A Universal Fail…

ICYMI, Miss Universe emcee Steve Harvey made the botch of his television career when he announced the wrong winner during the crowning portion of last night’s pageant.  Mr Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Columbia as the winner, when in fact the honor should have gone to Miss Philippines.  Miss Columbia was the first runner-up and our very own Miss USA was the second runner-up.

My question, along with likely millions of others, is:  HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN?  Steve Harvey was given a results card, which clearly stated the winner.  For whatever reason, Mr. Harvey erred and read the wrong name as the winner.  Seriously?  Who runs this show?  Yes, yes, I know…Donald Trump.  However, we all know that Mr. Trump has been a bit busy with his Presidential campaign to be bothered with pageant emcee training.  Who was the Miss America director on duty?  I am no stranger to pageants — I have been a competitor, judge, assistant, producer, mentor, coach, and emcee.  There is one standard rule:  get the winner’s name right!  Check and double-check with the director before crowning begins.  Have the director check and double-check with the independent auditor.  Then check and double-check AGAIN!  This is a one-shot moment.  It doesn’t come again — ever.  Even if the wrong is righted, as was the case in last night’s pageant, the moment is jaded, and you sort of feel like Roger Maris, complete with asterisk.

Steve Harvey made a grand “mea culpa” and gallantly fell on the sword.  I have no doubt that he felt like the world’s biggest heel.  However, the blame does not fall solely on his broad shoulders.  The blame should be shared with the entire Miss Universe organization, and the entire Miss Universe organization should be running in circles to make this right.  For those of you who say that this is silly and that no one should be upset — I say, think again.  These women have worked toward this moment most likely for the entirety of their lives — all while having actual lives.  Pageantry is their sport and Miss Universe is their World Series Game 7.  Only, these ladies play game seven in 6-inch high heeled shoes and evening gowns while they simultaneously have careers and devote themselves to their educations and performing community service.  Simply said, pageants are not for the faint of heart.  You smile and act gracious and kind, no matter what.  Swine flu?  Shake it off and smile.  Shoe breaks?  Just keep walking and smile.  Wardrobe malfunction?  Sew yourself into your dress and smile.  Pushed off the stage?  Pick yourself up and smile.  You get the idea.

So, while I give a firm SHAME ON YOU to the entire Miss Universe organization, I simultaneously give a BRAVISSIMA to all three finalists.  Miss Columbia, while understandably shocked and disappointed, smiled and graciously handed her crown over to the true winner, Miss Philippines.  Miss Philippines was hesitant to take what she had rightfully won and ruin Miss Columbia’s moment.  She did not go and grab it, even after Steve Harvey encouraged her to take her first walk as Miss Universe.  She smiled and graciously restrained herself so she wasn’t adding salt to Miss Columbia’s wound.  And Miss USA?  She acted like a true pageant sister would, helping to facilitate the moment to be less awkward and offered smiles and love and support.  All three of them are winners, and I will remember the universal fail as a universal triumph for finalists.

Also, if Donald Trump happens to be reading this, I would be more than happy to become your new Miss Universe director, or at least emcee your next pageant.  On to 2016!