Miss Universe blunder as Steve Harvey crowns runner-up Colombia's Arevalo winner
The Miss Universe competition was plunged in to chaos as the host crowned the wrong winner.
Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach won this year's Miss Universe contest for the Philippines - but thanks to a right royal howler, for one brief moment it appeared as if it might be a repeat win for Colombia.
Colombia's Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo was already wearing the crown as this year's Miss Universe winner in Las Vegas when host Steve Harvey dashed back to apologise.
Harvey said it was his mistake and he would take responsibility for not reading the card correctly that named Ms Wurtzbach the winner and Ms Arevalo the first runner-up.
A mystified Ms Wurtzbach appeared stunned as she walked to the front of the stage alongside the crown-wearing Ms Arevalo before last year's Miss Universe from Colombia stepped in to remove the crown and place it on Ms Wurtzbach's head instead.
Harvey said later no one felt worse than he did about his mistake.
The competition started with women representing 80 countries aged between 19 and 27. For the first time, viewers at home weighed in, with their votes being tallied in addition to four in-person celebrity judges.
NBCUniversal and Donald Trump co-owned the Miss Universe Organisation until earlier this year.
But billionaire property tycoon and Republican US presidential hopeful Mr Trump offended Hispanics in June when he made anti-immigrant remarks in announcing his Republican presidential run.
That led Spanish-language network Univision to pull out of the broadcast for what would have been the first of five years airing the pageants and NBC to cut business ties with Mr Trump.
Mr Trump, the former star of the Celebrity Apprentice reality show sued both companies, settling with NBC in September, which included buying the network's stake in the pageants.
That same month Mr Trump sold the organisation that includes the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants to entertainment company WME-IMG.
I'd like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible.— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 21, 2015
Secondly, I'd like to apologize to the viewers at that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake.— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) December 21, 2015
Belfast Telegraph Digital