Miss Colombia grieving over crown mix-up

Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez has her crown removed by Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega during the 2015 MISS UNIVERSE show in Las Vegas, California, on Dec 20, 2015.
Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez has her crown removed by Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega during the 2015 MISS UNIVERSE show in Las Vegas, California, on Dec 20, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

BOGOTA • More than a week after being accidentally crowned the winner of the Miss Universe 2015 pageant, Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, has spoken out, saying she needed time to grieve after the humiliating mix-up.

At the end of the contest on Dec 20, host Steve Harvey handed the crown to a jubilant Miss Gutierrez, only to realise he had made an error. The crown was redirected to a stunned Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. The mix-up left the Colombian beauty queen feeling humiliated.

"I was disconnected. I haven't received phone calls from anyone. Very few people have communicated with me," the 22-year-old told Colombia's W Radio last Wednesday, explaining why she's been mostly silent about the incident. "That's because I had to grieve over what happened," the Huffington Post reported.

In a translation of the interview by the Latin Times, she said: "It was very humiliating for me, but also for the whole country and for all the people, not only (those) from Colombia, but the other Latinos that were in the auditorium."

EMBARRASSING FOR ALL LATINOS

It was very humiliating for me, but also for the whole country and for all the people, not only (those) from Colombia, but the other Latinos that were in the auditorium.

MISS COLOMBIA ARIADNA GUTIERREZ, speaking out for the first time about the Miss Universe 2015 debacle

"They did not do things the right way," Miss Gutierrez said of the way the error was handled, according to the Huffington Post. "They could have done it, I don't know, the next day in a press conference or a press release," she said, referring to the stripping of the crown.

Still, Miss Gutierrez stressed that she was looking on the bright side. "I managed to make history, which I think is more important than winning the Miss Universe title," she told W Radio.

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who formerly co-owned the pageant, suggested in a phone call to NBC's Today that Miss Wurtzbach and Miss Gutierrez be named co-winners.

"For the first time I agree with him," Miss Gutierrez said, reported celebrity news website E! Online.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 03, 2016, with the headline 'Miss Colombia grieving over crown mix-up'. Print Edition | Subscribe