Sorry, Malaysia – turns out Philippines won the Miss Universe costume competition
A deleted tweet, heartbroken Malaysians, confused Filipinos: CNA Lifestyle breaks down the details of the drama. Also, the world owes Steve Harvey an apology (this time).
So who really won Best National Costume at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant? Just to set the record straight, the winner is Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados.
Also, the world owes Steve Harvey an apology for thinking he made a mistake during the live telecast of the event.
Due to a mix-up during the live telecast, it looked as if Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekhon and her Peranakan-inspired outfit had won the award. Even the official Miss Universe Twitter account had posted a now-deleted tweet announcing that Malaysia had won.
During the segment, a photo of Miss Philippines and her glittering costume was shown, and host Harvey also announced Ganados as the winner of the Best National Costume.
However, when he turned to introduce the winner, the person standing next to him was Miss Malaysia, Shweta Sekhon, who pointed out that “it’s Malaysia, not Philippines.”
Harvey – and everyone watching – thought that there had been another mix-up and that Miss Malaysia was the real winner. He explained that he was just reading out what was on the teleprompter.
Shweta was then given the time to explain her costume, which was designed by Malaysian couturier Carven Ong.
However, four hours after the show ended, the organisers posted a new tweet, announcing that Miss Philippines is the rightful winner of Best National Costume.
It read: “@IAmSteveHarvey had it right: Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is the winner of the #MIssUniverse2019 National Costume competition! Congratulations, Gazini.”
They did not mention their now deleted tweet, which several fans have called them out on, by posting a screengrab of it.
They posted this but deleted now.. how unfortunate for Gazini. pic.twitter.com/PvcnG1pgMq— echo (@iamweirdo000) December 9, 2019
As expected, fans from both countries are not amused at the mix-up with some even accusing the organisers of doing this on purpose in order to trend.
Prinjay wrote: “How unprofessional this organizer is. Doing it again just to trend. What a shame! ONCE is enough. But doing it for the SECOND time? And ON PURPOSE? Care to explain?”
Elaine Daly, the national director of Miss Universe Malaysia, has written a lengthy Instagram post, detailing their side of the story.
She explained that during the show, Shweta had been asked to go backstage to change into her national costume "for it to be showcased as Best National Costume, and that’s what she did, and conducted interviews as well."
Daly added that she had emailed the president of the organisation to ask for an explanation and was told that "Philippines won the online voting, but the producing staff backstage picked their favorite and wanted to showcase her."
However, as Daly wrote, this was not explained on the show. "To everyone who watched it, it was like as if Malaysia had won. Because why would you put a delegate in her costume, have her do interviews and then tell her that she actually didn’t win but was just the producing staff’s choice," she wrote.
Unhappy fan BoiseGeek wrote on Twitter about the controversy: “But they shouldn’t have done that. They could say she won 2nd place! We Malaysians are going crazy for the win now we’re heartbroken.”
Twitter user rovi kristel added: “Gazini deserve a moment to receive her award. To be fair, I think it’s not Steve Harvey’s fault this time.”
And Oii Chomphunoot said: “You should’ve announced it clearly that Gazini won but she is in top 20 and can’t wear it now so you’re showing cool costume from Malaysia instead. I’m not Philippine neither Malaysian but I can feel how upset they are.”