Oops! Steve Harvey's Portugal mix-up is another Miss Universe blunder

Yasmine Leung December 13, 2021
Oops! Steve Harvey's Portugal mix-up is another Miss Universe blunder
Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images

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Miss Universe host Steve Harvey had another blunder at the 2021 pageant, mistakenly calling Miss Paraguay Miss Portugal. Some viewers weren’t impressed as it was almost a repeat of what happened six years ago. But Harvey was quick to state it wasn’t his fault. Let’s take a look…

2015, is that you?

Steve Harvey added another hosting slip-up to his Miss Universe list after calling Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira Miss Portugal, reminiscent of his huge fail at Miss Universe 2015.

Unfortunately for Harvey, it appears that slip will haunt him forever as everyone is reminded of it whenever the pageant comes around.

Thankfully, it wasn’t the crowning moment this year, but that hasn’t stopped viewers complaining.

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What was Steve Harvey’s Portugal muddle exactly?

After revealing South Africa’s Lalela Mswane as second runner-up, the 64-year-old congratulated Miss India’s Harnaaz Sandhu and Miss Paraguay for reaching the top two.

But not exactly.

He said:

“Congratulations Portugal… y’all said Portugal. They wrote Portugal on the sign trying to play me again. They’re trying to get me again, but I’m not going for it this year. They had Portugal on the sign. I looked dead at it, y’all saw it. Don’t try to blame this on me this year.”

A mistake but definitely not as dramatic as before.

Even Sandhu and Ferreira looked surprised at his remarks, before reverting to their pageant smiles.

What happened at Miss Universe 2015?

Flashback to the Miss Universe pageant where Steve Harvey accidentally announced Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, as the winner, instead of Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach.

Only after Gutiérrez’s first walk as Miss Universe 2015 was the mix-up revealed, and Wurtzbach was offered her walk.

Harvey profusely apologised on-air, showing the prompt cards as proof it was purely his mistake. He explained the gaffe was due to a last-minute change.

Rehearsals consisted of only reading two names: the second runner-up and Miss Universe. However, the live show changed to reading three names.

Talking to Kevin Hart in 2021, Harvey says the teleprompter read: “And the new 2015 Miss Universe is…” But the staff in his ear said “Read the next name on the card, Steve. Hold, hold, hold.” He looked at the next card, which stated Miss Colombia, triggering the ordeal.

In 2015, Gutiérrez claimed she felt humiliated, not because of Harvey’s genuine mistake but because she was more worried about others laughing and teasing her. She clarified she had forgiven the host because “everyone is able to make mistakes”.

Fans unimpressed

Hopefully this is the last time this kind of situation happens again for Harvey – three times a charm!

Some viewers were shocked but one tried to make sense of it all. Twitter user Momo pointed out that since Miss Portugal was used as one of the mock Top 5 for dress rehearsals, the teleprompter probably wrote Portugal and forgot to edit it for the live show. Not Harvey’s fault!

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Some other fans, however, had no sympathy:

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.