At last, Steve Harvey speaks! The 2015 Miss Universe host finally broke his silence on Monday, January 4, following his mega blunder last month when he misannounced Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, as the winner of the pageant over actual victor Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach.
On his first Steve Harvey Morning Show segment of the New Year, the Family Feud host shared with listeners exactly what happened on stage and backstage after he confused the first runner-up with the winner.
"Immediately after it happened, they asked the pageant people to come to the press conference," Harvey recalled. "I wasn't scheduled to be at a press conference, so I went to the press conference and made all the apologies there … Here's the situation: Now, when the mistake was made, when I said the wrong woman's name, I can only give information I had. No one knows, and that information is not in the teleprompter because you've got two women standing there. I read what was on the teleprompter, then I read what was on the card."
As seen on the card, the text for the runner-up was bolder and larger than the font announcing the winner. "The difference being: On the card, it said first runner-up," Harvey explained of the gaffe. "Now, what happened, how it got like that, how it was done, how it was worked on, that's neither here nor there. I said the name that was on the card. When I walked off, everything was cool … and then, after that, all hell broke loose."
Backstage, Harvey said people were running around frantically. "All I heard was people say, 'That's the wrong name,'" he recalled. "And all I hear is confusion backstage. Now I'm standing here in the wing, so what I did was, 'I gotta go fix it.' Now I got a guy in my ear going, 'We gotta do something! We gotta do something!'"
During his walk back on stage, Harvey, 58, kept thinking about Miss Philippines, who had received all of the votes and points, as previously revealed to Us Weekly by one of the judges, Perez Hilton. Despite the overwhelming confusion, Harvey owned up to his blunder.
"Did I make a mistake? Yes I did, wholeheartedly," he said on Monday. "And at this point in the game, I'm not in the finger-pointing business and rolling people under the bus. So, I did what I was trained to do by my father … You make a mistake and you own up to it. And I tried to fix it, I tried to fix it right there."
Harvey has felt Miss Colombia's pain, and even attempted to make amends. "When I did it, it was horrible for Miss Colombia. And she's the only one I haven't had a chance to talk to," the host revealed. "I've had a chance to talk to Miss Philippines. I've talked to all the pageant people. I've talked to people backstage. Even me and the director had a long talk. But I haven't been able to reach out and talk to Miss Colombia. Now, have I tried? Yes. But haven't gotten a response."
While the situation was incredibly sticky, Harvey's only regret was this: "How this must have made the woman from Colombia [feel] … I felt for her more than me." The host said he did his best to rectify the situation.
"I could've just stayed back there and said, 'Y'all fix it,'" he claimed on Monday. "I don't feel sorry for me. I don't feel sorry for the pageant, the pageant will now be bigger than it's ever been."
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