'Everything happens for a reason': Miss Colombia

(REUTERS) - Ariadna Gutierrez, Colombia's Miss Universe contestant, who made headlines after being falsely named winner of the pageant due to a presenter mix-up, spoke to the media on Monday (Dec 21).

"Thanks to all the Colombians who have been showing me support and affection, the truth is I love them very much and well, everything happens for a reason and I am very calm and very happy for the role that I played in this Miss Universe and, well, I was a Miss Universe for Colombia," Gutierrez told Colombia's RCN media outlet before flying out of Las Vegas, where the contest was held on Sunday.

Steve Harvey , the host of the Miss Universe pageant, mistakenly announced the wrong winner in the early hours of Monday. Miss Colombia then had to give up the crown and hand it over to 26-year-old Filipino actress and model Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

Miss Gutierrez, of Sincelejo, Colombia, had already been crowned by Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega of Barranquilla, Colombia, who was forced to remove the crown and give it to Miss Philippines.

While the pageants have come into controversy in recent decades amid claims that they serve to degrade and objectify women, Miss Gutierrez said the former Colombian Miss Universe was a national pride.

"Paulina is a source of pride for Colombia and she is a source of pride for women all over the world," she said.

Miss Gutierrez also told RCN that she had received personal apologies from both the presenter and the Miss Universe organisation.

"The presenter as well as the Miss Universe organisation," she said.

When host Harvey incorrectly announced that Miss Colombia had won the 64th edition of the contest, members of the Sucre beauty committee in Colombia celebrated the perceived achievement with cheers from their home, only to be surprised minutes later when the blunder was revealed and the real winner was announced.