World

Miss Colombia speaks about 'great injustice' at Miss Universe pageant

'Humiliating for me and my country'

Miss Colombia is speaking out for the first time about what she calls a "great injustice".

To be named Miss Universe only to have the crown removed and given to a rival was humiliating and embarrassing, said Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, 22.

On Dec 20, comedian and talkshow host Steve Harvey misread his cue card at the Miss Universe pageant and announced Miss Gutierrez as the winner.

Moments later, he apologised and announced Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, as the actual winner. Footage that showed Miss Gutierrez crying as her crown was taken away went viral.

In her first interview about the incident, she called the whole episode a great injustice and that to stand before the cameras while the hard-fought crown was removed from her was not fair, CNN reported.

She said: "There are a thousand ways to do things.

"They could have done it, I don't know, the next day in a press conference or a press release... They did not do things the right way."

Miss Gutierrez told Colombia's W Radio on Wednesday why she has not spoken much about her experience winning, and losing, the Miss Universe crown.

HAD TO GRIEVE

"I was disconnected. I haven't received phone calls from almost anyone. Very few people have communicated with me," she said.

"That's because I had to grieve for what happened."

She also told W Radio the whole episode was embarrassing, and not just for her.

She said: "It was very humiliating for me, but also for the whole country and for all the people not only from Colombia but the other Latinos that were in the auditorium."

Republican presidential front runner, Donald Trump, who formerly co-owned the pageant, tweeted after the mix-up to say the incident would not have occurred on his watch.

He also 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.

She also told W Radio on the flip side, job offers were pouring in, including opportunities to work in the United States.

"I managed to make history, which I think is more important than winning the Miss Universe title," she said.

Shortly after the pageant she thanked her fans for all the support and wished Miss Philippines all the best in an Instagram photo.

"I also want to congratulate the Philippines for their new Miss Universe. The happiness that you must be feeling must be incredible," she wrote.

Pageantsdonald trumpPia Alonzo WurtzbachAriadna Gutierrez