Colombians outraged by Miss Universe mix-up

BOGOTA -- Colombians celebrated for a little more than two minutes what appeared to be an unprecedented feat for this beauty pageant-obsessed South American nation: back-to-back Miss Universe titles.

See Full Article

From President Juan Manuel Santos to Miss Colombia's relatives in the Caribbean port city of Barranquilla, millions of Colombians who tuned in for Sunday's pageant screamed joyously when it was announced that Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo had won this year's crown.

But the celebrating turned to shouts of fraud seconds later as host Steve Harvey announced on live television from Las Vegas that he had mistakenly read from the cue card. The contestant from the Philippines was the new Miss Universe, not Miss Colombia.

"They took away her crown," and "the shortest reign in history" was the sentiment expressed almost universally on Twitter, where the hashtag "Respect the Crown" was the country's top trending topic.

"The entire country, and our family, was overcome with emotion," Alvaro Arevalo, the Colombian runner-up's cousin, told Blu Radio in an interview Monday. "The truth is we're a little shocked."

The sudden reversal even caught by the president by surprise, forcing him to reverse his initial celebratory tweet.

"I was watching Miss Universe with my family. We started a huge celebration when they said Colombia had won the Miss Universe title for the second straight year," Santos told Radio Nacional on Monday.

"They put the crown on her head. The photos are there to prove it. To me, as a Colombian, she is still Miss Universe," he said.

Colombians are obsessed with beauty and pageants are a major draw across social classes. But unlike neighbouring Venezuela, which has won seven Miss Universe titles, Colombians are accustomed to falling short of the crown, with five runner-up appearances since 1992 including Sunday's.

Before last year's crowning of Paulina Vega, only one other Colombian had won the Miss Universe title, in 1958.

In the aftermath of Sunday's shocking finale, Colombians were at a loss to explain the mistake. Newscasts devoted almost 20 minutes to dissecting every detail of the pageant's confusing end -- from the tweets by a member of the jury celebrating Gutierrez's win to a front-row audience member's alleged slipping of a cue card to Harvey -- as reporters looked for clues of what many Colombians believe was a scripted ending to rob their country of its rightful crown and produce higher TV ratings.

Some journalists blamed Donald Trump, saying they could find no financial record confirming that he had indeed sold the rights to the pageant as he said he did in September.

Many Colombians were outraged months ago when Trump on the campaign trail accused Mexico of sending rapists and drug traffickers to the U.S. On Sunday, some said they believed the Republican presidential candidate was somehow still pulling the strings to prevent another Latina from being crowned.

Trump said Monday that he regretted the mixup, adding that it would never have happened under his watch.

Very sad what happened last night at the Miss Universe Pageant. I sold it 6 months ago for a record price. This would never have happened!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2015

"Mafias are everywhere. They stole the title," said Efrain Salinas, a doorman in a Bogota apartment building. "After winning last year's Miss Universe we're a beauty pageant powerhouse and nobody wants us to win again."

For her part, Gutierrez in her initial remarks seemed saddened but resigned to her fate.

"Everything happens for a reason," she said, wiping back a tear, in a backstage video posted on the organizer's website in which she also thanked the judges who voted for her.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Cyberattack on Sundance film fest briefly shuts down box office

    Entertainment CBC News
    Representatives for the Sundance Film Festival say that their network systems were subject to a cyberattack that caused its box offices to shut down briefly Saturday afternoon. The Festival issued updates to attendees via their official account and say that online ticketing for future shows is currently back up and running. Source
  • Celebrities out in full force for Women's Marches

    Entertainment CBC News
    If you wondered where many of Hollywood's A-list celebrities had gone during U.S. President Donald Trump's inauguration, you didn't have to wonder any longer on Saturday, when scores of them showed up at huge women's marches in Washington and other cities to send the new president a pointed message that he was in for a fight. Source
  • Ryan Gosling and Denis Villeneuve make waves ahead of Oscar nominations

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- When this year's Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday there's a good chance some Canadians will be prominently in the mix, most notably Quebec director Denis Villeneuve and London, Ont.-born actor Ryan Gosling. Source
  • 'Cardinal', 'Mary Kills People', 'Scandal' and 'Suits' top this week's TV must-sees

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bill Harris' TV must-sees for the week of Jan. 22 1. Cardinal Debut When the body of a missing girl is found in a wintry Northern Canadian town, detectives John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) and Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) investigate. Source
  • Oliver Hudson pokes fun at sister Kate Hudson and Brad Pitt dating rumours

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Oliver Hudson made fun of rumours his sister Kate Hudson is dating Brad Pitt. On Friday, Oliver came across a Star magazine cover that claimed Brad was moving into Kate’s house, just a few months after his split from wife Angelina Jolie. Source
  • With Oscars in sight, Amazon, Netflix look to Sundance to secure streaming rights

    Entertainment CBC News
    After revolutionizing television with bold, award-winning original content, streaming networks are on the cusp of their first potential Oscar wins, and are back at the Sundance film festival looking for more awards-worthy fare. Amazon.com Inc raised eyebrows when it paid $10 million US for the North American distribution rights to Sundance drama Manchester By the Sea last year. Source
  • From Cher to Madonna, celebs out in force for women's marches

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- If you wondered where many of Hollywood's A-list celebrities had gone during President Donald Trump's inauguration, you didn't have to wonder any longer on Saturday, when scores of them showed up at women's marches in Washington and other cities to send the new president a pointed message that he was in for a fight -- and that, as so many signs said, women's rights are human rights. Source
  • String theory + a capella = A Montrealer's formula for online fame

    Entertainment CBC News
    This story is part of CBC Homerun's series on Montrealers who have made it big on YouTube. When Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield covered Space Oddity from space, he may have created a new genre of music: science rock. Source
  • String theory + a capella = 3 million YouTube views: A Montrealer's formula for online fame

    Entertainment CBC News
    This story is part of CBC Homerun's series on Montrealers who have made it big on YouTube. When Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield covered Space Oddity from space, he may have created a new genre of music: science rock. Source
  • Maggie Roche of The Roches sister vocal trio dies at 65

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Maggie Roche, the folk-rock singer-songwriter who since the mid-1970s had performed and recorded as a trio and in pairs with her two sisters, has died. Roche died of cancer, according to a statement posted online Saturday by her sister and bandmate Suzzy Roche. Source