Suspicion looms large over Miss Universe mix-up

22 Dec 2015 | By Vaneet Randhawa
The Miss Universe fiasco

TV viewers broke into a frenzy after Presenter Steve Harvey crowned the wrong contestant as winner of Miss Universe pageant.

Even as #MissUniverse2015 became the #1 trending topic on Twitter, accusations of the mishap being nothing more than a publicity stunt started surging over social media.

Viewers felt the blunder was deliberately planned so as to attract TV rating and boost Steve Harvey's popularity.

In context: The Miss Universe fiasco

Introduction Miss Universe pageant's history

American clothing company- Pacific Mills founded the Miss Universe Organization and held the first Miss Universe beauty pageant as a publicity event in 1952.

The pageant changed hands when Pacific Mills was acquired by Kayser-Roth, which was later acquired by Gulf and Western Industries.

In 1996, Trump bought the pageant and formed the Miss Universe Organization, a joint venture between Trump and NBC.

Trump's hard stance on immigration

Trump, the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential polls launched his official campaign in July 2015. His aggressive stance against illegal immigrants and populist remarks of building a wall around Mexico to discourage immigrants triggered an outburst in the Hispanic community of Mexico, Latin America and Spain.
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1 Jul 2015NBC cuts ties with Trump

After Trump's derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants to the US in his official presidential campaign, NBC distanced itself from his hardline politics.

NBC did not want its Hispanic viewership to be affected by continuing their links with Trump.

NBC severed all business relations with him and took Miss Universe Pageant and The Apprentice, previously joint owned by NBC and Trump, off the air.

11 Sep 2015Miss Universe changes hands

Trump tweeted that he had taken over the Miss Universe Organization by buying NBC's 51% share of the organization.

3 days later, Trump sold the organization that included the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen pageants, to the American talent agency WME/IG and Fox Television took over the TV rights.

Trump also declared that his lawsuits against NBC and Univison had been settled.

20 Dec 2015Wrong contestant crowned winner of Miss Universe

In an unprecedented blunder at the 2015 live-event, host Steve Harvey crowned the wrong contestant as the winner of the Miss Universe pageant.

Minutes after declaring Miss Colombia as the winner, Harvey returned to the stage to admit having read the wrong-name off the card.

Viewers were appalled as Miss Philippines was declared the winner and Miss Colombia relegated to the first runner-up position.

21 Dec 2015Miss Universe controversy draws flak from Trump

Ex-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, Donald Trump, hit out at the organizer after the wrong contestant was declared the winner in the live TV event.

Trump tweets that such a blunder would not have taken place if he would have been the owner of the show.

The tweet followed his enthusiastic support to the event and its owners in his earlier tweets.

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22 Dec 2015Suspicion looms large over Miss Universe mix-up

Drop in Miss Universe's TV viewership

Despite the controversy surrounding the announcements in the show, the Miss Universe pageant broadcast on Fox Sunday turned in ratings (averaging in 1.7 in adults) a little lower than its last year telecast ratings (2.0) on NBC.