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While I was traveling on the bus en route to Malabuyoc today, I went over and over the five-minute-and-twenty-nine-second YouTube video of the most watched Miss Universe 2015 announcement of winners. And I smelled something fishy. Of course, you know I don’t mean that my seatmate stank of dead fish. Some of me would like to believe that this TV blooper (which I don’t deem a practical joke) could just have been schemed out in order to create a stir for the pageant to stay on the map after Donald Trump sold it to WME/IMG and FOX took over NBC as co-owner, media partner, or whatnot.

How on earth could a veteran host like Steve Harvey not have been capable enough to see the difference between “1st Runner-Up” and “Miss Universe” when it was printed too clear to be overlooked on the cue card. The only thing that’s unclear to me, though, was how could the person in charge have overlooked the word “elimination” on the heading of this most prominent pageant cue card in the world.

Since when has that been spelled differently? Has Merriam-Webster Dictionary released a new edition containing the word? I just can’t believe that even someone in the most prestigious pageant forgot how to spell such a simple word correctly on the most important card of the night.

Try to review the same video, take a meticulous stock of Steve Harvey’s facial expression (especially the eyes) and body language, and play psychologist. Of course, you and I wouldn’t have had the time thinking of that when we watched it the first time during its live telecast—because we were all overwhelmed with disappointment, confusion, and all that jazz, and we were also driven crazy by the flow. But now that all’s been said and done, Ariadna Gutierrez’s impossibly long winning moment and Steve Harvey’s calculated time between his announcement and his theatrical steps back into the center of the stage are looking crystal clear already.

If, indeed, it was an honest mistake, what took the host too long to eat his words? Why was he not instructed immediately by the director to go back? If you’re an avid follower of real pageants, the host tells the winner right away to take her first walk in less than five seconds she’s wearing her crown as the brand-new queen. Now I’m compelled to think that maybe, sadly maybe, they’re trying to build the winning moment in front of both the live audiences and the televiewers to add drama to the scene—at the expense of the emotions of the sacrificial lamb, Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, and the crowning moment of the rightful owner of the D.I.C. Miss Universe 2015 crown, our Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach.

Steve Harvey, in his tweets of apology to Ariadna Gutierrez and Pia Wurtzbach, wrote “Columbia” and “Philippians.” I’m not a nincompoop to believe that he really didn’t have a clue as to how to spell Colombia and Philippines correctly. For me, that would just have been his way of justifying his mapped out idiocy to add credence to the whole thing. Otherwise, you have to tell me what brought him to the summit of his career hosting this most prestigious beauty pageant.

In a perfect world, or if indeed the whole thing was unplanned, then perhaps, next time, the writer should include in the script the show’s final lines which should be read ad verbum by the host during the proclamation of winners, leaving blank spaces to be filled in (and verified) by the tabulators with the winning countries and their respective delegates’ names.

Based on my experience as scriptwriter of the then Region 7 Search for Miss Philippines Earth, Miss Teen Philippines Central Visayas Search, Miss Pagadian City Pageant and others, that worked. And, true enough, the Miss Universe 2015 pageant will go down in history as the most highly publicized edition, one of the most controversial TV coverages with higher ratings—and of course, it will remain as the most prestigious beauty pageant ever, with or without another five minutes of hubbub in the boob tube.

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