Was Steve Harvey's Miss Universe Mix-Up a Publicity Stunt?
Many believe that Steve Harvey’s flub at Miss Universe was a publicity stunt for the show.
Nia Sanchez, the first runner-up last year, who was watching from the audience as Harvey mistakenly hailed Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, as the new Miss Universe instead of Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, recounted the general reaction to INSIDE EDITION.
“People were mad, they were throwing things,” she said.
She acknowledged people's suspicion that this was all for ratings, but doubted that was the case.
“I understand why people would say that, but there's no way that's true. Their reputation is at stake,” she said.
Judge Perez Hilton was on Good Morning America on Tuesday to discuss what happened.
“My first thought was ‘Wow, this is rigged.’ Because I knew how I voted and I knew how all the other judges voted. All of us voted for Philippines to win,” he said.
Skeptics are having a field day over the mix-up.
"The controversy was a total publicity stunt," said one online cynic. "Nobody was talking about the show until now."
Another wrote: "This is the most attention the miss universe pageant has gotten since...well, ever."
Harvey said he misread the results card.
He held up the card in an effort to show that the real winner's name was right there all along - Miss Philippines.
A video has surfaced of Harvey right after the blunder, suggesting he blamed the teleprompter.
Harvey also reportedly missed the final part of rehearsals.
Photos obtained by TMZ allegedly show Harvey at the gaming tables Friday. The website said he was back at the tables Sunday before hosting the competition.
Meanwhile, for those who may have wondered what Miss USA, Olivia Thomas, was whispering to the baffled Miss Philippines at the height of the confusion, she now says: "If it appeared I knew what was going on, I was acting. I think my exact words were, 'I think you're the new Miss Universe.'"
Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton spoke to INSIDE EDITION about the controversy.
She said: “I think there is always talk of a conspiracy because it is fun to think there is a conspiracy. But knowing the Miss Universe organization and the integrity of the organization, I don’t think it was a publicity stunt.”