MANILA—American host Steve Harvey got it right this time.
During the 65th Miss Universe coronation show held in the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City, Harvey reiterated his apologies for his unforgettable gaffe during the previous pageant held December 2015.
To recall, he announced that Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez instead of Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach was the next Miss Universe. He quickly corrected himself but drew flak from fans from both countries.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo, however, expressed admiration and congratulated Harvey for doing such a wonderful job in hosting the 65th Miss Universe competition.
“Steve truly has a way with words, and he clearly won the heart of the Filipinos. He was apologetic but at the same time humorous,” Teo said.
“All is well that ends well. He did just great to make this Miss Universe experience truly a memorable one.”
The DOT chief also appreciated the audience for welcoming Harvey’s efforts to redeem himself.
“The Filipino audience appreciated his humor, wit and tactfulness on stage,” Teo said.
The American host opened the show being apologetic and poking fun at himself.
“Let’s get it out of the way, I know what you’re thinking,” he said while eliciting laughter from the crowd. “Is that the guy from last year? Did they bring back that guy from last year? Well, they did. It’s me, I’m back.”
“It’s been a long year getting here. Boy, I paid the price for last year with that mistake. I went and had a little surgery, had some stuff done to my eyes, so when the card comes up we’ll get it right this year.”
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, for her part, did not waste the opportunity to joke around with Harvey while they shared the stage.
“Thank you for making me the most popular Miss Universe,” she said.
Harvey also faced this year’s Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar and asked her about his reputation in her country: “I want to just ask this for myself, how do people in Colombia feel about Steve Harvey?”
Tovar jokingly replied, “Do you want to know the truth? A lot of people hate you, but you know I love you. That’s the most important.”
Before the announcement of the winner, Wurtzbach handed a pair of eyeglasses to Harvey to make sure he reads the right name.
After Miss France Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe 2016, Harvey ended the show with, “I got it right this time.”