadas, Miss Philippines, as winner of National Costume. Fans took to Twitter to denounce the pageant for the confusion, with some calling it unprofessional and wondering it was done as a publicity stunt.

The non-mixup mixup wasn't even actually the most controversial moment of the night, however. Fans watching at home slammed Harvey after making an off-the-cuff joke about Miss Colombia Gabriela Tafur, who said that he was "forgiven" for the infamous 2015 snafu.

"You've forgiven me [but] the cartel has not," Harvey quipped. "They're not handling it the same way."

The comment immediately sparked backlash from critics who voiced their opinion on social media, calling it offensive and inappropriate.


Photo credit: Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty