Being live is a bitch. Just ask Steve Harvey who managed to fuck up the most important part of the Miss Universe pageant that I’m fairly certain the vast majority of us had no clue was happening.
Actually, that’s not true. After every move on Words With Friends, an ad for the show would pop up on my iPhone since I’m too cheap to pay for the version without ads. Anyway, by now you’ve all heard what happened and have probably seen the video.
To recap: Steve Harvey initially announced that the wrong person – Miss Colombia – won the Miss Universe pageant. He then had to come back on stage, swallow his pride, and give the crown to the actual winner, Miss Philippines. The video isn’t as painful to watch as you’d think. It’s awkward, of course, but I have to give some credit to Steve (it’s amazing that I feel as if I’m on first name status with him) for how he addressed it on stage. Obviously, his experience as a career comedian and stage performer worked in his favor. He made a mistake, but he did it with grace.
Now, let’s be clear. Steve Harvey fucked this one up in a most royal fashion. In the grand scheme of fucking things up, this is akin to announcing that the wrong album won the Grammy for Album Of The Year, or the wrong film won the Oscar for Best Picture, or wrong person won best actor in a lead role…you get the point. This is the ultimate award show gaffe. This is THE one thing every awards show hopes doesn’t happen, and more specifically in a pageant because it all comes down to that final moment with that ONE winner.
But okay, Steve messed up. Royally. He’s definitely not getting invited back next year to host (or attend) the Miss Universe pageant. Cool. Now let’s talk about how the Miss Universe pageant can make sure this doesn’t happen again. Because it can.
Did you see that cue card?
Why wouldn’t you make the winner HUGE! Why was the wording and info on the card so small? Who sanctioned that shit?
I’m guessing this is what happened: Steve opens the card and sees that Miss USA is the 2nd runner up. At this point, he announces and realizes he has two winners left, knows its Philippines and Colombia, and commits it to memory. Except when it came time to announce, he transposed the winners in his head causing the mistake heard ’round the world. That’s his bad. Bad Steve!
But why wasn’t it MORE clear. I realize I’m giving him more benefit of the doubt than is probably necessary. Clearly he can read. The winner was indicated in a different location on the card than the Runner’s-Up. But seriously, did you see how small the font was on that card? I’m not saying Steve didn’t mess up on his own, what I am saying is that they probably could have done more to make it apparent. The winner font seemed smaller than the other two. Why isn’t that shit in 34-point Comic Sans???
Steve was right to claim full responsibility and tweet out that he’s sorry to the Phillipian and the Columbian. He needs to get some folks to read his tweets before he sends them from here on out too. He messed up lots real good.
But that pageant that nobody cared about before he messed up needs to put in some safeguards for next year so that this type of thing doesn’t happen again. I can’t imagine how many things go wrong on live telecasts that we don’t even realize because there’s a plan A-ZZ.
Of course, there’s really no Plan B for “read the card in your hand that we have provided to you.”