Miss Universe – Publicity stunt at it’s best?

Last December, a dramatic mistake was made by the host of Miss Universe 2015; Steve Harvey went down in history for triggering one of the most talked about crowning moment on the show. Steve mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the winner and the crown was taken off from her to the real winner – Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Philippines.

A series of news and media reports on this dramatic crowning moment was shown over and over again for weeks long:

Wrong contestant crowned at Miss Universe 2015 : http://www.cnn.com

All the frocks and shocks from the Miss Universe 2015 final: http://www.news.com.au


(Photo shows Miss Colombia’s “crowning moment”, which went on for roughly 3 minutes long)


(Until… Harvey said: “I have to apologize. The first runner up is Colombia.” On stage)


(Photo: Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega then crowned Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach after the winner was re-announced.)


(Photo: Harvey apologised in social media, with a spelling mistakes in his apology.)

Harvey has deleted his tweet above since it sparks anger from social media even more, then he retweeted his apologies.

“I’d like to apologise wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible,”

“Secondly, I’d like to apologise to the viewers at that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake.”

Harvey’s tweets got over 150 thousand ‘likes’ and 100 thousand re-tweets, here are some collections of the social media reactions from http://www.stority.com:

Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner in Miss Universe pageant

Steve Harvey’s gaffe sets off social media onslaught

The controversy surrounding beauty pageant contests have always been in debate since the organization was founded decades ago, with an increase in intensity on new disputes.

The New York Times also covered the subject in their previous news article: Beauty Pageants Draw Social Media Critics.

According to Miss Universe takes social media by storm from http://www.rappler.com, The quick onslaught made Miss Universe a top rankings trending topic, just as the hashtag #MissUniverse causing a major peak across all social media.

It all seems normal that celebrities in the world of showbiz are hyped-up, but will the public be tired of the hoo-ha that’s surrounding Miss Universe one day?

For the case of Miss Universe 2015, was it a truly unintentional mistake made by an innocent host? Or was it a publicity stunt which aims to create public interest?

The in depth research will be on the power and the influence of social media on entertainment industry, specifically the Miss Universe contest.

I will interview Miss China 2014, as she is the relevant personnel who is currently in the industry, with the insights of the beauty contest.

Moreover, the research will extend to the studies from Briggs, Mark (2012); Dijck, J., & Poell, T. (2013); Hermida, A. (2012) and Xin, X. (2011).

I want to do this topic because I was also a pageant in the Miss Universe Organisation, as the Miss China fourth runner-up in 2015.

When I was younger, beauty pageant seemed to me like a real life Cinderella story. However, it is far from a fairy tale. Each year, the results are often affected by many external factors such as financial and political preassures from sponsors and of different countries.

Through this article, I want to educate the young girls through exposing some ugly “truth”, and that winning a title doesn’t mean you are the most beautiful one and vice versa. As the younger girls should cherish what they have and not blindly pursue the so-called glamorous life, and certainly do not change their appearances based on any aesthetic standard that has been shaped by any beauty contest. They should not let anyone else or any other standards to judge who they are.

Key Word: #MissUniverse #Beautycontest #Pageant #SocialMedia #Hypeup

Word Count: 622 


Briggs, Mark (2012) Excerpt from ‘We are all digital workers now’ in Journalism Next: a practical guide to digital reporting and publishing. Second edition. Washington DC: CQ Press. pp. 20-36.

Dijck, J., & Poell, T. (2013). Understanding Social Media Logic. Media and Communication, 1(1), 2-14.

Hermida, A. (2012) Social Journalism: Exploring how Social Media is Shaping Journalism, in The Handbook of Global Online Journalism (eds E. Siapera and A. Veglis), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.

Xin, X. (2011) Web 2.0, Citizen Journalism and Social Justice in China. Meikle, G. and G. Redden Eds. News Online: Transformations and Continuities Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, c2011.



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