Miss Universe pageant host Steve Harvey did a big ol’ belly flop while announcing the winner of this year’s event on Sunday night, mistakenly declaring Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez the victor before hastily correcting himself and stating that Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach had actually won the contest, making first runner-up Gutierrez’s ownership of the crown as temporary as it was embarrassing.
How could showbiz veteran Harvey goof up so badly? TheWrap examines four possibilities for the jumbo-size gaffe.
1. Was it all in the card?
Following his blunder, Harvey emphatically stated that the correct Miss Universe winner and first runner-up were listed on the card he was holding. In the Snapchat session for the event, Harvey appeared to claim that the Teleprompter was the culprit.
Tech Insider consulted design experts to determine whether the layout of Harvey’s card could have tripped him up. They did suggest that the fact that the Miss Universe winner was printed on the right side of the card, while the runners-up appeared on the left, could have created some minor confusion for Harvey.
But there’s yet another wrinkle in this theory: A veteran stage manager told TheWrap that, generally speaking, when a host is reading from cards, there won’t be anything on the teleprompter, and thus no misinformation for Harvey to parrot. Hmm; wheels within wheels…
2. Was it all for publicity?
One conspiracy theory holds that the blunder wasn’t a blunder at all, but rather a calculated attempt to boost buzz for the Miss Universe pageant. After all, Harvey’s run on
Also bear in mind, getting cooperation from all of the parties involved would have entailed conspiracy on a global scale. Remember Occam’s razor: Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions is the likeliest. And there are just too many assumptions to make in order for this theory to hold together easily.
Besides, if that was the goal, it backfired on at least one level; while the Miss Universe pageant did generate a lot of online conversation about the goof, its ratings fell off markedly from last year.
In addition to the aforementioned “Family Feud,” which airs five days a week, Harvey also hosts a syndicated TV talk show, along with a weekday radio show, “The
4. Did “what happens in Vegas” do in
The Miss Universe pageant was held in the Axis at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. As reported by TMZ, Harvey started off the Miss Universe weekend by hitting the roulette table at Caesars, appearing there again hours before the pageant to play some more and enjoy a few drinks. Allowing the roulette wheel to be a distraction before such a high-profile gig would be a pretty big gamble on Harvey’s part, but if there’s a place to gamble big, it’s Vegas.