Last week, the internet was mesmerized by Miss Universe host Steve Harvey’s major gaffe, when he announced that Miss Colombia was the winner of the pageant, when in fact it was Miss Phillippines.
Miss Colombia (a.k.a. Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo) was already wearing the Miss Universe crown when Harvey returned to announce he had mistakenly read from a cue card.
“Listen, folks, let me just take control of this,” Harvey said. “This is exactly what’s on the card. I will take responsibility for this. It was my mistake, it was on the card,” the host said, holding the ballot card in front of broadcast cameras.
“Horrible mistake, but the right thing. I can show it to you right here,” Harvey said. “The first runner-up is Colombia, it is my mistake. Still a great night, please don’t hold it against the ladies, please don’t. We feel so badly.”
Dismissed as a mistake, the general public cringed for Harvey and Arevalo, but then laughed it off as everything seemed to be fine. Until now, that is.
Arevalo, speaking to TMZ, thinks that Harvey may have made the error on purpose in order to boost ratings and draw attention to the pageant in the future.
“If that was the goal, they succeeded,” she said.
Arevalo also thinks the onstage antics were a slight to her background. “It was very humiliating for me, but also for the whole country and for all the people not only from Colombia but the other Latinos that were in the auditorium,” she said.
Pageant insiders also told TMZ that there was some racial tension between the Latina contestants and Miss Phillippines.
Interestingly, Harvey signed a multi-year contract with Miss Universe a few days before the pageant and will likely return as host next year, despite his huge mistake. According to Entertainment Tonight, Harvey’s planned paycheque is “more than they’ve ever paid before for a host.”
The day after the gaffe, Arevalo was offered a US$1 million contract with pornography company Vivid Entertainment to appear in a sex video. She revealed that she refused the deal, jokingly saying “my parents would kill me.”