By ETTY GROSSMAN
For the first time in the history of beauty pageants, the host of the event received even more attention than the contestants themselves.
During the Miss Universe contest on Dec. 20, 2015, host Steve Harvey committed what we can call an epic “oops!” Live on air as he announced that Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez had won the title.
But the joy lasted less than five minutes. While the prettiest woman of the entire universe celebrated, Harvey apologized and announced that he had made a “terrible mistake.”
Colombia was the first runner-up.
What an error! A night that was supposed to be remembered for its culture, perfect bodies, smiles and beautiful women ended up being a story full of irate messages and conspiracy theories.
Social media exploded and everybody had a comment about what had happened. It smelled fishy to many. Some people thought it was a publicity stunt to get everyone talking about Miss Universe when normally no one (except Colombians and Venezuelans) would be talking about it.
Tweets suggested the competition needed a boost so it wouldn’t be difficult to conclude that the crown switcheroo was previously arranged. Vulture’s Joe Adalian, a veteran television industry reporter, said, “everybody wins here ….”
As critics continued growing, others accepted human error as a plausible explanation and asked people not to be so hard on Harvey.
The corporate news media didn’t wait much as well. They focused their resources on every thinkable angle on the error. It was an unusual and very newsworthy situation, but, in my opinion, the media failed this time.
The scandal not only drowned out other important news that happened both before and after Harvey’s “mistake,” but also narrowed the coverage towards two things: Miss Colombia and Steve Harvey; leaving behind who was the actual star of the show: Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.
The funniest thing is that you may have NO idea who she is. Oh well! Then, let me do what the media didn’t; introduce you to Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015.
At this point, a really good angle to cover this tremendous scandal would be asking Miss Philippines what she felt or how does she feel now. Give her more importance. At the end of the day, like it or not, she is the one who won.