Miss Colombia was initially named Miss Universe on Sunday night, only to have her crown stripped away and given to Miss Philippines when host Steve Harvey revealed that he read the cue card wrong and she was in fact the first-runner up.
Public Relations Specialist Lindsey Carnett tells FOX411 Harvey’s mistake is something Miss Colombia, Ariadna Guitierrez, can be thankful for.
“Ariadna Guitierrez can thank Steve Harvey for the biggest boost to her career,” she explained. “The visibility she’s earned in the last 24 hours is invaluable, and it is up to her to leverage it quickly and wisely. At the very least, I’m sure she will get courted for cameo roles on U.S. TV and emerging brands looking to ride out the viral nature of this gaffe, looking to capture a large share of voice online.”
Harvey said he re-read the card and noticed it said “first runner-up” next to the Colombia contestant’s name before he asked producers if he had made a mistake. Talking with reporters afterward, Harvey and an executive for pageant owner WME-IMG called it human error. He also took to Twitter to apologize for the massive mistake. Still when Harvey took to Twitter to express his sorrow he initially misspelling the home countries of both contestants before also fixing that.
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, believes this blunder will affect Harvey’s career more than it will affect the pageant contestants’ fame. “The brand which will suffer the most from Steve Harvey’s gaffe at the Miss Universe contest is Steve Harvey,” Torossian said. “What a terrible mistake. For Miss Columbia, one can only feel sympathy and feel bad for her. One can only imagine the pain and wide range of emotions she is feeling. I think the whole world feels bad for her, and I am sure there are many brands who are rooting for her.” Marketing entrepreneur Jonah Engler declared Miss Colombia is the most famous runner-up ever. “Miss Colombia goes into the record books as the most famous runner-up ever,” he said. “She should hire a good marketing firm, and go after marketing deals before she fades into the oblivion and is never remembered again.”