Las Vegas – Things didn’t work out as expected on the first Miss Universe not directed by Donald Trump. No one ever remembers the first runner-up of a pageant, but this year the world will certainly remember Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez-Arévalo, who was Miss Universe for a little more than two minutes before host Steve Harvey apologized for his mistake and named Ms. Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, as the winner instead.

Trump, who sold the Miss Universe Organization this year after offending Hispanics in June by making anti-immigrant comments as he announced his Republican presidential run, called Ariadna and Pia as “co-winners”. The event without Trump was developing as expected, remarking inclusion when diverse beauties from around the world were called in the top 15, including a refugee immigrant from Australia, a biracial girl from Japan and a proud Muslim from Indonesia.

Former Miss Universe Paulina Vega (center) removes the crown from Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, left, before giving it to Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Credit: ABC News

The tension started when it came down to the top three: Miss USA (Olivia Jordan), Miss Colombia, and Miss Philippines. After Jordan was named second runner-up, Harvey announced Ariadna Gutiérrez as the Miss Universe 2015, who happily accepted the crown and then Pia left the center of the stage. But all of a sudden Harvey said he wanted to apologize because he had made a terrible mistake, and then Pia Wurtzbach was named the real new Miss Universe. Pia was shocked and was trying to figure out what was going on when Jordan encouraged her to go back to the stage.

“Awkward” was defined when former Miss Universe Paulina Vega, also from Colombia, had to take the crown away from Gutiérrez to give it to Ms. Philippines, as the room (and the entire world) was filled with mixed emotions.

“I felt calm when I was called first runner-up because I felt it was fate. But when they announced that I was Miss Universe, I had mixed emotions,” Pia Wurtzbach told The Philippines Daily Inquirer. “I was happy because I really wanted to win but felt sad for Miss Colombia,” she expressed in her blue gown designed by Filipino Albert Andrada.

Celebrities’ reactions

The supermodel Tyra Banks took on Twitter to celebrate Pia’s crown on Sunday night.

“Dang, girl. You betta #SMIZE, @PiaWurtzbach for the win, girl! #MissUniverse2015 #MissPhilippines #Pinoy,” Banks twitted.

On the other hand, Colombian actress Sofía Vergara used Instagram to show her support for Ariadna, the first runner-up. She posted a picture of her as she was still wearing the crown and wrote “La reina de todos modos,” (“The queen regardless”).

Ariadna sent a message from backstage thanking the judges who voted for her and saying that everything happens for a reason. Several other contestants yelled “We love you!” and surrounded her to show their support, including Miss Germany Sarah-Lorraine. She told reporters that she was upset about the results because Colombia deserved it. In fact, she said that none of them immediately congratulated Miss Philippines after she received the crown because they didn’t even vote for her.

Back in Colombia, people were beyond anger for Harvey’s mistake. Even President Santos tweeted about the mix-up and said that, for him, Gutiérrez was still Miss Universe. Colombians are huge fans of beauty pageants, but unlike neighboring Venezuela, which has won seven Miss Universe titles, they always fall short of the crown, with five runner-up appearances since 1992. Before Paulina Vega, only one other Colombian beauty had been crowned Miss Universe, in 1958. This Sunday they wanted to celebrate a “back-to-back” after Vega, but the victory was ephemeral.

Learn more about the new Miss Universe

Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, a Filipino-German actress and model, is the third to win the crown for Philippines, after Margie Moran won in 1973 and Gloria Diaz in 1969. She was born in Stuttgart, Germany, but was raised in Cagayan de Oro City in the Philippines, which she claims her home. She speaks German, Filipino and English.

Her mother was born in Philippines, her father is German and she has one sister just two years younger than her. After finishing her secondary education with the ABS-CBN Distance Learning Center, Pia studied culinary arts at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies, which is located in Manila. She has worked as a cosmetics model and is currently a stylist and writes for the lifestyle section of a newspaper back home.

Wurtzbach said she tried to reach Ariadna onstage after the crazy situation, but then the Colombian was crying in the middle of a crowd of other contestants. That’s why Pia thought it wasn’t appropriate to approach her and apologize at that precise moment. Jonas Gaffud, Pia’s manager, later confirmed that she did try to approach Miss Colombia.

“I did not take the crown from her,” Wurtzbach told reporters after the event concluded, saying she really wished the best for Gutiérrez and hoped the Latinos understand that “none of this was my fault.”

Source: Washington Post