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March 13, 2016 09:19 PM PST
SINCE 2007

Philippines takes Miss Universe title after host apologizes for error

By Trina Soledad | FilAm Star Correspondent

Las Vegas, Nevada – Miss Philippines’ Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was crowned the 64th MISS UNIVERSE at Planet Hollywood. The 26-year old stunner captivated the judges and mesmerized people all over the world with her beauty, elegance and intelligence.

Miss Philippines was a top favorite in Global Beauty polls around the world early on. Fiipinos all over the world and even non-Filipinos believe that Pia has the “IT” factor and felt strongly about her taking home the crown.

At the AXIS auditorium early Sunday morning dress rehearsals Pia wore a stunning cobalt blue evening gown (by Filipino designer Albert Andrada). She nailed both her walk wearing the show stopping evening gown and swimsuit segment. Pia came out fierce and confident.

The AXIS auditorium was packed with thousands of supporters from all around the world.

But the Filipino fans were there by the hundreds, screaming their lungs out every time Miss Philippines was called out.

They were carrying Philippine flags, posters and signs to show their support.

There were also a lot of fans from Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala and Peru. The fan from Guatemala said that it’s time for the Philippines to win. The fans from Mexico said that Miss Philippines is too good and just amazing so she will definitely win the crown. 

Pia is the third Filipina to take home the Miss Universe crown since 1973. The Philippines has been a strong contender in this prestigious beauty pageant for the past five years. The representatives like Venus Raj (4th Runner-Up), Shamcey Supsup (3rd Runner-Up), Janine Tugonon (1st Runner-Up), Ariella Arida (3rd Runner-Up) and MJ Lastimosa (Top 10 Finalist) made it to the Top 10 but always fell short to grab the coveted Miss Universe title. Well, that’s not the case anymore as the 42-year drought is finally over!

But the win was not without controversy.The Top 3 candidates were Miss USA’s Olivia Jordan, Miss Columbia’s Ariadna Gutierrez and Miss Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbach.

When this year’s celebrity host, Steve Harvey, announced the winners, 2nd place went to Miss USA. After that, Steve announced Miss Colombia as Miss Universe.This meant that Miss Philippines was 1st runner-up.

The crowd went silent with only a few people clapping and cheering for the newly crowned beauty queen, Miss Colombia. There were also booing as Gutierrez waved to the crowd.

As the former Miss Universe Paulina Vega was crowning her predecessor, the crowd was confused. Within five minutes, Steve Harvey came out to the stage once again and made an announcement.

He started with “I have to apologize, “ and the audience cheered on! He continued saying that 1st runner up was Miss Colombia and the crowd went wild! Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Philippines, looked around in disbelief as Miss USA, Olivia Jordan, grasped her arm as if to convince her that what was happening was real. “Miss Universe 2015 is Miss Philippines,” the host declared.

An astonished Wurtzbach awkwardly made her way to the front of the stage as the music started again. Miss Philippines waved to the crowd who happily cheered on her. The surprised Wurtzbach swiftly took her place at the front next to Gutiérrez, who was still wearing the crown and Miss Universe sash. Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega transferred the sash and crown to Miss Philippines, the true winner of the pageant.

Harvey, a comedian, producer, author and television host, profusely apologized for the blunder and even showed the official results card to the cameras. “Horrible mistake, but the right thing,” he said. “I can show it to you right here. The first runner-up is Colombia.” After Wurtzbach was crowned, the remaining 78 contestants ran in two directions, either to Miss Colombia to console her or Miss Philippines to congratulate her. It was sad that the newly crowned beauty queen didn’t have the chance to do the tradition - walking the stage for first time as Miss Universe.

But despite that missed opportunity, the Filipinos and most of the crowd were happy. But of course, the fans and supporters of Miss Colombia are obviously not. Gutierrez was humiliated. They felt sorry for her and were totally outraged. Charlie Quevas, a reporter from Panama told me, “Everything that happened today was shocking at the beginning. Then you realize that mistakes happen and especially when it’s a live show. We just feel sad for Miss Columbia and the Columbian people because that kind of mistake hurts. Sometimes we don’t understand that because we are not in that position. It’s hard for us to understand how they feel. But on the other side, Filipinos are happy. Congratulations to the Philippines! We are happy for the Filipinos.”

Miss Universe Celebrity Judge, Perez Hilton, shares his insights as to why Miss Philippines deserved to win on his latest podcast on Perez Hilton Podcast (PHP).

“Miss Philippines gave a better answer. It was the second time she gave a great answer and actually a better answer and by that point, I thought, ‘Wow, she really brought her A game,’ and was super competitive but also deserved it. She deserves it. There was a real beauty, grace, and elegance and she is Miss Universe. She really earned it and won fair and square.” He also added, “I voted for Miss Philippines, and I found out afterwards that it was unanimous. Every single judge in that panel, all four of us, voted for Miss Philippines to be number one. So then, when Steve Harvey announced that Miss Colombia had won, I was in shock. I couldn’t even speak.” All the four judges (Emmitt Smith, Olivia Culpo, Niecy Nash and Perez Hilton) knew something was off. But then it became clear to them when Steve came out and announced there was a mistake.

Miss Guatemala Fabiola Jeimmy Tahiz Aburto said nothing but positive words and dismissed the controversy. “I love my (candidate) friends. They’re all beautiful and inspiring. Congratulations to Miss Columbia and also, Miss Philippines! She (Pia Wurtzbach) is very pretty and very intelligent,” she said.

With all that happened in this year’s Miss Universe 2015, let us not diminish the value of Miss Philippines’ historic win by focusing on the mistake. Pia won Miss Universe 2015 fair and square. She has earned it! She wowed the judges and the rest of the world by her regal beauty, confidence and intelligence. Pia remained humble, classy and gracious throughout ---that’s what being a real Miss Universe is all about.

Top 15
Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Philippines, France, USA, Curacao,
Belgium, Japan, Venezuela, South Africa, Colombia, Mexico, Thailand.
Top 10
Australia, Dominican Republic, Philippines, France, USA, Curacao, Japan, Venezuela, Colombia, Thailand
Top 5
Australia, Philippines, France, USA, Colombia
Top 3
Philippines, USA, Colombia
2nd Runner-Up: Miss USA Oliva Jordan
1st Runner-Up: Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez
MISS UNIVERSE 2015: Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach