Although Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez was named the winner of the pageant, Harvey came out later to tell the crowd and those watching at home he made a mistake. The actual winner of the Miss Universe Pageant was Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach.
During the Steve Harvey Morning Show on Monday (Jan. 4), Harvey fully explained the details surrounding what happened that fateful night once he and everyone with the pageant discovered his mistake.
“Immediately after it happened, they asked the pageant people to come to the press conference,” Harvey recalled. “I wasn’t scheduled to be at a press conference, so I went to the press conference and made all the apologies there,” he said, adding, “Here’s the situation: Now, when the mistake was made, when I said the wrong woman’s name, I can only give information I had. No one knows, and that information is not in the teleprompter because you’ve got two women standing there. I read what was on the teleprompter, then I read what was on the card.”
According to The Huffington Post, the card with the final results of the pageant had the name of the winner on the right side of the card in bold. The names of the first and second runners-up were on the left, with “Colombia” written above the first runner-up slot.
“The difference being: On the card, it said first runner-up,” Harvey explained. “Now, what happened, how it got like that, how it was done, how it was worked on, that’s neither here nor there. I said the name that was on the card. When I walked off, everything was cool … and then, after that, all hell broke loose.”
“All I heard was people say, ‘That’s the wrong name,'” he continued. “And all I hear is confusion backstage. Now I’m standing here in the wing, so what I did was, ‘I gotta go fix it.’ Now I got a guy in my ear going, ‘We gotta do something! We gotta do something!'”
Although Harvey had already tweeted his apologies to Gutierrez saying that he “feels” terrible” about his “huge mistake,” the Post noted that he felt the need to reiterate his feelings on his radio show.
“Did I make a mistake? Yes I did, wholeheartedly,” Harvey admitted. “And at this point in the game, I’m not in the finger-pointing business and rolling people under the bus. So, I did what I was trained to do by my father … You make a mistake and you own up to it. And I tried to fix it, I tried to fix it right there.”
Realizing the impact of his mistake , Harvey acknowledged that he tried to reach out to everyone involved, telling his listeners, “When I did it, it was horrible for Miss Colombia. And she’s the only one I haven’t had a chance to talk to.”
“I’ve had a chance to talk to Miss Philippines,” he added. “I’ve talked to all the pageant people. I’ve talked to people backstage. Even me and the director had a long talk. But I haven’t been able to reach out and talk to Miss Colombia. Now, have I tried? Yes. But haven’t gotten a response.”
Although he regrets what he did, Harvey mentioned that the flub has resulted in the Miss Universe pageant being “bigger than it’s ever been.”
“I could’ve just stayed back there and said, ‘Y’all fix it,'” he said. “I don’t feel sorry for me. I don’t feel sorry for the pageant, the pageant will now be bigger than it’s ever been.”
As for Gutierrez, she’s still feeling the sting of being Miss Universe briefly, only to have her crowd given to its rightful owner. The New York Daily News cites an interview Gutierrez did with Univision, where she opened up about her feelings on the incident.
“In four minutes they destroy your dreams. They throw it in a bag, and they throw it in the trash,” Gutierrez said, adding, “I feel like it doesn’t matter to them the feelings of a girl who has worked her whole life for a dream.”