The Miss Universe Organization clarified what went down during the announcement of the National Costume contest winner

By Colleen Kratofil
December 08, 2019 09:57 PM
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Four years after accidentally crowning the wrong winner of Miss Universe, host Steve Harvey appeared to have had another mishap at the 2019 Miss Universe competition.

The Family Feud star was on hand Sunday to host this year’s pageant in Atlanta, and seemed to have accidentally introduced the wrong contestant while announcing the National Costume Contest winner.

“Here’s a look at the winner, Philippines,” Harvey said as a photo of Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados’s outfit was displayed on a large screen behind him.

But it wasn’t Ganados who was standing next to him in costume — it was Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekhon.

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“It’s not Philippines, it’s Malaysia,” Sekhon said, grabbing the mic from Harvey.

“Okay, well, let me explain something to you. I just read that in the teleprompter. Y’all got to quit doing this to me,” Harvey replied, addressing the show’s producers. “I can read, they said now, they’re trying to fix it now. See, this what they did to me back in 2015. Played me short like that. This is Malaysia. I really love this national costume of Malaysia. This is crazy.”

As it turns out, Harvey did announce the correct winner after all.

“Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is the winner of the Miss Universe 2019 National Costume competition,” the Miss Universe Organization said in a statement to PEOPLE. “As part of the broadcast, we also featured Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon’s national costume. No mistakes regarding the national costume winner were made by him, the prompter or production.”

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Skhon’s costume featured the national dishes of her country and represented the Malacca state of Malaysia and its historical heritage.

“What I’ve worn here is the bride’s outfit of the mixed marriage between the Malays and the Chinese,” Skhon explained.

“Whatever you said, yes,” said Harvey. “I’m scared to say your name again ’cause I don’t know what the hell this teleprompter [is doing]. Thank you, Malaysia.”

Back in 2015, Harvey received major backlash after accidentally announcing that the winner was Miss Colombia (aka Ariadna Gutierrez) when the winner was actually Miss Philippines, Alonzo Wurtzbach.

The moment went viral, and after the mix-up, Harvey and Gutierrez eventually became friends. In March 2018 Harvey had Miss Colombia on his talk show, and they discussed how they moved past the mishap.

Steve TV

“Her family was really kind to me — her father was who I really wanted to be cool with,” Harvey said, quipping that if anyone had done that to his daughter, he’d be “looking for their a— for a long time.”

For Gutierrez, she said the moment “changed my life forever.”

“I got to be in a movie with Vin Diesel!” she gushed, referencing last year’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage. “Now I have my own sunglasses line — everything changed.”

In 2017, Harvey returned to host the pageant once again — and made light of his big flub the year before, quipping that he had eye surgery done to help him see the cards better and announce the correct winner.

“I know what you’re thinking — ‘Is that the guy from last year? Did they bring back the guy from last year?’ ” he said. “When you make a mistake you just have to keep moving forward.”