Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega (C) removes the crown from Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez (L), in order to give it to Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach
Photograph by Ethan Miller — Getty Images
By Christina Austin
December 21, 2015

It seemed like a scene straight out of Miss Congeniality (this one). The Miss Universe crown was taken from one contestant and given to another. But this was no movie. This was a live, televised broadcast of the 2015 Miss Universe pageant.

Host Steve Harvey announced the winner as Miss Colombia, then retracted his statement, saying Ariadna Gutierrez was in fact the first runner-up. Miss Philippines was the actual winner.

Watch the mistake unfold here:

Colombians, who Fortune spoke with for this article, were angered by the mistake. This reporter, who happens to be Colombian herself, received the following reactions:

“It was a humiliation for her in front of too many people,” said Julia Sobelman, a nurse. “She behaved like a lady. Steve ought to be accountable for such a mistake.”

Carmenza Trujillo said, “It’s a blood boiling act—unforgivable. You just don’t do that. Instead of taking away her crown, they should have left two Miss Universes.”

She added, “The new owners of the pageant should have come out looking better. What they did is the worst. Even more, [Steve] was irresponsible. I have a lot of bad words for him. I want to ask him where he learned to read so I don’t go there.”

Hilda Austin, an assistant teacher, said, “He should be fired and never allowed on TV again.”

Another Colombian, Martha Lillian Ramirez, said, “if it was a human error, as Mr. Harvey says, he took too long to read the results and then much longer to rectify them. This creates doubt and distrust in the event and plays with the illusions of two people and all those who follow them.”

Fortune magazine art director Josue Evilla tweeted the following:

Steve Harvey came to his own defense, but misspelled both the Philippines and Colombia in his apology. His tweet has since been edited, but according to the New York Times, it originally read: “I want to apologize emphatically to Miss Philippians and Miss Columbia. This was a terribly honest human mistake and I am so regretful.”

Of course, Donald Trump, former owner of Miss Universe, had a lot to say about this. He was, at first, very proud of the new pageant owners. Then, he was quite embarrassed of them.

And Bette Midler had the following to say, which she tied to her apparent dislike of a former president:

There was at least one person who came to Harvey’s defense—former basketball player Dennis Rodman:

But many on Twitter reacted like this:

Miss Colombia had a filmed response to the debacle, saying “everything happens for a reason.” See her full response below.

Miss Philippines, on the other hand, said she was really confused and still thought the crown may be taken away from her.

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