award-winning educator, mental health advocate, social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, author/writer, program executive, and radio host
Many little girls dream of their crowning moment, but very few will ever have a chance to achieve it. This dream might begin with one of these young girls being on stage at the Miss Universe pageant. Then, she hears her country’s name announced as the next Miss Universe; her dream suddenly comes true. Then, a few minutes later, she realizes that her positive dream is really an absolute nightmare and it’s being realized in front of millions. Then, the crowd is quieted and the host says, “I have to apologize. The first runner-up is Colombia. Miss Universe 2015 is Philippines.” This has to be a dream right; unfortunately, it wasn’t for Miss Colombia.
After the host (Steve Harvey) returned to announce the correction, the reaction on social media was swift. There was emotional support provided for Mr. Harvey; however, many of the comments were personal attacks and some very hateful. One of the most prevalent themes directed toward Harvey was… ‘you had only one job’. This might be true, but anyone could and others have made a mistake during a live event. It’s very unfortunate that this mistake was made at the time the winner was announced.
After analyzing the potential source of this error, one of many reasons for this could have been nerves. However, after further review, the error was most likely caused due to the placement of the winner’s name in the bottom right corner of the card. A probable scenario was that the results were rushed to be calculated with the show near its scheduled end of the program. The card with the winner’s name was quickly given to Mr. Harvey to read. At this point, Harvey probably put his finger over the winner’s name. Then, seeing two names listed in the upper left corner of the card, he incorrectly announced Miss Colombia as Miss Universe 2015 after seeing “first” --- even though the card had “1st Runner Up” by her name.
As it might be imagined, Miss Colombia (Ariadna Gutierrez) was devastated after being dethroned in just under three minutes. However, Miss Colombia’s classy and poised comments after the pageant, “Everything happens for a reason, so I’m happy.” was an exhibition of extreme class.
Some might suggest that this situation was very bad luck for Miss Colombia, but this is arguably and potentially one of the best things that has happened in her life. Prior to this awful mistake, the name “Ariadna Gutierrez” was probably not known to many outside of Colombia or the pageant circuit. Then, in a moment of bad fortune or fate, Ms. Gutierrez became a recognized personality around the world. The other benefit is that she experienced the joy of a crowning moment and being Miss Universe --- even if it was incorrectly awarded. Ms. Gutierrez is one of a few who can rightfully state, “I was crowned Miss Universe”.
Miss Colombia’s ‘bad luck’ has most likely turned into her ‘best luck’. This is a great example of ‘bad luck’ turning into ‘good luck’ because it can translate into different opportunities that wouldn’t or potentially couldn’t have happened without the negative experience.
For Miss Colombia, the potential outcome is the unlikely and fortunate recipient of sudden media attention and publicity, expanded brand recognition, increased sponsorship opportunities, and many more possible offers. As for Steve Harvey, it’s a night that he won’t soon forget. Notwithstanding, Mr. Harvey should be given another opportunity to host the 2016 Miss Universe pageant. As a result of his regrettable mistake, he directed a spotlight onto the Miss Universe organization, Miss Colombia, and himself that will have a lasting impact on all parties that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
In Twitter messages posted after the correction, Mr. Harvey wrote, “I’d like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible. Secondly, I’d like to apologize to the viewers at [sic] that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake. I don’t want to take away from this amazing night and pageant. As well as the wonderful contestants. They were all amazing.”
Steve Harvey is an excellent entertainer who had a bad moment at one of the worst possible times, which in no way should detract from any of his past, current, or future successes. By immediately taking responsibility and accountability for his mistake, Mr. Harvey proved (yet again) the reason that he’s beloved by so many as a comedian, game show host, television host, role model, and philanthropist. It’s a tough personal and short-term issue for him, but the opportunities for Mr. Harvey to once again demonstrate his perseverance, resilience, and strength of character are boundless.
As for Miss Philippines (Pia Wurtzbach) --- the new Miss Universe 2015, congratulations and best wishes!