Miss Universe officials have confirmed Steve Harvey did announce the correct winner of the National Costume prize during the pageant on Sunday.
The 62-year-old, who hit headlines worldwide back in 2015 when he named the wrong person as the winner of the contest, was seen telling the audience during the broadcast that Miss Philippines had won the National Costume category, when Miss Malaysia corrected him.
“Earlier this week, all the contestants competed in a National Costume contest,” he began. “Here’s the look at the winner, Miss Philippines…”
Miss Malaysia, Shweta Sekhon, then asked to take the microphone as she corrected Harvey, saying: “It’s not Philippines. It’s Malaysia.”
Clearly bemused by the confusion, Harvey continued: “Well… let me explain something to you. I just read that in a teleprompter. You all quit doing this to me. I can read this. They are trying to fix it now. This is what they did to me back in 2015.”
Accordingly, a spokesperson for Miss Universe later took to Twitter to clarify who had actually won the prize.
“@IAmSteveHarveyhad it right: Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is the winner of the #MissUniverse2019 National Costume competition!” they wrote. “Congratulations, Gazini.”
In addition, an insider for the competition also laid the blame on Sekhon.
“Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is the winner of the Miss Universe 2019 National Costume contest. As part of the broadcast, we also featured Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon’s national costume,” the source told editors at Deadline. “Miss Sekhon wasn’t aware we’d be announcing Philippines first, so she jumped the gun when Mr. Harvey started with that news. Mr. Harvey made a joke of it, but no mistakes regarding the national costume winner were made by him, the prompter or production.”
The confusion comes four years after Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, as the winner of Miss Universe 2015 – but the actual winner was Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.