No, Miss Malaysia didn’t win Miss Universe best national costume. Miss Philippines did.
The organiser has come out to clarify.
Funnyman Steve Harvey briefly found himself in hot water once again, after appearing to make a mistake during the Miss Universe pageant held on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 8 in Atlanta, Georgia.
This was after Harvey infamously mistakenly announced the winner of the 2015 Miss Universe competition to be Miss Colombia, when it was rightfully Miss Philippines.
However, this time, Harvey’s “mistake” was not a mistake after all.
“It’s not Philippines, it’s Malaysia.”
When it came time to recognise the winner of the national costume contest, which occurred earlier in the competition, Harvey announced her to be Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados.
An image of Ganados wearing her national costume was then projected up onto the screen.
However, the woman standing next to him was not Miss Philippines, but rather Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekhon, in her Peranakan food-inspired costume.
When he turned to her, she asked for the microphone and clarified: “It’s not Philippines, it’s Malaysia.”
In response, he lightheartedly defended himself, saying: “Okay, well, let me explain something to you. I just read that in the teleprompter. Y’all gotta quit doing this to me… See this is what they did to me back in 2015.”
You can watch a clip of the apparent mix-up here:
— alex rees (@maybealexislost) December 9, 2019
Not wrong after all
However, the Miss Universe competition has clarified via Twitter that Harvey was, in fact, correct.
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) December 9, 2019
Apparently, the confusion came about because the pageant wanted to showcase the Miss Malaysia national costume in addition to the winning Miss Philippines costume.
According to People, the Miss Universe Organisation said in a statement:
“Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is the winner of the Miss Universe 2019 National Costume competition. As part of the broadcast, we also featured Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon’s national costume. No mistakes regarding the national costume winner were made by him, the prompter or production.”
Insider reported that a source close to the Miss Universe Organization told them that Harvey made a joke out of the situation “so as not to embarrass” Shweta, but that neither he, nor the producers, nor the prompter, had made a mistake.
Mass confusion online
The apparent mix-up left many online confused about who had truly won.
Many misunderstood the situation as meaning that Miss Malaysia was indeed the winner of the costume competition.
Malaysian media outlets such as Malay Mail, The Star, and Metro reported incorrectly that their country representative had won the national costume contest but had just been mistakenly introduced by Harvey.
Locally, CNA, AsiaOne, and The Straits Times also reported the situation as a mistake on Harvey’s part.
Even the Miss Universe Malaysia organisation shared an Instagram post announcing that Miss Malaysia had indeed won the best costume:
View this post on Instagram
MISS UNIVERSE 2019 BEST NATIONAL COSTUME IS MALAYSIA ?????????? . Universe Malaysia 2019 “A Peranakan Indulgence” National Costume ✨ . ?? Costume Designer: @CarvenOng_Couture #CarvenOng . What an unexpected moment ?❤️?? Thank you @shweta_sekhon_ for representing MALAYSIA ?? You did extremely well ✨ . #MissUniverse #RoadtoMissUniverse #MissUniverseMalaysia #MissUniverseMalaysia2019 #ShwetaSekhon #BeautyBeyondYou #NationalCostume #APeranakanIndulgence #EveningGown #68thMissUniverse
Here is the post in case you can’t see it:
Miss Malaysia herself also shared on her Instagram story that she had won the national costume:
Regardless of the confusion surrounding this year’s Miss Universe competition, congratulations to all of the competitors in the Miss Universe competition for their hard work and dedication, including Miss Malaysia, Miss Philippines, and of course, Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi, the newly crowned Miss Universe 2019.
Top image collage compiled from Instagram/@shweta_sekhon_, Paras Griffin/Getty Images, and Twitter/Miss Universe.
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