A good two weeks since his controversial Miss Universe gaffe happened, host Steve Harvey was finally able to speak at length about the incident that went down in pageant history.
It may be recalled that Steve, during the December 20 coronation night in Las Vegas, mistakenly proclaimed Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as Miss Universe when it should have been Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.
Although he has already apologized via his social media account over the incident and to Pia in person. But the issue remains a hot one for Colombians as Steve’s and Pia’s effigies were burned during the traditional “Año Viejo (old year)” to remove bad luck.
According to Steve he never realized that he made a mistake until he saw the “confusion” at the pageant’s backstage.
“All hell broke loose. All I heard people saying backstage was, ‘that’s the wrong name.’ And then a guy came to me and said… they say you said the wrong name,” he recalled at the Steve Harvey Morning Show.
Soon as he realized his mistake, Steve said he took the initiative to fix it instead of allowing the organizers to do it.
“I took it upon myself and walked out there to do something… All I could think of was, here’s a problem – the lady who won, Miss Philippines, is standing there as a loser. She got all the votes and the points. So I’m going out there and I will say I made a mistake. Did I make a mistake? Yes, I did, wholeheartedly,” he added.
The decision to correct his own mistake, according to Steve was, out of his father’s training to “be the man I’m supposed to be.”
While it was more convenient for him to let the pageant organizers resolve the mix-up, Harvey said he decided to correct his announcement on live television because it is the right thing to do.
“You make a mistake, own up to it. I went out there and said I made a mistake. I tried to fix it, I tried to fix it right there,” he explained.
While he and the organizers immediately showed the cue card that indicated that Pia was the true winner, there are those who thought that what Harvey did was nothing but a Miss Universe stunt.
To this he said, “That’s stupid. Why the hell would I do that? What I do not participate in is a bunch of BS… I’m already famous. Do you really think I wanted to be famous like this? In my wildest dreams you could not have told me this, not in a million years. I had to walk back out there and do what I thought was the right thing for Miss Philippines.”
Even if he has already moved on from the incident, in fact, Harvey himself recently poked fun of his own mistake when he posted a holiday greeting on Instagram, he revealed one major regret.
“The only regret I have is how this must have made the woman from Colombia feel. That’s my only regret. I don’t feel sorry for me… I don’t feel sorry for the pageant… My only regret is how this woman must have felt, and none of us know what that is. I felt for her more than me,” he said.
Harvey stressed that he was able to talk to all the other people whom he disappointed during his gaffe, including the pageant organizers, but he unfortunately wasn’t able to offer an apology for Ariadna.
“I haven’t been able to reach out and talk to Miss Colombia. Have I tried? Yes, but I haven’t gotten a response,” he said.
In the end, Steve maintained that even if he felt bad for Ariadna, no one can change the fact that Pia really won the pageant.
“I mean, look, I’m just a man here, I haven’t been waiting all my life for this moment. So I felt for that. But at the same time, how can I not let Miss Philippines, who actually won the event [be crowned]? She got the most points. She’s the real winner,” he said.