Miss Universe South Africa was one of 15 finalists in this year’s Miss Universe pageant on Sunday to witness one of 2015’s biggest gaffes on television when comedian Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner – instead of Miss Philippines, he said it was Miss Colombia.
The mistake was allowed to go on for so long at the Las Vegas event that Miss Universe Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez was given the winner’s sash, was crowned, waved her flag, smiled, cried, before Harvey returned to the stage and said, “I must apologise”. At that point the crowd went crazy.
He then explained that Miss Colombia was in fact first runner-up. It took Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, a few moments to realise what that meant for her. She was the new Miss Universe.
The South African jokes have already started regarding the crowning of the wrong person, with the following being posted on social media (referencing the short-lived appointment of David van Rooyen as SA’s finance minister).
Another (non-South African) joke video, posted after the incident, has already received over 2.5 million views on Facebook:
South Africa’s entrant, 24-year-old Refilwe Mthimunye, was placed in the top 15 of the pageant. Refilwe is a third-year law student, originally from Bronkhorstspriut. Her vision is to be the voice of her fellow disenchanted South Africans.