Steve Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the winner instead of Miss Philippines during the December broadcast

By Aurelie Corinthios
January 05, 2016 11:35 AM

Steve Harvey is spilling all the details about his epic Miss Universe gaffe, and shutting down any allegations that he skipped rehearsals for the pageant.

“First of all, I went to more rehearsals than I’ve ever gone to for anything. … I did the entire table read, which is how they go through the whole script with you, except they don’t know the winner yet,” he said during a segment on his Steve Harvey Morning Show on Monday.

“Then, on Friday, we did the walk-through, the full walk-through of the show. Then, on Saturday morning … we did the whole show dress rehearsal. I was there for the entire dress rehearsal.”

The host of the 2015 pageant is opening up about the incident a little over two weeks after he mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the winner of the pageant instead of the actual crown-holder, Miss Philippines, on live television.

Harvey explained exactly what happened in the moments after the major mix-up – and how his efforts to reach out to first runner-up Miss Colombia have been unsuccessful.

“First of all, immediately after it happened, they asked the pageant people to come to the press conference. I went to a press conference. I wasn’t scheduled to be at a press conference, so I went to the press conference and made all the apologies there,” Harvey, 58, said.

“Now, what happened, how it got like that, how it was done, how it was worked on, that’s neither here nor there. I said the name that was on the card. So when I walked off, everything was cool … and then, after that, all hell broke loose,” he continued.

Harvey went on to describe the complete chaos that followed.

“All I heard people saying backstage was, ‘That’s the wrong name!’ … All I hear is confusion backstage,” he recalled. “Now I’m standing here in the wing, so what I did was, I said, ‘I gotta go fix it.’ Now I got a guy in my ear going, ‘We gotta do something! We gotta do something!’ That’s all I’m hearing, utter confusion.”

Harvey said all he could think of was “the lady who won, Miss Philippines … standing there as a loser,” which prompted him to take it upon himself to do something.

“Did I make a mistake? Yes I did, wholeheartedly. And at this point in the game, I’m not in the finger-pointing business and rolling people under the bus. So, I did what I was trained to do by my father. … You make a mistake, own up to it. … And I tried to fix it, I tried to fix it right there,” he said. “Why would I wait … let’s do it while we’re on TV. What could have happened, I could have just stayed back there and say, y’all fix it. And then let them deal with it … but that ain’t what my daddy raised me to do. So I owned up to it.”

The Family Feud host said the “only regret” he has now is for Miss Colombia.

“I don’t feel sorry for me, I don’t feel sorry for the pageant – the pageant will now be bigger than it’s ever been. My only regret is how this woman must have felt. And none of us can know what that is. I felt for her more than me, because, look I’m just a man, I’m out here, I ain’t been waiting for all my life for this moment,” he said. “When I did it, it was horrible for Miss Colombia.”

Harvey added that Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez-Arévalo, has not responded to his efforts to contact her.

“She’s the only one I haven’t had a chance to talk to. I’ve had a chance to talk to Miss Philippines. I’ve talked to all the pageant people. I’ve talked to people backstage. Even me and the director had a long talk. But I haven’t been able to reach out and talk to Miss Colombia,” he said. “Now, have I tried? Yes. But haven’t gotten a response.”

For her part, Miss Colombia called the mishap not only embarassing for herself, but for also for all Latina women in the competition.

“It was very humiliating for me, but also for the whole country and for all the people not only from Colombia but the other Latinos that were in the auditorium,” she told Colombia’s W radio last month, according to a translation by Latin Times.